Archive for May, 2011

…a walk over the farm to try to photograph the Little Owl that I know frequents the area, I spent over 2 hours in my hide and didn’t see it once, I did however see a Jay at close quarters, it landed just in front of me on an old tree stump no more than 2m away I froze and watched it for 20 seconds or so then slowly tried to refocus my camera but it saw the movement and flew off, so no photograph! Jays are beautiful birds with a very colourful plumage.

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…in nest box 2 have fledged! It seems only 3 of the original 8 chicks have made it from this box. I think the parents have struggled with a lack of insects, one of the adults looks absolutely worn out!

Photograph shows juvenile building up courage to leave the box, I missed the actual final moments by 10 mins!

Blue tit fledging

Other juveniles spotted in the garden today include Great tits, Blackbirds, Nuthatch and Long Tailed tits.

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…to see the outlaws so that means seabirds! A couple of photographs of Herring gulls taken while walking down the seafront, the weather was very overcast and really windy.

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…went well, the usual early start (0545hrs) on site. The weather was mostly dry with just a small shower about 9ish to contend with the wind was up and down and became strong at the end of the session.

Birds I ringed today included two Song Thrush 1 adult and 1 juvenile and two Whitethroat, I’m definitely getting more confident and starting to get my wing length and weight measurements right! The session totals should start to grow now as more and more juveniles fledge.

Other birds ringed by the group include juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker, Robins and Blue tits (which are the cutest things going!) Adult birds included Blackbird, Blackcaps, Great tits, Long Tailed tits, Garden & Sedge Warblers, Lesser Whitethroat and Dunnocks over 60 birds of 13 species in total.

Roll on next weekend!

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…the Farm for 3 weeks, the crops are growing  slowly due to lack of rain but they are growing! It’s really nice to see all the trees in full leaf and green.

Plenty of young juvenile birds flying around at the moment including Blackbird, Blue tits and Song Thrush. Adults spotted included Great Spotted Woodpecker, Little Owl, Jay, Whitethroat and Skylarks.

Also spotted the Blue tit family that recently fledged box 1 in the garden, in the garden!

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…chicks have fledged box 1 in the garden today which is great news, box 2 which also as 8 chicks in it looks likely to empty in the next few days. Also spotted in the garden 2 juvenile Blackbirds.

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…arrived today from the BTO, I’m now officially a BTO trainee bird ringer, now the long journey of early mornings, data absorbing and expert tutelage begins! And I’m so looking forward to it…

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…Saturday and Sunday at the weekend, Saturday saw me doing the second CES (constant effort site) of the season and Sunday I went to a new for me location.

I was treated to a beautiful sunrise on Saturday on the journey to site it was clear blue sunny skies until about 10am at which point the predicted grey clouds rolled in (which actually makes the conditions better for catching birds, the mist nets are harder to see!) they hung around for a couple of hours then started to clear to reveal the sun again.

I was able to ring a few birds, I’m now getting to ring most of the Blackbirds and Thrushes that we catch, the highlight for me was to ring a Blackbird that was first ringed in 2004, 7 years is over twice the average age for a Blackbird.

For Sundays session the weather was mostly sunny with the odd cloud but the wind was gusty and had a sharp chill to it. The ringing took place in the reed beds of a large pond, we had to don chest waders to enable us to set the nets, quite a strange sensation walking out into water up to your hips fully clothed!

As for the birds we caught plenty of Reed Warblers a mix of re-traps and new birds, Sedge Warblers, an adult and a  juvenile Treecreeper, Blue tit, Cetti’s Warbler and a couple of Robins, birds I ringed included an adult and a juvenile Blackbird, a Song Thrush and a Great Spotted Woodpecker which was a first for me and added to my species list.

I only got one photograph which was of the Cetti’s Warbler, unfortunately it’s not the best shot I’ve ever taken but still worth posting until I get a better one!

Cetti’s Warbler

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…nearly stopped the ringing session this morning before we started but held off in the end! I was able to ring 4 birds today, Blackbird (♂), Song Thrush (♀), Green Woodpecker (♂) and a Jay (♀), the Jay was a retrap first ringed in Sept. 2006

The Jay and Green Woodpecker are the largest birds I’ve ringed so far and they certainly were harder to handle with much stronger beaks to nip you with and larger claws with which to grab your fingers, tightly!

Already looking forward to the next session!

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…the Little Owl that I spotted in the late summer last year with her juvenile seems to have returned to the same nesting tree. I have set up a hide so hopefully I’ll be able to get some photographs over the next few weeks.

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