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Archive for January, 2013

Saturday 19th January

Woolley Firs again for a snow-covered session.  Just Carl and myself  for this one, arriving on site for 0800 we quickly set up 3 nets, a 20ft, 30ft and 40ft around the feeders, the hope was that the cold snowy weather would bring the birds to the feeders.

A reasonable catch of 14 birds was recorded, mostly re-traps with just 3 new. I processed all 14.

Bluti (Blue tit) x 7
Coati (Coal tit) x 1
Greti (Great tit) x 3
Nutha (Nuthatch) x 2
Robin x 1

Sunday 20th January

I decided to set up my hide in the garden and take advantage of the concentration of birds due to the snowy conditions and all the seed and fruit I’d put out.

Plenty of the usual suspects, Blue, Great Long-tailed and Coal tit, Robins, Dunnocks, Wren, Chaffinch, at least 8 Blackbirds and a real treat a couple of Fieldfare, a winter migrant from Northern Europe, this is indicative of the tough conditions the birds are facing at this time.

Chaffinch

Chaffinch

Fieldfare 04

Fieldfare

Fieldfare 03

Fieldfare

Fieldfare 01

Fieldfare

Fieldfare 02

Fieldfare

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Chobham Common Sunday 6th January

A team had been successful on the common on Saturday 5th trying to catch Dartford Warbler with a 6M ringed, whilst there flocks of finches had been seen including Redpoll and Goldfinch along with a flock of Reed Bunting so a planned trip to Woolley Firs on Sunday was cancelled in favour of a return to Chobham.

It was a foggy start to the morning with heavy moisture in the air. We split into 2 groups and set up our nets in 2 locations. After a few rounds without any birds it was decided to set one more net up in an area where 2 Stonechat had been spotted.

The fog continued throughout the morning and didn’t clear until midday, there were birds flying about most of the morning but not to the same levels as the previous day, the weather having a major effect on movement. It was turning out to be quite a disappointing morning after many net rounds without any birds. At 1130 it was decided to do a final round and then take-down, we’d checked one set of nets and still no birds, while the second set of nets was being checked I went over to check the Stonechat net and was happy to see 2 birds, a Wren and a Stonechat, at least this was going to make all the effort worth while. On my return to base my happy level was elevated even more, another 25 birds had flown into the second set of nets!

IMG_7973r

Stonechat

My processed list for the day:

Goldc (Goldcrest)             1
Lesre (Lesser Redpoll)   3
Reebu (Reed Bunting)   2

 

Woolley Firs Saturday 12th January

The weather forecast wasn’t reporting ideal conditions for Saturday but we had bird box maintenance and GPS’ing to do if the weather did indeed turn out to be wet. As it happened very little in the way of rain turned up and we had no interruptions to our ringing.

Just 3 of us for this session saw us met at 0730. Just 2 30ft nets were put up near the feeders, we still had the weather reports in mind and didn’t want to over do the nets.

It was a slow to start numbers wise but the quality was not to bad, the first bird of the day was a Siskin followed by a Blackbird, Coal tit and Blue tit. A Mistle Thrush was spotted atop a tree so it was decided to try to lure it to the net by playing a tape lure, we had little success to begin with but about 10am our patience paid off and we managed to catch it. A double first for me with both an extraction and a ringing process.

We were reduced to just 2 at 1030 having caught just 2 more birds, Coal tit and Blue tit, we decided to call it a day at 1130 and headed off to the nets to take down, this however was put on hold with the discovery of 13 Long tailed tits in our second net.

So by the end of the session we had a total of 22 birds processed.

Mistle Thrush

Mistle Thrush

My processed list for the day:

Blabi (Blackbird)              1
Bluti (Blue tit)                 2
Coati (Coal tit)               1
Lotti (Long-tailed Tit)     12
Misth (Mistle Thrush)     1

We managed a little box maintenance, moving a tit box from high up in one tree to a more accessible position in another and GPSing a few others.

We retired to the pub for a well-earned meal and a pint.

Great start to the year!

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