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Posts Tagged ‘song thrush’

…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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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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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!)

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Meadow pipit

Redwing

Redwing

 

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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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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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Chobham Common Sunday 6th January

A team had been successful on the common on Saturday 5th trying to catch Dartford Warbler with a 6M ringed, whilst there flocks of finches had been seen including Redpoll and Goldfinch along with a flock of Reed Bunting so a planned trip to Woolley Firs on Sunday was cancelled in favour of a return to Chobham.

It was a foggy start to the morning with heavy moisture in the air. We split into 2 groups and set up our nets in 2 locations. After a few rounds without any birds it was decided to set one more net up in an area where 2 Stonechat had been spotted.

The fog continued throughout the morning and didn’t clear until midday, there were birds flying about most of the morning but not to the same levels as the previous day, the weather having a major effect on movement. It was turning out to be quite a disappointing morning after many net rounds without any birds. At 1130 it was decided to do a final round and then take-down, we’d checked one set of nets and still no birds, while the second set of nets was being checked I went over to check the Stonechat net and was happy to see 2 birds, a Wren and a Stonechat, at least this was going to make all the effort worth while. On my return to base my happy level was elevated even more, another 25 birds had flown into the second set of nets!

IMG_7973r

Stonechat

My processed list for the day:

Goldc (Goldcrest)             1
Lesre (Lesser Redpoll)   3
Reebu (Reed Bunting)   2

 

Woolley Firs Saturday 12th January

The weather forecast wasn’t reporting ideal conditions for Saturday but we had bird box maintenance and GPS’ing to do if the weather did indeed turn out to be wet. As it happened very little in the way of rain turned up and we had no interruptions to our ringing.

Just 3 of us for this session saw us met at 0730. Just 2 30ft nets were put up near the feeders, we still had the weather reports in mind and didn’t want to over do the nets.

It was a slow to start numbers wise but the quality was not to bad, the first bird of the day was a Siskin followed by a Blackbird, Coal tit and Blue tit. A Mistle Thrush was spotted atop a tree so it was decided to try to lure it to the net by playing a tape lure, we had little success to begin with but about 10am our patience paid off and we managed to catch it. A double first for me with both an extraction and a ringing process.

We were reduced to just 2 at 1030 having caught just 2 more birds, Coal tit and Blue tit, we decided to call it a day at 1130 and headed off to the nets to take down, this however was put on hold with the discovery of 13 Long tailed tits in our second net.

So by the end of the session we had a total of 22 birds processed.

Mistle Thrush

Mistle Thrush

My processed list for the day:

Blabi (Blackbird)              1
Bluti (Blue tit)                 2
Coati (Coal tit)               1
Lotti (Long-tailed Tit)     12
Misth (Mistle Thrush)     1

We managed a little box maintenance, moving a tit box from high up in one tree to a more accessible position in another and GPSing a few others.

We retired to the pub for a well-earned meal and a pint.

Great start to the year!

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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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