Archive for November, 2013

Following two successful visits in the spring netting for Skylarks we where again back on the farm on Sunday. Carl, Marie & Jason joined me on Sunday morning for our first attempt of the autumn.

After a summer crop of linseed; Michael, the farmer has now planted a crop of winter barley, he sowed without ploughing in the residue stubble left from the linseed harvest, this will benefit the birds greatly throughout the winter, the new crop will also offer protection from the elements when the weather turns wintery. Michael has kindly allowed us to net on the planted field, we are able to use the tractor lines to move along the field and with careful foot placement maneuver between the crop lines.

Carefully setting up!

Carefully setting up!

The weather wasn’t too bad first thing; a light chilly northerly breeze prevailed with 90% cloud cover, this did deteriorate around 09:30 when a band of moist weather rolled over.

The catching success of the spring was not repeated with a single Meadow pipit the only bird of the session. Although we saw c80 Skylarks; with a few pairs displaying typical behaviour of ‘chasing’, none landed in the nets. A small flock of Meadow pipit were also observed.

We set down at 11:00.

We’ll return in a few weeks time.

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It’s my favorite time of the year on the Common, the autumnal colours are stunning, especially at sun rise on a clear and crisp autumn morning.

We start to visit the Common more regularly in the autumn after all the CES’ have finished for the season, we do visit during the summer but that’s mostly in the evenings when we are trying to catch Nightjar.

Thursday 24th October.

A clear chilly morning; a rather large team of 13 ringers turning out. There was a little concern that there might not be enough birds caught to satisfy such a large team but our fears were laid to rest within a few minutes of set-up with Redpoll leading the way. It turned out to be very productive morning  with a total of 110 birds processed.

Species                        new    r/t    total
Meadow pipit                25      2       27
Wren                             1                 1
Dartford warbler            5                 5
Blue tit                          1                 1
Greenfinch                  14                14
Goldfinch                       1                 1
Common redpoll            4                 4
Lesser redpoll             48        1      49
Reed bunting               5         1       6
Common Redpoll

Common Redpoll

Saturday 2nd November.

Clear skies early on but the wind picked up around 10am which caused an early set-down. This session proved to be a little less productive than the previous with only 16 birds in total processed, I did however get to ring my first Dartford Warbler, the last bird of the day to be caught, which was fantastic.

Species                     new    r/t    total            
Meadow pipit               2       1      3
Dartford warbler          1               1
Goldcrest                     1               1
Long-tailed tit              3       2      5
Coal tit                        1               1
Blue tit                        3              3
Lesser redpoll              1              1 
Reed bunting              1              1
Dartford Warbler

Dartford Warbler

Dartford Warbler

Dartford Warbler

Saturday 16th November.
Another crisp morning and another army of ringers, 14 in total. 
Species                     new     r/t   total            
Meadow pipit               1       1      2
Wren                          2               2
Robin                          2               2
Dartford warbler         2      1       3
Goldcrest                    1              1
Long-tailed tit            3       2      5
Coal tit                               1       1
Blue tit                     1                1
Lesser redpol          27      2     29
Common redpoll        2              2
Reed bunting            3              3

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