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Posts Tagged ‘dunnock’

…on the 17th April. A clear bright morning with a light WNW breeze.

A modest 31 birds processed with a 14/17 new/retrap split and a good number of species caught including:

  • 8 Blackcap
  • 2 Willow warbler
  • 1  Whitethroat
  • 1 Lesser Whitethroat
  • 1 Sedge warbler
  • 1 Chiffchaff
  • 3 Song thrush
  • 6 Dunnock
  • 5 Long-tailed tit
  • 2 Robin
  • 1 Blue tit

 

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With this year’s CES (C4) done and dusted we now turn our attentions to other areas of Wraysbury and other sites in general.

Sunday 6th September

Still at Wraysbury but in a different area to our CES, C6, a total of 45 birds were caught with a 34 new/11 retrap split.

Saturday 19th September

Wraysbury C6 again, slightly better numbers than the previous week with a total of 71 birds caught and a 54 new/17 retrap split. The first Meadow pipits of the autumn for the site being the highlight of the session, 10 new birds caught in total and all this hatched this year.

Saturday 26th September

Another visit to Wraysbury C6. Numbers down from previous visit with a 51 new/6 retrap split. Still plenty of Blackcaps on site with 24 caught, all hatched this year and a few more Meadow pipits also all young birds.

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The first week of June, 3rd & 7th, saw Paul and myself out and about in Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire checking our owl boxes on behalf of Bisham Barn Owl Group

Barn owl pulli

Barn owl pulli

A week on the Isle of May 13th – 20th

Having missed out previously, it’s a very popular location for photographers, artists and ringers alike, and with limited space, a team of us, Carl, Paul, Marie, Tonia, Stuart and myself managed to secure a week on the ‘May’ in June.

The Isle of May boasts Scotland’s oldest Bird Observatory, which was founded in 1934, and is home to hundreds of thousands of seabirds, including Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills, Shags, Cormorants and terns, it is also a stop-off point for many migrating species.

Transfer out to the island was courtesy of Roy, aboard the RIB “Osprey”, an interesting and rather exciting 25 minute journey due to the wind and a choppy swell which had us all thankful for the supplied waterproofs!
Osprey

 

The island has two accommodation area’s; the main block which is home throughout the season to the reserve staff and volunteers who monitor the vast and varied wildlife and the Lowlight Lighthouse which is where visiting ringers, birdwatchers and artists stay, duration is limited to one week.

 

Lowlight - IoM

Lowlight – IoM

The accommodation is well-appointed considering it’s an old lighthouse stuck on a rock, a recently added block consisting of 3 bedrooms, toilet and a solar-powered shower have really added ‘stars’ and a level of comfort previously missing, it’s not quite living off-grid but pretty close!

The six of us quickly settled in to island life and found a routine that suited all.

As always with ringing the weather plays a major factor in activities and that was certainly the case on the ‘May’, and as you’d expect the wind played its part and at times hampered our mist net deployment, however, there was plenty of other ringing to be had which the wind didn’t affect.

Throughout the week we were involved in various ringing activities; we helped catch and ring Puffins, part of one of the schemes being carried out on the island

Puffin

Puffin

we were able to ring Shags, Razorbills and Guillemots

 

 

Shag

Shag

 

Razorbill

Razorbill

 

Guillemots

Guillemots

along with some pulli ringing which included, Oystercatchers, Herring & Lesser black-backed gulls.

Gull egg hatching

Gull egg hatching

 

Oystercatcher pulli

Oystercatcher pulli

 

Gull pulli

Gull pulli

 

Gull pulli

Gull pulli

We visited the 4 heligoland traps a couple of times a day throughout the week

Heligoland trap

IoM scenic

Heligoland trap

and deployed mist nets when we could, these turned up a few species between them including; Rock pipits, Nightingale, Starling, Chiffchaff, Robin, Willow warbler, Pied wagtail, Dunnock, Songthrush, Blackcap, Lesser whitethroat, Garden warbler and Wren.

A fantastic week came to an end far to quickly and after a big clean up of the accommodation we packed and headed off to the boat, the trip back to the mainland was rather less wet and we were able to take in final views off the island as we departed, before we knew it we were back on the mainland and packing the car ready for the journey home.

I will return…

Photo gallery –

IoM scenic

IoM scenic

 

Guano cliff

Guano cliff

 

Fulmar

Fulmar

 

Lighthouse by Robert Stevenson

Lighthouse by Robert Stevenson

 

Razorbill

Razorbill

 

IoM scenic

IoM scenic

 

Puffin on the wing

Puffin on the wing

 

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Midnight on the ‘May’

 

IoM scenic

IoM scenic

 

Monday 22nd June

Back to one of our Kestrel boxes to ring a couple of pulli.

Kestrel pulli

Kestrel pulli

 

Friday 26th June

A very enjoyable chat by Mark Avery at the Surrey bird club.

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14th – Demonstration at Woolley Firs

We were over at Woolley Firs on Saturday 14th giving a ringing demonstration for the Wildlife trust. We set the nets and our ringing station up in the usual positions and created a semi-circle of various bird boxes for the public to stand behind, this gave us space to carry out our normal ringing procedures without the birds or ourselves getting overwhelmed.

We managed a respectable 55 birds processed, mostly Great tits 22 new/12 retraps and Blue tits 5 new/9 retraps , Dunnocks 3 new, Coal tit 1 new/1 retrap and singles of Long-tailed tit and Firecrest both new birds.  Carl did a great job keeping a very eager public engaged whilst the ringing process was taking place. It was really satisfying to see faces light up and huge smiles break out when someone got to hold and release a bird for the first time, it always takes me back to a frosty morning on Chobham Common and my very own first bird in the hand. The crowd dispersed at 11am and the feedback from Carl was very positive, it seems everyone enjoyed what they’d seen and heard.

Unfortunately for our visitors the highlight of the day came too late, on the last net round of the day Carl came back with a lovely Firecrest, and as you can see – an absolute cracker!

All in all the demonstration was a success and we all had a great morning, we headed off to the pub for a well-earned pint and lunch.

Firecrest

Firecrest

A further write-up can be found here on the Runnymede Ringing Group pages

15th – The farm

On Sunday I was on the farm adding 7 more nest boxes to my scheme, 6 more tit boxes and a Treecreeper box, this brings the total up to 12. Last year I ringed 24 pulli from 5 boxes so with the additional boxes added this season I would be hoping for a few more, fingers crossed!

After a few different builds and material choices I have now settled on this design, the main changes have been the materials, I now use 21mm gravel boards, purchased from Farm Fencing, a big thanks to them for the great deal they give me, I use old truck wheel inner-tubes for the roof hinges, recycled and donated for free from Tadworth Tyres, a big thanks to them too and a mixture of screw and nails for the construction, an extra coat of wildlife friendly preservative on the roof and we’re good to go!

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New design tit box


2015-02-15 11.14.03

A much better use of a golf trolley!


2015-02-15 12.54.09

Treecreeper box

 

All the boxes get GPS’d and added to my Googlemaps when I get home, obviously this is really helpful come the summer when the wood is transformed from winter bare branches to lush summer foliage.

Bring on the breeding season!

 

 

 

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Saturday 7th February

A trip over to the farm to catch Skylark, the weather was against me with the winds up enough to make my nets very visible to the keen-eyed Skyla’s with the inevitable result, no Skylarks! I did put up a 30′ across the hedgerow and caught a few of the usual suspects. Highlight of the day, this Leucistic Great tit.

IMG_0050

Leucistic Great tit

IMG_0049

Leucistic Great tit

 

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My first 3 solo  sessions of garden ringing took place on the 10th, 13th & 21st with a total of 20 bird processed, the usual suspects as far as species; Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Robin and Goldcrest.

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Mist net – first session in the garden

I have to say, although I’ve been ringing  now for 0ver 3 years I did find these initial sessions on my own quite taxing, not having my trainer within earshot of a ‘help’ for the first time was quite a different feeling. I understand fully now why the initial first sessions need to be in your garden!

Initially at the beginning of April I had 3 boxes with activity; a Great tit sitting in one of the chambers of my Sparrow box, a Wren building a nest in one of the roosting boxes I have up and a Blue tit building a nest in a Blue tit box, by the end of April things had changed somewhat with the Blue tit and Wren both abandoning their nesting attempts, a neighbours cat probably the reason for this as I’d caught it stalking both boxes. The Great tit box the only one showing any signs of life with 7 chicks present,  I estimated them to be 5-6 days old and planned to ring them within the following few days.

Great tit

Female Great tit (ringed) entering box

This is mum entering the nest box, note the ring on the right leg, It’s great to have two generation of the same family already ringed, will be interesting to see if I can catch them again over time.

I also carried out my first visit to check on my other bird boxes in the wood down on the farm, I have 5 boxes in place at the moment and all boxes showed signs of occupation with a feather lined cup visible in 4 and the other, a cup without feathers. Further visits planned for early May.

LS 01 - Lined and ready for laying

LS 01 – Lined and ready for laying

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Sunday 16th February

A small team of four met at 0700 hrs at Woolley Firs. We set a 20′, 30′ and 2 x 40′ nets up next to the 3 sets of feeders which have been kept topped up this winter by the WF staff, although there’s been more than ample amounts of natural food available this winter which means less of a need to visit the feeders.

31 birds processed of 8 species, this was my first session out since my ‘C’ permit upgrade conformation and I personally processed 11 birds.

Chaffinch x 2, Goldfinch x 2, Wren x 1, Great tit x 3, Blue tit x 3

We also took the opportunity to GPS all the boxes again with my new Garmin Etrex 20; this was the first time out using the unit on a large number of boxes and it worked really well, quick , accurate and easy to input data.

 

Sunday 2nd March

Another session at Woolley Firs this morning with Carl and Paul, meeting at 0645 hrs. We set a 20′, 30′ and a single 40′ at the feeders with 2 additional 40’s just off the track leading to the fields, Carl had spotted Pied wagtail in the area yesterday. I was tasked with looking after these nets as the track is popular with dog walkers. I did see a few Pied Wags but I didn’t see any in the nets! A 50 strong flock of Redwing were seen atop the trees near to the nets but again nothing came down.

The weather was fair with broken cloud cover for most of the morning turning slightly cloudier later, light winds to start with picking up towards lunchtime.

24 birds processed in total. My contribution:-

Blue tit  x 4,  Dunnock x 1

After we’d set down and packed away had one other task to carry out, apparently Kestrel boxes have a better chance of occupation if they have a few inches of soil in them, so we’ve increased our chances now!

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