Archive for July, 2011

…while taking a walk over on the Downs this afternoon.


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…day! CES 9 took place today, the usual meet in the car park saw 9 ringers assemble for what turned out to be the best CES day of the year so far.

Lovely sunny start to the day with cloudless skies until 1100hrs, and then only a few clouds gathered, very warm and very pleasant indeed.

Bird wise for me, 23 birds ringed, 2 species firsts and 2 extractions.

The firsts for me were a Linne (Linnet) and a Reewa (Reed Warbler) and the rest:-

  1. White (Whitethroat) x8
  2. Bluti (Blue tit) x1
  3. Wilwa (Willow Warbler) x4
  4. Garwa (Garden Warbler) x2
  5. Blaca (Blackcap) x4
  6. Robin x1
  7. Grswo (Great Spotted Woodpecker) x1

 I did managed to get this shot of the Linnet I ringed.


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…didn’t want to come out to play last night, well at least didn’t want to fly into our mist nets! We saw a few flying about at dusk and heard them ‘churring’ (their call) well into the late evening. The notes that make up the Nightjars churring are emitted at 30-40 per second!

We did a 20:00 – 23:30 session. 

Fingers crossed for next time!

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…up doing one of the two planned sessions this weekend, I was able to do CES 8 on Saturday but due to circumstances beyond my control I was unable to go to my favorite site (so far) on Sunday, which is a real shame as this session only happens once a month.

So back to Saturday, there was a light rain at home when I set off at 05:05 which was not predicted according to the weather forecast from the previous night but this stopped about 10 minutes into my journey, however there was still a lot of dark cloud in the sky and by the time I arrived on site at 05:25 it had started to rain again. The rest of the team arrived and we ended up waiting for 30 minutes for the rain to stop. Despite the initial delay we actually only started the CES 20 minutes late.

I had a session best total this week ringing 26 birds including 3 new species and my first AA rings. The new species where Wilwa (Willow Warbler) x2, a Chiff (Chiffchaff) and a Leswh (Lesser Whiethroat) the others included

  1. White (Whitethroat) x10
  2. Dunno (Dunnock) x2
  3. Blabi (Blackbird) x1
  4. Garwa (Garden Warbler) x3
  5. Blaca (Blackcap) x3
  6. Robin x2
  7. Greti (Great tit) x1

We made up the 20 minutes at the end of the session finishing at 12:20, we set down and headed off to the car park and home. 

The attached photograph is a Sedwa (Sedge Warbler) another of the birds ringed by us today.

Sedge Warbler

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…that the only difference between having a great evening ringing these elusive nocturnal birds or an excellent evening is one! well we had a great evening last night located deep in heathlands of Surrey.

The weather wasn’t ideal with a light drizzle more or less all evening, these weather conditions stop the moths from flying and as this is the staple diet of Nightjars, not the best of conditions, we did however see a couple on the wing at dusk.

We split into 2 teams and proceeded to set up the nets, this was my first time at this location so I was a little more cautious with my footing at first until I got used to the terrain, our team set 2 x 60ft nets in 3 places.

So the afore-mentioned  ‘one’ was caught around 22:30, we needed to catch two last night for me to have ringed my first Nightjar, of the 6 ringers, 4 had previously ringed Nightjar and 2 hadn’t and because I was the newest of the two remaining ringers I have to wait until the next visit and hope we catch one! At least I got to see a Nightjar up close, this was the first time I’d ever seen a Nightjar.

We set down about 23:30 and made our way back to the cars, we packed up and headed home.

For those interested in seeing what a Nightjar looks like:-



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…sessions have been cancelled this weekend due to the weather, which is a tad annoying to say the least! I was really looking forward to them, especially having had a hectic week at work. Oh well hopefully the weather will be better next week.

On a positive note my first piece of ringers equipment as turned up…a wing rule!

150mm Wing Rule


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…wander over the farm this evening to do a bird count and what an evening it turned out to be for wildlife. Plenty of bird activity now with more and more nestlings fledging on a daily basis, plenty of young warblers, finches and thrushes about not to mention the c200 Carrion Crows! The Little Owl nestling I photographed a couple of weeks ago now has all of it’s 1st year feathers and looks about ready to fledge, it was hopping/flying around the tree with some vigour tonight. I was unable to get any shots…it’s way to aware now and I didn’t have the time to set up the hide!

Other wildlife spotted tonight included a fleeting glimpse of I think, a Roe Deer, a family of rats flitting in and out on the margins of the barley field, a vole (dinner for the owl later!) and the usual Grey Squirrels.

So a lovely walk with plenty to spot.

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… to an absolutely gorgeous sunrise on the way to Saturdays ringing location, just a shame I was in the rangie doing 70ish on the M25! The weather stayed mostly dry and sunny but did start to cloud over about 1130. As for the birds it was quite slow to start with and right up until we started to set down at which point it started to rain and there was a mad dash by the birds and we ended up with around 25 birds netted.

I was able to ring 9 birds:-

  1. White (Whitethroat) x2
  2. Blaca (Blackcap) x2
  3. Robin x1
  4. Blabi (Blackbird) x1
  5. Greti (Great tit) x2
  6. Sedwa (Sedge Warbler) x1  species first for me

The Segwi was only a few days out of the nest and was just the cutest thing!

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…ringing, the usual 05:10hrs departure from home to be on site for 05:45hrs. 9 bodies arrived in varying stages of consciousness, 3 ‘A’ ringers, 4 trainee’s (although 1 trainee is close to becoming a ‘C’ ringer and 1 has been a  ‘C’ ringer but has let his permit expire) and 2 helpers (1 a first timer, just like I was 4 months ago!)

The weather was gorgeous from the off (although overcast conditions are preferable when catching birds in mist nets) with a lovely sunrise, there was little wind which makes a change to the windy conditions we’ve encountered during the previous few visits.

We set-up without any problems and started to catch birds from around 06:50hrs, having missed last weeks session I was eager to get my hands on a bird as soon as possible, I didn’t have to wait long!

My contribution of 14 birds today consisted of:-

  1. White (Whitethroat) x8
  2. Blaca (Blackcap) x3
  3. Garwa (Garden Warbler) x1
  4. Robin x1
  5. Sonth (Song Thrush) x1

 We started to set-down about 12:30hrs and left site at 13:30hrs, so all in all a great day’s ringing…

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