Posts Tagged ‘redwing’

It’s still hard to believe that half the farm I do my ringing and birding on is now the location for England’s First World War Centenary Wood . Today was the first planting day, the first 10,000 trees of the target 400,000.

The weather couldn’t have been better with sunny blue sky’s throughout the day, this probably helped with the turn- out.

My friend Dave a I ventured over at 1030 hrs armed with our spades and enthusiasm,  we then spent the next 2.5 hours digging small holes, planting saplings, staking and fixing protective sheaths, we managed to plant over 100 trees between us before backache finally took hold and forced us to stop.

It was amazing to see the transformation of the field in such a short period of time. We left at 1445 hrs happy with our contribution. There were still people arriving as we left and it will be interesting to see just how many trees were planted on the day.

A leisurely walk back enabled me to do a little spotting, there were plenty of thrushes about including Redwing, Fieldfare, Blackbirds and Song thrush, I also spotted a Kestrel and Rook engaged in a dogfight and pushed a few Skylark up whilst crossing Tadworth Meadow.

LBF Tree planting 01

LBF Tree planting

LBF Tree planting 02

LBF Tree planting

LBF Tree planting 03

LBF Tree planting



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Having spotted c70 Redwing last week at Woolley Firs it was decided that we should have a go at catching some this weekend. This did mean a really early start as we needed to get the nets in place before first light. With a 0600 hrs meet time agreed and a 40 mile journey to site I set my alarm for 0420, I also factored in time to thaw the car as a -3°c frost had been forecast for Epsom Downs!

A small team of 4 arrived on site at the designated time and we set about setting up, splitting into 2 teams we soon had the nets in place.

The first round was key to our Redwing success and we weren’t disappointed with 9 caught. After we’d processed the initial catch we added some double panel nets in the hope of catching Skylark, a few had been spotted by the staff during the week.  Subsequent rounds throughout the morning didn’t yield any more Redwing, or Skylark for that matter but we did catch a good number of other thrushes, 11 Blackbird (a session record for the site beating the previous high by some margin) and a single Song thrush. Other species on the day; 4 Great tit, 3 Blue tit, a Robin, a flock of c20 Meadow pipits were seen in a tree near by late on, so with a quick change of bird call on the players we managed to encourage 6 to the nets, however the c20 Yellowhammer we also spotted couldn’t be tempted!

We ringed our last bird at 1230 hrs, bringing the total to 35, and proceeded to set down. With another successful session in the bag we retired to the local for a well earned meal and a pint.

Other birds of note spotted; Red Kite, Buzzard, Kestrel (sat atop one of the net poles!)


wf 027

Meadow pipit




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..this weekend for 3 days ringing.

Fellow ringer, friend and current warden at LBO had invited me down a while back but work and other ringing related commitments had stopped me from visiting sooner, as it turned out this was to my benefit.

Friday morning saw us unfurling most of the nets just before sunrise, we left a few of the more exposed nets closed due to the wind.

There were plenty of birds on site and plenty passing by, the ringing amounted to 20 birds of which I processed 19.

  • Blackbird x 5
  • Song Thrush x 5
  • Robin x 4
  • Redwing x 2
  • Chaffinch x 1
  • Goldcrest x 1
  • Coal tit x 1

Coal tit (Continental)

Saturday turned out to be a cracking day with over 100 birds ringed and plenty passing by. Gavin had his best day since taking over as warden and a record number of Lesser Redpoll ringed, the previous record of 44 surpassed by 22!

My processed list for the day-

  • Wren x 2
  • Robin x 1
  • Lesser Redpoll x 23
  • Chaffinch x 6
  • Blackcap x 1
  • Grey Wagtail x 2 (new species)
  • Dunnock x 1
  • Blue tit x 2
  • Goldfinch x 1
  • Greenfinch x 1
  • Song Thrush x 1

Grey Wagtail


Sunday was another nice day with a total of 37 birds ringed.

My processed list for the day-

  • Blackcap x 1
  • Blackbird x 2
  • Wren x 1
  • Lesser Redpoll x 11
  • Meadow Pipit x 1
  • Song Thrush x 3
  • Goldcrest x 3
  • Chiffchaff x 4
  • Chaffinch x 3
  • Robin x 1
  • Greenfinch x 1

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…took place at Wraysbury.

Meeting at 0730 in -4°c temperatures is not every 0nes ideal start to Saturday morning but when the chance of catching Fieldfare and Redwings is a possibility it certainly appeals to ringers. The team today was 7 strong with 2 trainers and 5 trainees.

The best catch of the year so far gave us a grand total of 21 birds with a good variety including Fieldfare, Redwing, Greenfinch along with some of the usual suspects Blue tit, Great tit & Robins. The weather was cold throughout the morning with clear sunny skies, the wind was forecast to pick up around 0900 but stayed off until midday when the temperature did dip.

I was able to process 7 birds in total and also add a few more extractions to the list too. Included in my 7 was a species first (noted below).

  1. Robin x 2
  2. Field (Fieldfare) x 1 species first
  3. Grefi (Greenfinch ) x 1
  4. Greti (Great tit)  x 1
  5. Bluti (Blue tit) x 1
  6. Goldf (Goldfinch) x 1

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…spotted in a congregation of c16 over the fields on Langley Bottom Farm, Redwings spend the winter in the U.K and S.Europe and the summers in N.Europe, I was over 300m away so the photographs not as clear as I would like but the beautiful markings are still visable.  Also while I was sat spotting, a Sparrowhawk flew by me, about 1m away and 1/2m above the ground, way to fast for me to capture a shot!

Redwing - Langley Bottom Farm 11/12/10

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