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Posts Tagged ‘buntings’

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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Its turning out to be a right old busy year so far work wise, I seem to be spending more and more time in front of a monitor doing work and not doing fun. As a consequence the blog as suffered with a lack of post.

So in between the last post and this a few things have happened in my world, most importantly as far as I’m concerned is my ‘C’ permit upgrade, after 3 years, countless early mornings and over 1500 birds processed I’m now qualified to ring on my own.

Sessions since last post:

Woolley Firs 08/03/14

  • Bluti (Blue tit) 2
  • Greti (Great tit) 2
  • Grefi (Greenfinch) 2
  • Blabi (Blackbird) 1
  • Meapi (Meadow pipit) 3
  • Robin 1
  • Golfi (Goldfinch) 5
  • Skyla (Skylark) 1
  • Redwi (Redwing) 1

GMP 23/03/14

  • Bluti (Blue tit) 2
  • Chiff (Chiffchaff) 2
  • Sonth (Song Thrush) 1
  • Blabi (Blackbird) 1
  • Lotti (Long-tailed Tit) 1
  • Robin 1
  • Blaca (Blackcap) 1

Woolley Firs 29/03/14

  • Bluti (Blue tit) 1
  • Yelha (Yellowhammer) 1 – a new bird for me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

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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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A ringing tick for me, a first year bird.

Corn Bunting

Corn Bunting

Corn Bunting

Corn Bunting

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Wraysbury Saturday 4th May.

A large team congregated in the car park at 0545 hrs for the first CES session of the season, a quick gathering of equipment and a 10 minute march to site had us erecting nets and ready to go by 0645.

A mixed bag weather wise; overcast, windy and cool.

The first bird was processed at 0650 hrs and a steady flow continued thereafter until 1100 hrs when it was decided we should stop due to the increasing wind and gathering rain clouds, a quick look at a weather app indicated rain was close by. A hurried take down followed and a sharpish walk back to the car park meant we managed to avoid a soaking,  just managing to pack the cars before the heavens opened.

A total of 51 birds processed, 26 new and 25 re-traps, my processes :-

Chiff (Chiffchaff) 4
Sedwa (Sedge Warbler) 2
White (Whitethroat) 2

Windsor Sunday 5th May.

Another good turnout for CES 1 the first at Windsor since 2008.

A dry morning; cloudy with sunny spells, a steady breeze throughout which picked up for an hour mid-morning.

A few minor issues with guy rope length whilst setting up but on the whole everything went to plan, we set up the potter traps in new locations within the reed beds; on small platforms which enables us to leave them in situ between sessions.

21 birds were caught in total with 14 new and 7 re-traps, my processes :-

Reebu (Reed Bunting) 1
Reewa (Reed Warbler) 1

Baited Potter trap

Baited Potter trap

Comparing Sedge warbler

Comparing Sedge warbler

Mist net

Mist net

Woolley Firs  Monday 6th May.

A glorious sunny day saw Carl, Louise and myself at Woolley Firs checking the bird boxes for nesting attempts.

Woolley Firs

A2 @Woolley Firs!

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… for a session.

12 of us turned out this weekend (probably the Dartford Warblers from last week!) 3 trainers, an ‘A’ ringer a ‘C’ ringer 6 trainee’s and an observer. Due to the high numbers it was decided to split into 2 groups, 1 group setting up at ‘Little Arm and Pools’ and the second group setting up at ‘Long Arm’.

The weather was overcast but mild with a low mist.

The bird count was quite low with only 47 birds processed (8 species) across both sites, no Darwa (Dartford Warbler) this week but we did catch a female Grswo (Great Spotted Woodpecker) and plenty of Reebu (Reed Buntings).

My list for the session:-

  1. Goldc (Goldcrest) x 2
  2. Lesre (Lesser Redpoll) x 4
  3. Reebu (Reed Bunting) x 3
  4. Wren x 1

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…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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