Wednesday, 30 March 2022

2022 - the first quarter in the south of our area

The year started with our efforts centred on the Sutton Bonington feeding site. There were no Covid ringing restrictions in place but an Avian Flu restriction zone came perilously close! Catching at the site was poor and we can’t work out why. Plenty of bait was being taken, including 150 fat balls but very few birds. Yes, there were pigeons and squirrels taking the seed but we had baffles on the seed hoppers to restrict the pigeons and still large quantities of seed were going without resulting in good passerine catches. This resulted in the decision to call an early finish to feeding there on 26 February. We made 5 visits in January and February, poor weather for a number of weeks prevented more visits being made. There were very few Blue and Great Tits at the site with just 6 individuals of each caught in January and February and none at all on the last visit. Another unusual event being not just zero Yellowhammers being caught, but zero sighted. Not sure what we do about a feeding site for next winter, new squirrel and pigeon proof feeders or a new site?

Left without a feeding site in March and with some potential new trainees to take taster sessions we made a couple of early visits to the Delta at Attenborough. These resulted in steady catches of the expected species but also a Mallard. The Mallard took off from a ditch near the nets as we approached and hit the next to top shelf of an 18m North Ronaldsay super-fine, amazingly it did not get out before I reached it.

Let's hope the next quarter of 2022 produces more birds.


Adult male Mallard, Attenborough NR, 27 March 2022 (K. Hemsley)


Saturday, 19 March 2022

Heron sighting

A Grey Heron, ringed as a nestling at Attenborough Nature Reserve on 23 April 2015, was seen again by Samy Rendall on 7 March 2022. This individual has been seen on the reserve six times now, so is probably breeding itself on the reserve. Natal fidelity such as is this is fairly typical for this species. 

Grey Heron 'KL', Attenborough NR, 7 March 2022 (Samy Rendall)