Archive for August, 2011

…now that the migration is on.

I did my first Tuesday session this morning, the group started the Tuesday sessions at the beginning of August, this midweek session is none CES and intended to catch the migration, mostly warblers, hirundinidae (Swallow, House martins etc.) finches and a few others.

 Many species migrate, some like the warblers go to different parts of sub-Saharan Africa the hirundinidae also go to Africa south of the Sahara, to Arabia and to the Indian sub-continent. Other species might only venture to southern France or Spain like the Greenfinch or Goldfinch. Migration amongst species can be vast and complicated.

The weather was dry with a 60/40 split of cloud and sun, we started a little later this morning, 15 minutes so we didn’t arrive on site until 06:00! There was only 5 of us this morning, 1 trainer and 4 trainee’s so we only deployed 4x60ft of nets so we didn’t get more birds than we could handle.

The bird count was good, around 70 and birds I ringed are as follows:-

  1. Goldf (Goldfinch) x3
  2. Blaca (Blackcap) x10
  3. Chiff (Chiffchaff) x2
  4. Robin x1
  5. Reebu (Reed Bunting) x1

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…yesterday on what could be the last CES of the year, we have the option to do another session next Saturday as CES 12 falls over to weekends. This may well be the case because yesterdays numbers where well down on the yearly averages.

A nice cloudless sunrise and early morning with some cloud starting to arrive around 10:30 we had a couple of showers from 11:00 but nothing to stop us ringing.

7 ringers turned out with 2 trainers and 5 trainee’s. My ringed list for the day:-

  1. White (Whitethroat) x3
  2. Blaca (Blackcap) x4
  3. Chiff (Chiffchaff) x2
  4. Garwa (Garden Warbler) x1
  5. Bullf (Bullfinch) x1

The winter migration is now on and picking up speed as the birds that winter in Africa are on the move, the birds are showing fat on their bodies now which they need to sustain their long  journeys south. Hopefully we can re-trap the juveniles hatched and ringed this year when they return next year, well that’s the plan! 



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…photographed a few weeks ago while out walking on the farm.


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…the way back from Rutland Birdfair 2011 on Sunday.

Buzzard over Leicestershire

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…from our August 6th CES.

These are the photographs (courtesy of Sam) as promised of the Sparrowhawk (sparr) I ringed 2 weeks ago, you can’t really appreciate how magnificent birds really are until you get them in your hand and you can see the markings on the feathers close-up, they really are amazing.

I was feeling quite chuffed with myself having ringed this Sparr thinking how lucky I was to get the chance as the site only usually gives up one or two a season so you can imagine how happy I was to get the chance again this week, 2 in a fortnight!

For further info http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/s/sparrowhawk/index.aspx

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…was the penultimate CES of the year, only 7 ringers turned out for this session, the usual 3 trainers, a C ringer and 3 trainee’s. The weather was good with plenty of cloud cover and a light breeze, we set-up the usual CES nets along with a treble line, a double line and a single to catch Kingfishers (which we didn’t!). A total of 70 birds were ringed of which I did 24.

  1. White (Whitethroat) x7
  2. Blaca (Blackcap) x5
  3. Chiff (Chiffchaff) x6
  4. Robin x2
  5. Sparr (Sparrowhawk) x1
  6. Linne (Linnet) x1
  7. Wilwa (Willow Warbler) x1
  8. Blackbird (Blabi) x1 

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…ringed on Saturday!

9 ringers turned up for this session which was delayed by the weather for 30 minutes. We finally set the nets up around 0700, we put them up in a different location close to the normal CES site as we already had a CES compliant catch from last week. We started catching bird 30 minutes later. There was some concern early on as there didn’t seem to be many birds flying about but our concerns where soon allayed, from 0830 the birds where filling the nets at a rate of 20-30 per visit , I was ringing birds none stop for 3 hours and did a session best of 28!

  1. White (Whitethroat) x7
  2. Bluti (Blue tit) x1
  3. Blaca (Blackcap) x6
  4. Chiff (Chiffchaff) x5
  5. Sonth (Song Thrush) x1
  6. Garwa (Garden Warbler) x5
  7. Sedwa (Sedge Warbler) x1
  8. Robin x1
  9. Leswh (Lesser Whitethroat) x1

No new species for me this week.

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…’busiest’ session turned out to be the opposite this week, we did have less nets set-up as there was only 7 of us, 3 trainers and 4 trainees but the bird numbers where still very disappointing.

I felt somewhat tired when I arrive on site this morning, I think it was because for the first time in a couple of months it was dark when I got up.

The weather was very pleasant and we encounter no issues setting up.

So the birds, well I had a double first today! I was able to ring a juvenile male Sparrowhawk which was not only the first Sparrowhawk I’ve done, it was the first raptor that I’ve done, so a wide smile of satisfaction has been plastered across my face most of the day! other birds I ringed today

  1. White (Whitethroat) x2
  2. Bluti (Blue tit) x1
  3. Blaca (Blackcap) x3
  4. Chiff (Chiffchaff) x4
  5. Dunno (Dunnock) x1
  6. Garwa (Garden Warbler) x2
  7. Sedwa (Sedge Warbler) x1
  8. Bullf (Bullfinch) x1

My totals now stand at 138 birds ringed, 27 species.

Photographs of the Sparrowhawk to be added at a later date.

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