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 12/07/20
The 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)