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Archive for June, 2012

on Sunday with my trainer and other members of the ringing group for a ringing demonstration. Heritage Day is a once a year event when the world renowned Sandhurst opens the doors of its splendid grounds to the public, this year celebrating 200 years.

There was a variety of stalls selling local produce, a children’s fun fair, pony rides, a children’s obstacle course, welly throwing and an air rifle range. The usual military band played throughout the day. A planned polo match was cancelled due to a water-logged pitch (this years drought playing havoc again!).

Our little demonstration area was next to the lake and the nets were set-up in a small wooded area close by. Unfortunately the conditions where far from ideal, too little ground cover, too close to the activities and gusting winds so the total of 3 birds was a true reflection of all the factors. Amazingly we had the most extreme of catches – we caught the smallest and largest European birds, a Goldcrest and a Mute Swan! The third bird was an adult Blue tit in full moult. It was a shame we didn’t catch more to show the public, especially the younger ones who beamed with fascination when they got close to the birds.

Although we didn’t get the chance to show more birds we had a great day, hopefully we’ll get another chance next year.

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on Tuesday.

Having had limited walks on the farm for a couple of months because of the rain I was eager to get out today and try to catch some wildlife photographs even though the weather was far from perfect with overcast skies and the threat of rain hanging in the air. I decided to head straight for the farm to see if there was anything of interest around the farm buildings. I sat down at the foot of a grain silo and immediately spotted a few Swallows flitting in and around the barns feeding on the insects, their precision flying no match for the prey,  a Kestrel was hovering over head scoping the fields for a meal and I noticed a  pair of Grey Wagtails bobbing close by, I watched the wagtails for a while and saw them fly up to a shutter opening mechanism and disappear inside.

I didn’t want to hang about for too long once I realised they had a nest so decided to head off into the fields. Just as I was leaving the farmyard the gamekeeper came into the yard, I had a quick chat and he informed me that he’d seen a few Lapwing in one of the fields, this was great news as I’d seen a Lapwing weeks ago but hadn’t seen it since.

It took 20 mins to get to the field and as I arrived it started to rain but I wasn’t deterred as in the field I spotted 8 Lapwing   There was a wood on one side of the field so I was able to work my way into a position a little closer than I could have out in the open.  They were still quite away of but I did get a couple of shots.

Lapwing on the wing!

Lapwing

After spending around 90 minutes with the Lapwing (in the pouring rain) I decided to head for home. On the way just as I was just climbing over the gate  I saw a Blue tit fly out from the fence post.

Blue tit nest

Blue tit with grub

Blue tit with grub

Blue tit with grub

Obviously I had to stay and get some shots, I had a quick look into the nest and saw 8 healthy chicks that I estimated to be 8-10 days old.

I did eventually get home after spending 5 enjoyable hours roaming the farm.

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Completed on…

…Saturday.

Quite a cooler morning than recent sessions with the skies overcast on arrival. A team of 10 turned out for CES3 with 2 trainers and 8 trainee’s.

We split into 3 groups and set about setting up, all nets were up by 0700hrs.

The bird activity was rather lower than previous weeks with counts being below average, the continued cool cloudy weather probably contributed to this, we ended up with c60 birds with a near 50/50 split new birds/re-traps.

My processed list for the session,

Bluti (Blue tit) 1
Chaff (Chaffinch) 1
Dunno (Dunnock) 2
Lotti (Long-tailed Tit) 1
Robin 1
Wilwa (Willow Warbler) 2

We packed up as usual at 1200hrs and went to the pub for lunch!

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