Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Brackenhurst - Monday 28 December

Another socially-distant session for Jim, Tom and me at the feeders on a cold, still and rather misty morning. The catch was dominated by retrap Blue and Great Tits once again, though seven Blackbirds was high for the site and a suggestion of immigration. 

We handled 42 birds (12 new / 30 retraps) as follows: Blackbird (7/0), Blue Tit (2/10), Dunnock (1/4), Great Tit (0/12), Redwing (2/0), Robin (0/4).

As on the previous visit, the majority of the retraps were from this and last winter. Exceptions were Blue and Great Tits from the winter of 2016/17, a Dunnock from 2017/18 and another Great Tit from 18/19.

Yellowhammers were notable by their absence and the only other records of note were three Woodcock flushed from the bottom of Orwin's and some Pink-footed Geese calling up above the clouds. 


Sunday, 27 December 2020

Humphrey Dobinson

It is with great sadness that we learnt of the death of the group's founder, Humphrey Dobinson. He died peacefully at his home in Norway on 21 December, just about making it to the group's 50th anniversary.

Several members visited him at home in 2018 (see pic below) and the trip was blogged about here:


Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Recent recoveries

Tom has been out reading colour rings again, and TMW5, the Polish Black-headed Gull (ringed in Feb 2019 in Gdansk) is back for the winter at Trent Bridge again, last seen on the 20/12. A new Norwegian bird has also been seen (JMH5), ringed in Oslo in 2019, this bird was seen in November and was still at Trent Bridge on 20/12. Dutch E5NK, first seen by Tom at Stoke Bardolph in 2017 is also back at the usual spot surviving on a diet of bread. This bird was ringed in Zoetermeer in 2011.

A Reed Warbler caught at Holme Pierrepont in July this year was caught a few weeks later on 18th August at Rutland Water.

The Lesser Redpoll recoveries keep pouring in, with Mick’s site in Bestwood proving somewhat of a hotspot for this species. It will be interesting to see how the influx continues throughout the winter, as so far all recoveries have been within the UK. Perhaps some may get picked up overseas? And as natural food resources run low, will birds seek out gardens as a food source, in which case birds may begin to be recovered in ringers gardens? (Wishful thinking?)

The most recent Redpoll recoveries are as follows:

A bird ringed at Bestwood on 8 Oct was caught at Thorpe Marsh (S.Yorks) on 7 Nov, and a bird ringed at Thorpe Marsh on 2 Oct was caught at Bestwood on 20 Nov.

A bird ringed at Thornton (Leics) on 7 Nov was caught at Bestwood on 2 Dec. On the same date birds were caught that had been ringed at Brockholes NR (Lancs) and RSPB Geltsdale (Cumbria).

Finally, on 15 Dec, a bird was caught that had been ringed at Anglers CP in Wakefield (S Yorks).


Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Brackenhurst - Saturday 12 December

It was a damp, grey morning during which Jim, Christian and I felt as if we were sitting in the clouds for much of the time. Fortunately, it was still and the dampness rarely enough to stop us netting. 

The catching was steady and dominated by retrap tits. As has become the norm, a good number of Chaffinches were caught, but released due to the widespread Fringilla papillomavirus. Thrushes were regular overhead, but only a few could be lured down to the vicinity of the nets.

A total of 51 birds were processed (14 new / 37 retrap), comprising: Blackbird (2/0), Blue Tit (2/19), Bullfinch (1/0), Chaffinch (0/1), Coal Tit (0/2), Dunnock (0/1), Great Tit (2/10), House Sparrow (3/0), Redwing (3/0), Robin (0/2), Wren (1/0), Yellowhammer (0/2). 

The majority of retraps were from the last two winters. The exceptions being Blue Tit, Great Tit and Yellowhammer from winter 17/18, and a Robin from 14/15.


Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Pykett's Farm, nr Newark - 5 & 6 December

Jim, Christian and I visited Pykett's Farm over the weekend. On Saturday night we set up two lines of nets ready for the morning and put up an owl net. We also had a go at using the thermal imaging camera, finding a surprising number of small passerines at roost, along with larger birds like Pheasants and Moorhens and several rodents crawling around feeding on haws and other berries. We caught a single Barn Owl and watched another pair of Barn Owls through the camera circling high above us.

In the morning we trapped half a dozen Redwings and a tit flock, including a Great Tit ringed in January 2018 by Liz and Geoff on the neighbouring Devon Farm.

Towards the end of the morning a flock of about 300 Pink-footed Geese flew over heading west. 

In total we processed 29 birds, comprising (new/retrap): Barn Owl (1/0), Redwing (6/0), Blackbird (1/0), Robin (1/1), Goldcrest (2/0), Long-tailed Tit (11/0), Great Tit (2/2), Blue Tit (1/1).


Tail & wing of a young Redwing showing a very striking fault bar and a moult limit in the greater coverts. (P. Leonard)

Monday, 30 November 2020

Brackenhurst - Sunday 29 November

Emboldened by last week's visit to the Brack feeders, Tom and I returned to them on Sunday. Conditions were good i.e. weather calm, overcast and mainly dry. However, it felt damp and the cloud was low, and in such ‘dreich’ conditions there seems to be less movement, and with the exception of tit species, this proved to be the case. Tits accounted for two thirds of the 72 birds handled over the morning.

A few points of note:
  • Blue & Great Tit – 4 in 5 had either been ringed the previous week or last winter. Often new unringed birds are mainly juveniles, but this winter we are getting a lot of new adult birds at the site.
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker – we’ve not had any for nearly three years, so to catch two ‘new pairs’ is exceptional here.
  • Long-tailed Tit – three of birds were ringed at the same time nearly a year ago. Only one was from the previous week’s volery.

Handling totals by species were 72 (25 new / 47 retraps): Blue Tit (7/26), Coal Tit (0/2), Dunnock (1/3), Goldfinch (1/0), Great Spotted Woodpecker (4/0), Great Tit (2/11), Long-tailed Tit (1/5), Redwing (4/0), Robin (3/0), Goldcrest (2/0).


Great Spotted Woodpeckers, male (l) and female (r), Brackenhurst, 29 Nov 2020 (J. Lennon)


Thursday, 26 November 2020

Brackenhurst - Monday 23 November

So it was Brack Wars, Season 13, Episode 1. In other words, Kev and I making the first visit to NTU’s farmland bird winter supplementary feeding site at the Brackenhurst Campus yesterday. These visits are often an early indication of how some of our resident breeding bird species have done in the last year. Normally we’d expect to handle 50/60 birds at this time, but totalled 123.

With the exception of the ‘yammers we had good numbers of most species. Some key results:

Greenfinch – 11 new birds was a major and pleasant surprise. Previously, since 2008, we have only ringed seven Greenfinches here, and none since 2014. Is it possible they’re coming back from their trichomonosis driven decline in the noughties? 

Lesser Redpoll – a new species for us here.

Blue & Great Tit – at 58 processed, probably the most in a single session here at Brack. The adult/juvvie ratio can be an indicator of how successful the preceding breeding season has been? The 33 Blue Tits were split 12 adults / 21 juvvies and Great Tit 16/9. It suggests that perhaps Blue Tits were more productive than Great Tits this year.

Coal Tit we only have getting these regularly over last three years.

Previously ringed birds (retraps) – other than birds from last winter. The oldest birds were Great Tit (2013), Blue Tit (2017) & Robin (2014).

Handling totals by species were 123 (106 new / 17 retraps): Blackbird (1/0), Blue Tit (27/6), Chaffinch (10/0), Coal Tit (1/1), Dunnock (6/0), Goldfinch (1/0), Great Tit (18/7), Greenfinch (11/0), House Sparrow (8/0), Lesser Redpoll (1/0), Long-tailed Tit (12/1), Redwing (7/0), Robin (1/2), Treecreeper (1/0), Wren (1/0).


Sunday, 8 November 2020

Recent Recoveries

Details of a couple more Black-headed Gulls from the 1st winter period have come through, both seen at Trent Bridge. One (7JJ), had been ringed as an adult in Copenhagen in 2016. Another (VM37), seen several times at Trent Bridge, was ringed in Frederikshaven in Denmark in 2013 as a chick.

An interesting Coal Tit, caught and aged as a 1st winter bird at the end of September at Holme Pierrepont, had been ringed on the coast at Filey Bird Observatory only 2 weeks previously.

Some members of the group have been very busy ringing Lesser Redpolls, and typically, with these have come some recoveries. During operations at Holme Pierrepont, birds were caught that had recently been ringed at Marston (Lincs), Clumber, Wakefield and Hatfield Moor (59km in 1 day!). Also, birds ringed at Holme Pierrepont have been recorded at Sandwich Bay (Kent) and Keyhaven Marsh (Hants).

A Long-tailed Tit, originally ringed by Alex in Mapperley Wood, in 2018, has been captured near Sheffield by Sorby Breck ringers (in between catching Wrynecks and Red-flanked Bluetails!). This is a most unusual movement of 41km for a usually quite sedentary species.

A couple of warbler recoveries to end on, with a Chiffchaff ringed at Bestwood in September, was caught 11 days later at Hayling Golf Course in Hampshire, and a Blackcap from Holme Pierrepont, also ringed in September, was found dead after hitting a window in Folkingham, near Sleaford on 13 October.



Sunday, 1 November 2020

October Ringing Sessions

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont - Tuesday 6 October

The weather was calm with very little breeze. We had a team out consisting of just Gary, Duncan and myself. This autumn's major Lesser Redpoll influx continued, as it is doing over much of the UK, and they dominated the catch today. A few remaining Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps and a late Reed Warbler were also caught along with the first Redwing of the autumn. We finished with a catch of 96 and no retraps made up of: Redwing 1, Song Thrush 1, Blackbird 2, Chiffchaff 2, Blackcap 3, Reed Warbler 1, Goldcrest 2, Long-tailed Tit 1, Goldfinch 1, Lesser Redpoll 79, Reed Bunting 4.


Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont - Sunday 11 October

The weather was calm and bright with sunny spells. The team was Duncan and me and again Lesser Redpoll dominated the catch. We finished with a total catch of 76 including 4 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Robin 2/1, Wren 1/1, Chiffchaff 3/0, Blackcap 3/0, Cetti’s Warbler 2/0, Blue Tit 1/1, Goldfinch 1/0, Lesser Redpoll 58/0, Chaffinch 1/0, Reed Bunting 0/1. The oldest retrap was a Reed Bunting from 2019. Still a few Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps hanging on.


Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont - Friday 16 October
The weather was calm and generally overcast with occasional drizzle. The catching rate was thankfully steady as we had a wary eye on the weather throughout the morning. We had a team out consisting of Gary and myself and finished with a catch of 78 including 6 retraps (including 2 controls) made up of (new/retrap): Redwing 13/0, Robin 0/1, Chiffchaff 3/0, Cetti’s Warbler 1/0, Goldcrest 0/2, Great Tit 2/0, Lesser Redpoll 50/3, Bullfinch 2/0, Reed Bunting 1/0. The retraps were all this years birds. Of the migrant warblers just Chiffchaffs appear to remain, first session of the year here without catching a Blackcap.

Ramsdale Park Golf Centre - Sunday 18 October

The weather was very calm, dry and overcast, perfect netting conditions for our first autumn session for Redwing. We had a team out consisting of Gary, Duncan and myself and we got the nets up just before first light. There seemed to be many thrushes roosting so we were expecting a bigger catch than we actually made, maybe they just dispersed at first light, despite our efforts with MP3s. We also had an MP3 playing Lesser Redpoll and made a small catch. We finished with a total catch of 79 including 8 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Sparrowhawk 1/0, Redwing 31/0, Blackbird 4/0, Wren 4/0, Robin 2/2, Goldcrest 4/0, Blue Tit 3/2, Great Tit 0/1, Long-tailed Tit 3/3, Lesser Redpoll 18/0, Bullfinch 1/0. The oldest retraps were from 2019. There were a few Fieldfares about but none came low enough to go in a net.


Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont - Friday 23 October

All four weather forecasts I looked at the previous evening got this wrong, supposedly dry until mid/late morning they said. So why was it raining when I left home at 06:15? They did get the light winds correct but the morning was spent opening and closing the nets between the frequent rain showers. However, it appears the redpolls have more or less all moved out with only four attracted to the mp3s playing, but one was another control. We had a team out consisting of Gary, Duncan and myself and finished with a catch of just 13 including 3 retraps (including 1 control) made up of (new/retrap): Redwing 3/0, Wren 0/1, Goldcrest 2/1, Lesser Redpoll 3/1, Reed Bunting 2/0. The retraps were all this year's birds. This I think will tie up activities at the site as the redpoll have gone. Still they provided us with an extra month's activity at the site compared to other years.


Sparrowhawk, Ramsdale Park, 18-10-20 (G. Goddard)



Sunday, 4 October 2020

Late September sessions

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont - Monday 21 September

The weather was calm with very little breeze but with clear skies. The catching rate was ok to start but soon dropped as the sun got higher. It was just Gary and me and we and finished with a catch of 43 including 7 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Robin 3/2, Dunnock 3/0, Chiffchaff 8/1, Blackcap 16/0, Reed Warbler 1/1, Cetti’s Warbler 0/2, Blue Tit 3/0, Lesser Redpoll 1/0, Bullfinch 0/1, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was a Bullfinch from 2018. A much reduced, but not surprising, catch of warblers as we head further into autumn.

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont - Monday 28 September

The weather was calm and bright with sunny spells. The team was Gary, Duncan and me. Catching rate of warblers was quite slow as you would expect at this time of year and at this site, but then we found 10 Lesser Redpoll in the nets and decided at about 0900 to switch one of the MP3 players from warbler calls to Lesser Redpoll. This resulted in another 75 Lesser Redpoll being caught, including one ringed 6 days earlier in Yorkshire and a Siskin. We finished with a total catch of 120 including 6 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Robin 0/2, Dunnock 2/0, Wren 2/0, Chiffchaff 7/2, Blackcap 10/0, Reed Warbler 1/0, Coal Tit 0/1, Blue Tit 2/0, Great Tit 2/0, Lesser Redpoll 84/1, Siskin 1/0, Bullfinch 1/0, Chaffinch 1/0, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was a Robin from 2019. The Coal Tit is very interesting as we have not caught one at this site before, or at least since records were computerised in 1996, so to catch one with a ring on was a surprise. Even more intriguing was the fact that it was wearing a ring from an old sequence of A rings and no data has yet been submitted to the BTO for this ring – and it was a bird of the year with 3 old greater coverts (the ring and age confirmed by both Gary and me). We await a report from the BTO once they have chased up the ringer for the ringing details. I mentioned the catch of Lesser Redpoll to Mick P as he was going out to his site at Bestwood the next day. He said he would take his Lesser Redpoll sound lure and subsequently caught 53 and had to switch his player off a couple of times to keep numbers manageable. We thought this would be our last visit of the year here and we did bring back all the poles and guys, but if we get a suitably calm day in the coming days we may venture back with a couple of nets and MP3 players to see if the Lesser Redpolls are still around!

We have been restricted to the Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont all summer because the car park at the rowing centre that we use to access the Grange end has been either shut during lockdown or opened too late in the morning. It struck me that some of our warbler numbers seemed high and some low this year so I looked on Demon at catches of new birds in the same period over the last three years just at the Skylarks end. Roughly the same number of visits each year, not exactly the same - but not different enough to make some of the significant changes shown below.

The good:
Chiffchaff - 522% increase on 2018 – 213% increase on 2019.
Willow Warbler - 36% increase on 2018 – 44% increase on 2019.

The bad:
Garden Warbler – 35% decrease on 2018 – 31% increase on 2019.

and the ugly:
Lesser Whitethroat – 41% decrease on 2018 in both 2019 and 2020.
Sedge Warbler - 82% decrease on 2018 – 77% decrease on 2019.

Blackcap, Whitethroat and Reed Warbler numbers were similar each year.


Redpoll & Siskin (K. Hemsley)

Sunday, 20 September 2020

Early September ringing sessions

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont, Wednesday 2 September

The weather was good with very little breeze and the catching rate was brisk to start but slowed down from mid-morning. It was just Gary and myself and we finished with a catch of 103 including 6 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 1/0, Robin 2/2, Dunnock 1/0, Wren 2/0, Willow Warbler 6/0, Chiffchaff 23/0, Blackcap 36/0, Garden Warbler 1/0, Reed Warbler 13/0, Cetti’s Warbler 1/1, Goldcrest 2/0, Blue Tit 2/1, Great Tit 5/0, Long-tailed Tit 0/1, Greenfinch 1/0, Reed Bunting 1/1. The retraps were all recent birds. It was nice to catch another juvenile Cetti’s and and retrap adult from early June. The bulk of the warblers have now passed through other than Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Reed Warblers.

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 6 September

The weather was bright with sunny spells and a generally light breeze and catching was steady throughout. The team was Gary, Duncan and me and we finished with a catch of 84 including 8 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 0/1, Song Thrush 1/0, Robin 1/1, Dunnock 1/0, Willow Warbler 2/0, Chiffchaff 21/1, Blackcap 25/0, Whitethroat 1/0, Lesser Whitethroat 1/0, Reed Warbler 10/2, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Goldcrest 1/1, Treecreeper 1/0, Blue Tit 3/0, Great Tit 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 1/1, Bullfinch 2/1, Goldfinch 1/0, Greenfinch 1/0, Reed Bunting 1/0. The retraps were all recent birds. The Sedge Warbler was only the third individual caught this year, the worst total ever that I can remember.

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont, Thursday 10 September

The weather was calm with variable cloud cover and the odd sunny break and catching was steady throughout. The team was Gary, Duncan and me and we finished with a catch of 108 including 22 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Robin 1/1, Dunnock 2/0, Wren 2/1, Willow Warbler 0/1, Chiffchaff 15/5, Blackcap 38/4, Whitethroat 2/0, Lesser Whitethroat 0/1, Reed Warbler 11/1, Cetti’s Warbler 2/1, Goldcrest 1/2, Blue Tit 3/1, Great Tit 2/0, Long-tailed Tit 3/3, Lesser Redpoll 1/0, Greenfinch 1/0, Chaffinch 1/1, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was a Blue Tit from 2019. The Lesser Redpoll was the earliest record in September in at least 25 years.

Ramsdale, Tuesday 15 September

Duncan, Mick P, Gary and me today. The weather was dead calm all morning but with full sun all the time and the temperature rapidly rising to the mid-twenties, resulting in a fairly low catch with limited species. However a Spotted Flycatcher was nice first thing and also a Sparrowhawk later in the morning. We put up the new line of nets and four of the old line and finished with a catch of 49 including 11 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Sparrowhawk 1/0, Blackbird 4/1, Wren 3/0, Robin 2/1, Dunnock 1/0, Blackcap 12/1, Whitethroat 1/0, Chiffchaff 17/0, Spotted Flycatcher 1/0, Blue Tit 1/0, Bullfinch 3/0. The retraps were all recent birds.

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont, Wednesday 16 September

The weather was calm with variable cloud cover to start but thick cloud and a brisk breeze picked up by 09:00 slowing things down. The team was Gary, Duncan and me and we finished with a catch of 66 including 11 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Song Thrush 1/0 Robin 2/1, Dunnock 6/0, Willow Warbler 1/0, Chiffchaff 9/1, Blackcap 15/0, Reed Warbler 9/1, Cetti’s Warbler 1/0, Goldcrest 1/0, Blue Tit 0/1, Great Tit 2/2, Long-tailed Tit 7/4, Greenfinch 0/1, Reed Bunting 1/0. The Long-tailed Tits were caught as a few singles plus a flock of 7, the biggest flock caught this year since May! The oldest retrap was a Great Tit from 2017, we also retrapped a Greenfinch ringed earlier this year across the river by Tom in his garden. The warblers are all moving south now and the later moving Reed Warblers, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were showing in much reduced numbers since last weeks visit.


Redpoll  at Holme Pierrepont, Spotted Flycatcher and Sparrowhawk at Ramsdale (K. Hemsley)

Saturday, 19 September 2020

Owl boxes

I decided to check a few boxes today, just in case any birds had decided to have another breeding attempt. Predictably, a couple of boxes held Stock Doves, but in both the chicks were dead perhaps suggesting their season hasn't been much better than the owls... 

The last box I checked had a pair of roosting adult Barn Owls and whilst it's impossible to prove if they were the ones that raised the single chick I ringed in the same box back in June, there's a good chance and it was satisfying because they had evaded capture on both previous visits this year. Both were old birds, and the male particularly so, being a bird I'd ringed nearby in May 2010 and not encountered again until today. He was a very white bird with a notably long wing of 311!


Recent(ish) recoveries – owls & kestrels

Deserving their own post, these species, and primarily Barn Owl, make up the largest proportion of our recoveries. We ring a lot of chicks and they often retrapped by ringers or they meet their end where they are readily found beside the road.

Most Barn Owl recoveries involve birds ringed as chicks which are found dead within a year or so, usually less than 20km from where they hatched. A few that do not fall into this category are detailed here.

Longer local recoveries received included birds found after 2yrs (1), 3 yrs (5), 4 yrs (2), 5yrs (2), 6yrs (3) and 9yrs.

Those moving further afield included two chicks from Lincs, one found a year later 29km from where it was ringed and another 36km away after 6 years. One of our chicks moved 22km into Lincs in 174 days and another chick moved 36km within Notts after 3 yrs. A chick from Leics had travelled 40km into Notts after 2 years and 1 chick ringed in Elston in July 2019 was found dead in Bedfordshire in May 2020, some 115km away.

A Tawny Owl chick ringed at Holme Pierrepont in May 2019 was found wounded by a railway in Clipstone 21km to the north in June 2020.

Of the three Kestrel recoveries received, one was local and another old - a chick ringed near Kinoulton in 2011 became a road casualty near Hoby, Leics over 9 years later. The third was also of interest – a chick ringed in June this year was found beside a Heathrow runway a couple of months after fledging having travelled 181km. The finder, Mark Pauline, takes up the story:

“I had come on shift at Heathrow airport at around 06:45 and was asked to carry out an inspection on our southern runway at about 06:50 as soon as I came on shift. We have a piece of equipment called a FOD radar which monitors are runway surface and detects objects that should not be present on the runway surface itself. This particular morning the radar had activated and it shows us an image of what it has detected and it happened to be your Kestrel to which I went onto the runway to retrieve. The bird was whole with a very minor injury and it looked to me as though the kestrel had been jet blasted from an aircraft which does happen if hovering near to the runway edge over the grass areas. For information we do have quite a population of kestrels on the airfield at the moment.”

Jim’s response was as follows:

“I've read up on juvenile kestrel dispersal, and late fledging females are more likely to disperse further afield, and this bird fits that scenario on both counts. This is often driven by poor food supply, and we have very few small mammals breeding this year after the extreme winter floods - in Nottinghamshire - and hence poor breeding from the owls and kestrels. Your photos indicate female. Even so, this movement of 181 km is way beyond the median of 50 km for chick dispersal in their first winter. One fears this will become less unusual with climatic events increasing.”

That catches us up with recoveries from over the past nine months or so.


 Kestrel recovered from Heathrow runway (Mark Pauline)

Friday, 18 September 2020

Recent(ish) recoveries – non-passerines

The group have received a number of recoveries of non-passerines throughout the year, fairly typical fare, but always interesting as we don’t tend to ring as many as we do songbirds. The plus side on this front, is that it is often easier to get recoveries of these birds as field observations are easier with bigger birds. Barn Owls make up the bulk of what we receive and these will be covered in a separate post.

A familiar sight in our inbox has been the Black-headed Gull, ringed as a chick at Attenborough in 2019, seen on numerous occasions by multiple observers at the Lough, in Cork. Many sightings were reported to us of this bird from January through to May. It may have then moved on to breed, but it will be interesting to see if it returns to winter at the same site again.

A Common Gull, colour ringed as a chick in Norway in 2016, spent the latter part of the winter at Trent Bridge, being seen by Tom in February, along with a couple of other observers.

Tom’s Trent Bridge gull outings usually come with a few Canada Geese thrown in, and there are still many residing there that have been ringed as part of the Nottingham University colour ringing project at their campus in Lenton. Recent sightings include a bird from 2010, and several from 2016-2018. Another was seen at Colwick park, ringed in 2018.

A couple of Swans ringed at Rushcliffe were seen at Attenborough in January. One ringed in 2015, the other in 2018.

The Attenborough Cormorant colony continues to provide decent recoveries. A bird ringed in 2018 has was seen in February on the River Stour in Essex. Another, ringed in 2016 was seen in August, roosting on the Clwyd in Rhyl. This bird is one of the most well travelled of the SNRG ringed cormorants, having been seen in Essex, Kent, The Wirral and Suffolk, and now Wales.


Monday, 14 September 2020

Colwick Garden Ringing, Sunday 13 September

I’ve been having semi-regular sessions in the garden since about July, after the usual summer hiatus when the garden goes a bit quiet and so I just let the birds get on with raising their young. Having new parental responsibilities of my own means that squeezing in the odd session here and there is very precious indeed.

Young tits, Greenfinches a few other bits and bobs made up the midsummer sessions, and since the end of August, Goldfinch have dominated once again, with the sunflower feeders going down at a rate of knots. Today I caught 26 new Goldfinches, mostly juveniles in various stages of moult. A few Chiffchaffs usually appear in September and I was lucky enough to have the nets up today when one piped up, which was quickly lured down, a ringing tick for the garden, contributing to a good total of 37 birds in a couple of hours.

Aside from numerous 3Js early in the season, the absence of young Blue and Great tits has been notable in the last few sessions. A quick look reveals that I have caught 35 BLUTI so far this year, which is far less than my yearly totals for both 2018 and 2019, further evidence that these species have had a poor year. A positive is that Greenfinch seem to be doing well, with plenty caught in the spring, and a few juveniles appearing in the garden in the last few weeks.


 Chiffchaff (T. Shields)


Saturday, 12 September 2020

Recent(ish) recoveries – passerines

We’ve not posted a recovery round up for a while, so we’re going to attempt a bit of a catching up. Below are a few highlights of the passerine recoveries we’ve received since the beginning of the year.

A Sand Martin ringed as a chick at Bagworth Heath in Leicestershire on 14 Aug 2018 was trapped at the Attenborough colony on 16 Jun 2020. A second chick ringed at the same locality on 20 May 2019 was trapped on 7 Jul 2020, and on the same day a bird was caught that had been ringed as a chick in Rutland on 23 May 2019. Bizarrely, we’ve also had a few Sand Martin recoveries through from the mid-1980s, thanks to some historic data having been entered into the system! The six records are all exchanges between Attenborough and other sites in Notts.

A Reed Warbler ringed at Holme Pierrepont on 21 Aug 2019 was caught by a ringer in France 19 days later 851km due south. Another bird, ringed 4 days later, was trapped in Wiltshire on 31 Aug 2020. An individual which had been ringed on its first southward migration at Titchfield Haven on 21 Sep 2019, was caught at Holme Pierrepont as a breeding female on 22 Jul 2020. On the same day, another bird was trapped that had been ringed at Rutland Water on 19 Jun 2019 as an adult. A young bird ringed on 19 Aug 2020 was caught in Gloucestershire 14 days later. At almost 3 years, the longest of the batch was a bird ringed at HPP on 13 Aug 2017 and caught at Pitsford Reservoir, Northants , on 30 Jul 2020.

A Sedge Warbler ringed at Hazelford Island on 17 Jul 2019 was caught by a ringer in France 26 days later 404km to the SSE.

A young Blue Tit ringed at Sutton Bonington on 10 Nov 2019 was trapped at Charnwood Lodge on 7 March 2020 having travelled 12km. Considering this bird may have undergone some dispersal already, it is a little beyond the median distance travelled by a first year bird by March (2km).


Monday, 7 September 2020

Late August ringing sessions

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont, Wednesday 19 August

The weather was good with very little breeze and the catching was steady but rain moved in just as we were about to take down. Gary and I finished with a catch of 81 including 17 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Robin 1/0, Dunnock 3/0, Willow Warbler 2/1, Chiffchaff 14/9, Blackcap 17/1, Garden Warbler 2/0, Whitethroat 7/0, Lesser Whitethroat 3/0, Reed Warbler 8/3, Blue Tit 3/1, Great Tit 3/0, Long-tailed Tit 0/1, Bullfinch 1/1. The oldest retrap was a Willow Warbler from 2015.

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont, Monday 24 August

The weather forecast was for overcast conditions with breeze picking up from the west – they lied, bright sun and breeze picking up from the south! Just me on this session so only a few nets in positions best protected from a forecasted westerly breeze. The sun and southerly breeze forced a slightly earlier finish but a reasonable catch of 33 including 3 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Robin 2/0, Wren 1/0, Cetti’s Warbler 1/0, Willow Warbler 3/0, Chiffchaff 5/1, Blackcap 8/0, Garden Warbler 3/0, Whitethroat 0/1, Lesser Whitethroat 3/0, Reed Warbler 3/1, Great Tit 1/0. The retraps were all recent birds but it was nice to catch a juvenile Cetti’s after so many visits with none evident.

Ramsdale, Sunday 31 August

Just Duncan and me today. The weather was dead calm all morning with a period of full sun mid-morning. We put up the most of the new line of nets and three of the old line and finished with a catch of 66 including 11 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 3/0, Dunnock 0/1, Blackcap 9/0, Whitethroat 2/0, Chiffchaff 19/5, Willow Warbler 3/0, Great Tit 1/1, Blue Tit 6/3, Goldcrest 1/1, Bullfinch 5/0, Goldfinch 6/0. The oldest retrap was a Goldcrest from last year.


Lesser Whitethroat & Ramsdale nets (K. Hemsley)


Saturday, 15 August 2020

Early August ringing sessions

Ramsdale, Sunday 02/08/20

Just Gary and me today. The weather was a bit breezy but we were still surprised not to catch many birds, although the site did seem strangely quiet with few birds around. We put up just the new line of nets and finished with a catch of 33 including 4 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Dunnock 1/0, Wren 1/0, Robin 1/0, Blackcap 5/0, Chiffchaff 5/2, Willow Warbler 3/1, Great Tit 1/0, Blue Tit 9/1, Goldfinch 3/0. The oldest retraps were from this year.

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont, Thursday 06/08/20

The weather was perfect; to start with very little breeze and the catching was brisk until about 0900. The sun started to break through mid-morning but by then the birds had disappeared. The team was Gary, Duncan and me and we finished with a catch of 71 including 8 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Tree Pipit 1/0, Blackbird 1/0, Robin 2/2, Wren 2/0, Dunnock 1/1, Willow Warbler 5/0, Chiffchaff 6/2, Blackcap 10/1, Garden Warbler 12/1, Whitethroat 7/0, Lesser Whitethroat 1/0, Reed Warbler 8/0, Goldcrest 1/0, Blue Tit 3/0, Bullfinch 3/1, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was a Bullfinch from last year. We noticed a drop in numbers of Chiffchaff and Reed Warblers but it was nice to catch a Tree Pipit next to an mp3 playing mixed warbler calls!

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont, Wednesday 12/08/20 

The weather was again perfect to start with but we knew with the forecast that it would be an early finish because of the heat. The temperature started to get a little too high and we closed the nets about 1100 but we still had a very good catch that kept us very busy. The team was Gary, Duncan and me and we finished with a catch of 138 including 10 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Robin 5/0, Wren 1/1, Dunnock 1/0, Willow Warbler 19/0, Chiffchaff 32/7, Blackcap 26/0, Garden Warbler 13/0, Whitethroat 2/0, Lesser Whitethroat 2/0, Reed Warbler 11/2, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Goldcrest 2/0, Blue Tit 5/0, Great Tit 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 1/0, Bullfinch 3/0, Reed Bunting 3/0. The oldest retrap was a Reed Warbler from 2017. 


 Tree Pipit, Holme Pierrepont, 6 August 2020 (K. Hemsley)

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Whitethroat moult

I caught an adult Common Whitethroat today which had arrested its primary moult. It had replaced primaries 9 and 10 on both wings.

According to Moult in birds by H B Ginn and D S Melville “late moulting birds may not finish before migrating (a few may not even start).....”. I didn't inspect the secondaries but they state “S start when P score 20 – 30”, however, they look pretty fresh in the photos.

According to Svennson “Late breeders/moulters of the nominate race sometimes suspend, leaving one or a few SS (and rarely PP) until after autumn migration”.

So this bird seems to follow the advice provided by Ginn and Melville.

Mick P

Monday, 3 August 2020

Ringing updates from end of June & July

An update on some Covid-19 restricted ringing sessions:

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont - Saturday 20/06/20
The weather was bright with a light breeze. The team consisted of Gary, Duncan and myself. The catch rate was steady throughout the morning and we finished with a total of 49 birds including 9 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 2/0, Song Thrush 2/0, Robin 6/2, Wren 1/1, Dunnock 5/0, Willow Warbler 8/1, Chiffchaff 10/0, Blackcap 2/2, Reed Warbler 1/1, Cetti’s Warbler 0/1, Blue Tit 1/1, Bullfinch 1/0, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retraps were a Cetti’s Warbler and Blackcap both from 2016.

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont - Wednesday 01/07/20 The weather was fair with an increasing breeze. The team consisted of Gary, Tom and myself. The catch rate dropped off as the breeze picked up and we finished with a total of 53 birds including 12 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 1/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Robin 1/2, Wren 1/0, Dunnock 2/0, Willow Warbler 7/2, Chiffchaff 6/2, Blackcap 10/1, Garden Warbler 1/3, Whitethroat 1/0, Reed Warbler 6/1, Cetti’s Warbler 2/1, Blue Tit 1/0, Great Tit 1/0. The oldest retraps were from last year.

Ramsdale - Sunday 12/07/20The weather was sunny with an increasing breeze. The team consisted of Gary, Duncan and myself. The catch rate dropped off as the breeze picked up and we finished with a total of 32 birds including 2 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 2/0, Robin 4/0, Wren 3/0, Dunnock 3/0, Chiffchaff 9/2, Blackcap 3/0, Whitethroat 2/0, Goldcrest 1/0, Treecreeper 1/0, Great Tit 1/0, Linnet 1/0. The retraps were both from the previous visit.

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont - Wednesday 15/07/20
The weather forecasts had been very inaccurate in the last week or so and suddenly changed the day before this trip to suggest we would be rained off. We went ahead anyway and we were not rained off and had a good session in mostly overcast but quite calm conditions. We had a team out consisting of Gary, Duncan and myself. We ended with a decent catch of 66 including 9 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 1/0, Wren 5/0, Dunnock 0/1, Willow Warbler 1/1, Chiffchaff 9/1, Blackcap 6/0, Whitethroat 11/0, Lesser Whitethroat 1/0, Reed Warbler 13/6, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Blue Tit 2/0, Great Tit 3/0, Treecreeper 1/0, Greenfinch 1/0, Chaffinch 1/0, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was a Reed Warbler from 2017. We were a little surprised to hear a Cuckoo calling this morning.

Ramsdale - Sunday 19/07/20
The team consisted of Gary, Alex, Mick P and myself. On the last visit I identified a new site for a net line west of the usual line, this area was much more open and the vegetation lower. With a team of four from the start (a big team in the current circumstances) we set the usual nets (126m in length) plus a new line (102m in length). It had rained over night so everywhere was wet but as we set nets the skies cleared and there was only a slight breeze. We finished with a excellent total of 113 birds including 4 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 3/0, Robin 9/0, Dunnock 3/0, Chiffchaff 31/2, Willow Warbler 6/0, Blackcap 19/1, Garden Warbler 2/0, Whitethroat 7/0, Treecreeper 0/1, Blue Tit 1/0, Great Tit 5/0, Goldfinch 21/0, Linnet 2/0. The oldest retraps were from last year. The new line was 20% shorter than the old line of nets but caught over 60% of the birds!

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont - Wednesday 22/07/20 The weather was perfect, overcast and very little breeze so we were hopeful of a very good catch. We had a team out consisting of Gary, Duncan and myself but despite the good conditions the catch was a little disappointing for the time of year. We ended with a catch of 63 including 7 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 2/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Robin 1/0, Wren 3/1, Dunnock 1/0, Willow Warbler 1/2, Chiffchaff 11/0, Blackcap 7/0, Garden Warbler 1/0, Whitethroat 1/1, Reed Warbler 16/3, Goldcrest 1/0, Blue Tit 6/0, Great Tit 2/0, Reed Bunting 2/0. The oldest retrap was a Willow Warbler from 2018 and we did control 2 Reed Warblers.

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont - Thursday 30/07/20
The weather was again perfect, at least to start with very little breeze but the sun started to break through mid-morning which slowed things down. We had a team out consisting of Gary, Duncan and myself and this time had an excellent catch of 103 including 9 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Kingfisher 1/0, Robin 0/1, Wren 2/1, Dunnock 1/0, Willow Warbler 6/0, Chiffchaff 22/0, Blackcap 10/0, Garden Warbler 10/0, Whitethroat 5/3, Lesser Whitethroat 2/0, Reed Warbler 17/1, Blue Tit 3/2, Great Tit 2/0, Bullfinch 8/0, Chaffinch 1/0, Goldfinch 1/0, Reed Bunting 3/1. The oldest retrap was a Reed Bunting from 2019.

After our third visit to Holme Pierrepont in July, I looked at the number of individuals caught and compared the numbers to last years figures for the first three July visits– same number of visits, same number of nets, same net sites and same number of hours.

The losers at this stage this year seem to be:
Blue Tit – overall down 61%, juveniles down 68%
Bullfinch – overall down 100%, juveniles down 100%
Garden Warbler – overall down 62%, juveniles down 75%
Great Tit – overall down 50%, juveniles down 50%
Reed Bunting – overall down 70%, juveniles down 80%
Sedge Warbler – overall down 88%, juveniles down 75%
Willow Warbler – overall down 44%, juveniles down 80%

Unfortunately there do not seem to be any definite winners, although Dunnocks may be doing slightly better that last year but we do not catch many so the sample size is low.

Species with numbers roughly the same as last year are: Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Reed Warbler, Robin, Whitethroat and Wren.

Our fourth visit in July this year did produce the first catch of Bullfinch and a nice number of Garden Warbler so we wait to see what the final figures for the season will look like.


 Juvenile Goldcrest at Ramsdale, juvenile Reed Warbler with a fault bar at HPP, juvenile Kingfisher at HPP (K. Hemsley)

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Owls & moths

Well the moth season hasn't been much better than the Barn Owl season, but I had an interesting collision of hobbies yesterday. A month ago when checking Barn Owl boxes, I'd collected some pellets to pull apart with the children. These remained in a tupperware container on the side, forgotten about but yesterday the kids said 'dad - something's hatched out of the pellets!' Sure enough, buzzing around in the box were about a dozen micro moths called Monopis laevigella (sometimes called 'Skin Moths'). The larvae of this species feed on detritus of animal origin, including carcases, faeces and pellets. Their spent pupal cases can be seen sticking out of the pellets.


Thursday, 18 June 2020

Ramsdale Park Gof Club, Sunday 14 June

The first visit of this strange year was made to Ramsdale on Sunday by Duncan, Gary, Mick P and me. The rides needed quite a few overhanging spurs of blackberry and hawthorn cutting back but no major clearance as we were using the site into November last year. It was a very misty start to the day but with only a slight breeze. The sun broke through just before we took down and it became very warm.

The catch rate was steady throughout the morning and we ended with a total of 46 including 4 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 0/1, Dunnock 1/1, Wren 0/1, Robin 3/0, Blackcap 4/0, Garden Warbler 1/0, Lesser Whitethroat 4/0, Chiffchaff 9/1, Blue Tit 13/0, Great Tit 2/0, Linnet 5/0.

The oldest retrap was a Chiffchaff from 2018. Most of the resident species caught were juveniles and the migrants mainly adults with a few juveniles. Nice to get a few Linnets again at the only site we regularly catch them.


 male Linnet (K. Hemsley)

Friday, 12 June 2020

Holme Pierrepont, Tuesday 9 June

The second visit of the year was made to the Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont on Tuesday by Duncan, Gary and me. Perfect weather conditions, overcast and still. We put up all the usual nets and caught steadily all morning. The Willow Warbler chicks in the nest we found near the base on the last visit had gone, hopefully fledged successfully.

We ended with 76 birds caught including 9 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Song Thrush 1/0, Robin 7/0, Dunnock 1/2, Wren 4/0, Blackcap 7/0, Garden Warbler 2/0, Whitethroat 0/1, Cetti’s Warbler 1/0, Reed Warbler 2/1, Chiffchaff 18/0, Willow Warbler 5/3, Blue Tit 9/0, Great Tit 7/1, Goldfinch 2/1, Greenfinch 1/0.

The Goldfinch retrap was originally ringed last year in Tom’s garden on the other side of the river. The oldest retrap was a Willow Warbler from 2016. The Bittern was seen again overhead and was not popular with the nesting gulls! The photograph shows the state the net rides after they had spent such a long time under water during the winter floods. Now a layer of dry mud covers the ground and seems to have killed some of the bramble and supressed growth of other vegetation, leaving the rides nice and open for us.


Monday, 1 June 2020

Box-checking in the Vale, 30/31 May

Finished my first round of Barn Owl and Kestrel box checks over the weekend and the second half wasn't quite as productive as the first with several boxes down. Nevertheless, it looks like I have seven Barn Owl broods to return to but just two of Kestrel.

A bonus came when a friend with a private box sent me a photo of a large Tawny Owl chick looking out of the entrance hole. Knowing that this was not only late in the season, but also that these chicks were likely to start branching at any time, I popped round immediately and ringed a healthy brood of three good-sized Tawnys - almost certainly the only ones I'll ring this year having missed the main season due to lockdown. Later that night, the owner wandered out to watch the sunset and took the marvellous photo below showing one chick starting to explore!

The pie chart shows the breakdown of my box occupancy this year.


 Barn Owl
 Kestrel clutch
 Stock Doves
 'branching' Tawny Owl chick

Update from the east of the county

I completed the third CES session in our Sibthorpe garden on Monday 25 May. Totals below. The only juvenile birds were House Sparrow and Starling. Potter traps are a much more effective way of trapping the latter though and the same is also true of our Blackbirds. Since 1st April, I’ve had 27 individual adults in the garden (20 of which were male). I think with the dry ground, they are having to commute to our deli with its fat balls etc as well as the softer ground by the septic tank.

Birds handled (new/re-encounter 17/7): Blackbird 4/2; Blue Tit -/1, Goldfinch 4/1; Great Tit –/1; Greenfinch 2/1; House Sparrow 3/1; Starling 4/-.

Box-wise, I’ve now checked c50 with Elaine. We try to do no more than 12 per day as all the ladder work in down to me, but it still seems to fill the day. This has included nearly all of the Trust’s boxes.

Priority has been the Tawny Owl boxes and other boxes in their vicinity. Re Tawnies, I’ve now ringed 5 single chicks and found a female on eggs on 20 May to go back to. Only missed one breeding attempt for sure at Fox Covert NR where it looks like they fledged successfully. A banker box had a roosting adult escape 19 May and I wonder if it was a pre-laying bird?

The Little Owls at Brackenhurst had failed due to bees/wasps – one stung me on the chin, but we have chicks to ring at Flintham.

Barn owls – only found one breeding so far, and missing from Flintham Estate - and other local sites - but their kestrels are breeding for 17th year running. I have not found any small mammals cached in any of the owl boxes, which explains low occupancy and does not bode well for the Barn Owl and Kestrel breeding season.

In north Notts, Adrian Blackburn has checked c15 of his best BO boxes and found occupancy 50% down with some holding underweight non-breeders.

Jim Lennon

Friday, 29 May 2020

Holme Pierrepont, Thursday 28 May

We are back to mist-netting in a very limited way at some sites. The current restrictions remain frustrating for many ringers and especially trainees, but at least things are moving in the right direction and hopefully it won't be too long before we can resume more normal operations.

Gary and I held the first session at the Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont once we'd been given the go-ahead from the Notts Wildlife Trust. It's too far into the breeding season to cut back vegetation along net rides, but luckily very little clearing was required as the high floodwaters over the winter had killed off quite a few patches of brambles and such like. So it was a pleasant surprise to be able to put several nets up quickly.

As expected, we finished a little early due to the sun and heat, but not before processing over 50 birds including 5 Willow Warbler pulli. Interesting that people have been reporting a bad year for Blue and Great Tits as we did not catch any. The only tits we did catch were a party of about 8 Long-tailed Tits which were all adults, so possibly failed breeders. Juvenile Robins dominated the catch but we had a few warblers including returning retrap Lesser Whitethroats and Reed Warblers. A new Kingfisher was a nice surprise and we also caught a juvenile Blackcap that had been fledged long enough to lose a tail feather and half grow a replacement already!

Other interesting birds around were a low flying Bittern and a Hobby overhead.


Owl box checking, Thursday 28 May

Did my first few owl box checks in the Vale of Belvoir today. Out of 14 boxes checked, 5 contained breeding Barn Owls, 1 had a roosting Barn Owl, 4 held Stock Doves, one had two Little Owl chicks and 3 were empty. So all in all a fairly productive day. Fingers crossed it continues like that and although the land is desperate for rain, let's hope we aren't completely washed out in June like last year.


Monday, 18 May 2020

Garden CES at Sibthorpe

With the Covid-19 ‘lockdown’ affecting bird ringers the same as everyone else, we were only allowed to ring in our gardens until a few days ago. With this in mind, the BTO thought it might put idle hands to work and try Constant Effort Site ringing in ringers' gardens, there’s more about the CES methodology here - the main difference is that under Garden CES food can be put out for the birds.

I have completed two six hour timed ringing sessions so far:

8 May 2020, CES 1
Birds handled (new/re-encounter 14/13): Blackbird 5/3; Chaffinch 1/-; Dunnock –/4; Greenfinch 4/1; House Sparrow 1/3; Reed Bunting 1/-; Robin –/2; Starling 1/-; Whitethroat 1/-.

15 May 2020, CES 2
Birds handled (new/re-encounter 12/10): Blackbird 1/4; Blue Tit 1/1, Chaffinch 3/-; Dunnock 1/1; Goldfinch 2/1; Greenfinch 2/-; House Sparrow -/2; Robin 1/-; Starling 1/1.

That’s 49 adult birds so far, which suggests I should make the minimum of 200 bird handlings over the 12 CES sessions. We suspected breeding Blackbirds were commuting to our feeders from around the village and with 13 different adults so far this seems to be the case. The Reed Bunting was unexpected, though they do breed in the wet ditches nearby, and the Whitethroat had a break from singing 12 hours a day across the road from us.

Images of the Whitethroat and an interesting Greenfinch for folk to muse over . . . . .


Friday, 15 May 2020

A slow return to normality?

A landowner contacted me last Monday to ask if I was going to come to ring the three Tawny Owl chicks in his nest box but I had to explain that it was not possible because we were only allowed to ring on our own property during the lockdown. But a slight lifting of Covid-19 restrictions this week and subsequent revision of ringing restrictions by the BTO yesterday meant I could venture out at last.

I headed straight to that site, about 14 miles away but still my longest journey in two months. Walking to the box with the landowner and keeping two metres apart was a new regime to get used to but we got to the box OK, only to find two of the chicks had already left, so just one to ring. No food stashed in the box but feathers from a juvenile Blackbird were evident. Unless anyone else beat me out this morning after yesterday's lockdown easing this was will be the first ring the group has used outside a garden since 22 March.

Let's hope we can all get back to something like the normal we were used to as soon as possible.


Saturday, 25 April 2020

2019 Report

The 2019 SNRG report is now published and available. If you would like a copy, please email the address at the top of the 'Reports' page - see tab at the top.

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Twite data

Some of you will be aware of the Twite project, co-ordinated by Jamie Dunning, that I have been involved in for the last few years. The project site in Derbyshire is watched intently by two local chaps, Peter and George, who keep a spreadsheet of all their Twite colour-ring sightings.
From this spreadsheet we have recently entered and submitted about 1000 sightings, from 2015 – 2019, via DemOn. And this is just a small percentage of all their sightings!
The use of colour-rings has been invaluable in reinforcing, and even adding to, the information we have on Twite and hopefully assisting to develop a long term plan to protect the decreasing population.
Entering this data encouraged me to try a bit more data interpretation, please see below.
Mick P