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Archive for October, 2014

Saturday the 25th saw a team of 8 turn out for a 0645 start.

The weather was as predicted; cloudy at first with little wind giving way to clear skies and a breeze around 1030.

64 birds processed in total with 58 new;  21 Meadow pipit, 21 Goldcrest, 7 Long-tailed tit, 5 Lesser Redpoll (first of the autumn) 2 Wren and singles of Blue tit, Coal tit, Reed Bunting and Jay. We’re still waiting for the larger flocks of Redpoll to arrive and hopefully we’ll see some Redwing & Fieldfare too, apparently there are already c1 million Redwing in the country!

We left site about 1230.

No bird pictures from the session but here’s one of a very nice egg & bacon sandwich I had on the way home, purchased from a nice little cafe I spotted last time.

2014-10-25 12.59.18

 

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I’ve now added entry-level electronics to my skill set to help with the bird ringing.

I’m now able to build my own speaker boxes, and great fun it is too!

Speaker Boxes

Speaker Boxes

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Sunday 12th.

Over to my patch with our first session of the autumn on Langley Bottom Farm. I’ve already seen plenty of skylark on the fields so far this autumn which is encouraging.  Michael, the farmer,  will be leaving Tadworth Meadows in stubble for the winter which will leave more food available which in turn will help with survival rates.

It’s still early autumn and there’s plenty of food on the fields so the Skylark are still widely distributed, they are quite hard to catch as it is so we only deployed a couple of lines on net and crossed our fingers. After an hour or so it was becoming quite apparent that our luck was not in. We did catch a single male (sexed on wing length of 115) at 0730 but that proved to be our only bird of the session. We set down at 1000.

Another visit is planned for next month.

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A couple of visits to Chobham Common so far this month, Thursday 2nd & Sunday 5th.

The Thursday session saw 5 of us turn out for a 06:15 start, a cloudless morning started of with a slight chill in the air but the sun was soon bathing us in warmth. We initially set 2 singles along a tree line just off the open area of heather and a 3 net box for Meadow pipit adding a single panel net for Dartford warbler later on. All but the Dartford net caught and at the end of the session we’d processed an excellent 74 birds with 42 Meadow pipits making up the lions share.

 

Meadow pipit

Meadow pipit

 

 

Having had such a productive day on Thursday we decided to go again on Sunday, a similar day weather wise and a similar net set-up with one extra net for Dartford warbler which paid dividend with a juvenile male ringed. 50 birds processed with Meadow pipits leading the way with 18 followed closely by 15 Reed Buntings, 7 of which were caught in one net at the same time which is rare for us and this gave us the opportunity to do some ageing and and sexing reed bunting comparisons in the hand and take some good photographs of heads, wings and tails, the results of which can be found here  Ageing and sexing Reed Bunting

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Dartford warbler

Dartford warbler

Chobham Common

Chobham Common

So a very respectable 124 birds processed over the 2 sessions.

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