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Posts Tagged ‘goldcrest’

…enabling us to venture out and put some nets up.

Woolley Firs was the destination Saturday morning, ringing and bird box relocation planned. A foggy journey along the M25 had me taking extra care with visibility badly compromised.

By the time I arrived nets were already set up in the fields, some full height nets along the hedge line and some single panels in the field for Skylarks. The first couple of hours proved to be quite slow with only 10 birds caught; a single Chaffinch, 3 Blue tits, 2 Blackbirds, a Goldcrest and 3 Yellowhammer

DSC01041

Male Yellowhammer

Alas the Skylark nets didn’t attract any birds.  Around 10am we decided to move our focus from the fields to the feeders located near the trust buildings, this proved very productive with a further 57 birds processed, 45 Blue tits, 9 Great tit, 2 Coal tits and a single Chaffinch. One of the retrap Blue tits was one of our chicks ringed last summer.

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With a steady flow of birds finding our nets we carried on ringing until 2pm at which point we set down and prepared for the second part of the day’s activities, relocating 4 tit boxes, the boxes in question had produced hardly any young during the previous few seasons, either undesirable location or predation. We moved them to an area recently cleared by the trust.

We left site about 3pm satisfied with the days efforts. The journey home was delay free, probably down to the Rugby at Twickenham.

 

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Saturday 1st August

I was finally able to attend another CES session over at Wraysbury. A team of 5 turned out for CES 9. A rather calm session wind wise considering this year’s continued windy weather conditions. In addition to the CES nets we added a further 5 x 60′ nets. The total processed for the day was 131 of which 67 were CES.

Saturday 8th August 

Wraysbury again for CES 10. A cool start with a gentle breeze early on giving way to sunny cloudless skies by mid morning with a light gusting breeze. A total of 114 birds processed with 94 new and 20 retraps.

Sunday 9th August

A busy day was planned for what turned out to be a very pleasant day weather wise, the sun showing for most of the day after a fairly chilly start.

Paul and myself were over at Woolley Firs first thing, a second attempt to catch a juvenile Firecrest and prove they are breeding in Berkshire. We set 2 40’s in the wood and played Firecrest at one net and Blackcap at the other, we didn’t have to wait long for our first bird, on our first check round.

Friday 21st August

A trip to Rutland Water for the Birdfair 2015 accompanied by Carl.

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Woolley Firs again this week with ringing and bird box cleaning planned.

A damp and misty start meant leaving slightly earlier to allow for the slower journey to site.  A five strong team arrived on site for the 0715hrs start.

A quieter session than of late with 35 birds processed, we did put a percentage of this down to the empty feeders which usually are kept topped up. At 1030hrs myself and Roj started the task of checking and removing this years nest material from the 40 plus bird boxes we have in the nearby wood, the task took the best part of 2 hours with all but a couple completed. The next visit we’ll be moving some of the less productive boxes and repairing a few that need a little attention.

Birds spotted, c70 Redwing, 3 Mistle thrush, 11 Lapwing and 3 Skylark, Red Kite.

We left at 1345hrs and, pub, pint, chips, home, followed.

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Having had to cancel my visit to last weeks season opener at Woolley Firs due to an alternator failure I was eager to make it this week, this was put into jeopardy on Friday morning after a massive hole appeared on the M25 following road works over-night. The road was still not open by bed time on Friday night but was due to re-open at 5am Saturday.

I confirmed the M25 had actually re-opened Saturday morning before setting off to Woolley Firs for the planned 07:00 meet. It was damp and misty throughout the morning but this didn’t seem to hamper the catch with a respectable 64 birds processed. The highlights of the day; a first year male Firecrest (a ringing tick for me) and a first year female Great spotted woodpecker.

Mistle thrush and Redwing were spotted but couldn’t be tempted down to the nets.

Firecrest

Firecrest (3M)

 

 

Firecrest Head

Firecrest (3M)

 

Great Spotted Woodpecker (3F)

Great spotted woodpecker (3F)

The now ‘traditional’ after session pint was quaffed before a remarkably traffic free trip home.

 

 

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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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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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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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