Posts Tagged ‘spring’

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.

2014-04-10 19.05.45

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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Firstly, CES 2 went ahead, an overcast day saw a team of 9 assemble at the usual meeting place at 0545hrs.

I was not fully fit for this session and was unable to help out with setting up, so while the rest of the team got stuck in I was left minding the camp, not being the ‘sitting around watching others work’ type this proved to be very frustrating and quite tedious. There was a positive side however, I was able to ring more birds!

It proved to be a good day on the bird front with an above average long-term mean 94 processed, 45 new and 49 re-traps (last years same day total was 53).

I processed a total of 22

Blabi (Blackbird) 1
Blaca (Blackcap) 2
Chiff (Chiffchaff) 3
Dunno (Dunnock) 1
Garwa (Garden Warbler) 2
Leswh (Lesser Whitethroat) 1
Robin 1
Sedwa (Sedge Warbler) 2
White (Whitethroat) 6
Wilwa (Willow Warbler) 3

So to the second part of the day.

After a lovely pub lunch we headed off to Woolley Firs Farm (via my trainers house) to check on the bird boxes with the hope of ringing some pulli (chicks before they leave the nest). we surveyed all the boxes and ended up ringing just a few that were ready, back mid-week to do more.

I eventually arrived home at 1915hrs…completely knackered, having had a great day.

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…on the ringing front.

Initially Saturday was to be the first CES session of the year and Sunday was to see me over at Woolley Firs carrying out a bird box survey with my trainer, as it happens there was a switch in activities and day due to the bad wind and rain on Saturday causing a postponement of the CES until Sunday so we did the bird box survey on Saturday.

Sunday certainly was better than Saturday weather wise but was still rather cold and overcast for the entire session. 9 souls turned out for the rearranged session consisting of 3 trainers and 6 trainee’s. It turned out to be a good day bird wise with an above mean average of 56 new birds and 20 plus re-traps compared with 18/21 from the corresponding session last year, encouraging start for the new net ride configuration.

I was able to process 15 birds along with 15 extractions.

  1. Bluti (Blue Tit) x 2
  2. Blaca (Blackcap) x 1
  3. Chiff (Chiffchaff) x 4
  4. Dunno (Dunnock) x1
  5. Lotti (Long-tailed Tit) x1
  6. Robin x 1
  7. Sedwa (S edge Warbler) x1
  8. White (Whitethroat) x 4

It was great to get back into the groove!

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…down on the farm.

The sights, sounds and smells of spring where truly in the air today over on the farm, the farmer has already planted barley in some of the fields and spread tons of muck ready for ploughing in the rest, there was certainly a farmy smell on the breeze!

The first signs of spring were apparent with Hazel catkins abundant, the first shoots of Bluebells pushing through, buds a plenty on the trees and bushes and the sounds of bird song filling the air.

There was plenty of wildlife about, rabbits could be seen feeding on the grassy margins, a fox looking on with anticipation and I caught a fleeting glimpse of a deer on the edge of the wood.

The birds were all very active too, many have already paired up and were busily collecting materials to build nests, I saw many species with nest materials in their bills flying to and from their nest sites. I could also hear woodpeckers drilling, Skylarks singing overhead with Pheasant and Buzzard calling in the distance.

Langley Bottom Farm

Long Tailed Tit

Long Tailed Tit

Kestrel (long distance shot)

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at Silwood Park.

The earliest start of the year so far saw us arriving on site at 0630hr (it only gets earlier from now on!) 10 ringers turned out for the session including 2 trainers, a C and 7 trainees. The weather was quite pleasant with a few sunny periods throughout the morning.

The catch was quite low due to all the feeders on site being empty so this had a big impact on the session.

I was able to process 4 birds,

  1. Bluti (Blue tit) x 3
  2. Siski (Siskin) x 1 species first

Siskin 5f

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…spotting and counting birds! I was out  for 2 hours doing a survey and what a lovely warm sunny evening it was too, the wildlife was  abundant and vespertine.

The evening air was filled with a miriad of insects, fresh spring aromas and a euphony of birdsong, a very relaxing evening indeed.

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…the Vernal Equinox (1st day of Spring) 20th Mar 2011 @ 23:21:01. Yay!


Vernal Eqiunox


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…had a dental appointment this afternoon so I was able to get out over the farmland for a couple of hours before it got dark. The wildlife is certainly coming to life again now spring is nearly upon us, a variety of birds spotted, I was treated to a  male Song Thrush vocalising his full repetoire of songs trying to attract a mate, a couple of Skylarks in a courtship flight and a variety of other birds that seem to have already paired up. Also spotted a flock of about 70 Redwings  pearched in a couple of trees, the Redwing is part of the Thrush family and another winter visitor but rarely breeds in the UK. The rabbits are also starting to show and the flora is breaking out with buds and catkins on the trees and bushes!

Looking forward to spring even more now!!!

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