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Posts Tagged ‘kestrel box’

The long planned ringing demonstration at BBOWT Woolley Firs took place on Saturday 13th February, however the weather let us down again and we were not able to open any nets due to the persistent rain.

We’d planned to net the fields beforehand, 0600, hoping for some winter thrushes, the weather on arrival was dry with a borderline wind speed, but we were able to use the hedgerow to protect the nets and any birds we caught. We only managed to catch 8 birds in total, 6 Redwing and 2 Song thrush before the rain started.

Although still raining we decide to set up a 30′ net next to the feeders, the net was furled (rolled up and unable to catch any birds) but ready and in place should the rain stop. Alas the rain didn’t stop. At 0900 Carl slipped off to do a pre-planned radio interview for BBC Radio Berkshire. By 0930 the activity centre was buzzing with people, unable to show any birds being ringed Carl decided to go and explain what ringing was all about. It was obvious the rain was set for the day so at 1030 we packed up and headed home.

On Sunday I was over on LBF farm, in the wood repairing three tit boxes which had been damaged by the squirrels last summer, all three had the entrance hole enlarged. All are now set for this year’s breeding season, 11 tit boxes, a Treecreeper wedge, Kestrel box and a Tawny owl box.

2016-02-14 12.59.12 2016-02-14 12.32.00 2016-02-14 12.22.26

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Happy New Year, here’s to a nature filled 12 months!

The blog posts drifted off towards the end of last year mostly due to a lack of ringing activity, the relentless windy weather the main cause and frustration.

After a promising early catch of Lesser Redpoll in October/early November, 165 caught in just 3 sessions on Chobham Common before the aforementioned wind took hold and put paid to my ringing for the remainder of the year.

Redpoll001

Lesser Redpoll – Chobham Common

 

I was able to get out over the Christmas break to put up a Kestrel & Tawny owl box over on the farm (thanks to my mate Dave for holding the ladder!).

Kestrel Box

Kestrel Box

Kestrel Box

Kestrel Box

Tawny Box

Tawny Box

Tawny Box

Tawny Box

 

Some equipment maintenance was also carried out, re-soldering of speaker wires, net repairs etc. all ready for this year’s ringing activities (should the wind finally die down!)

 

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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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I took advantage of the sunny day today and managed to get onto the farm and into Little Snells wood to place the first 5 bird boxes. I intend to have 20 boxes in the wood in total consisting of 12 Blue tit/ Great tit, 5 open fronted and a Barn owl, Tawny owl and Kestrel.

DSCN4212

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