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Posts Tagged ‘tadworth meadows’

Although the wind speeds where far from ideal for netting Skylarks, the forecast of frost and clear skies early morning did tempt me out. I set the alarm for 5am so I would be able to get set-up before sunrise. I set my normal line of nets in the field along with a 30′ 4 panel across the hedge line.

Frosty Sunrise on Tadworth Meadows

Frosty Sunrise on Tadworth Meadows

It certainly was a lovely morning, crisp and fresh, the golden hour just after dawn is always a special time. Again there where plenty of Skylarks up and about with some of the males displaying their song-flight and parachuting techniques, already looking to impress the females, spring is definitely in the air. It turned out to be a very slow morning both with the Skylark nets and the 4 panel, the wind making the Skylark nets just a little too visible and very few birds in the 4 panel, with a total of 5 birds ringed, all Blue tit and all new.

Blue tit

Blue tit

The wind continued to gather speed and I ended up taking down at 9am, although it was slow on the bird front it was still great to be out and about on such a lovely morning. I was back home by 10am with a nice cup of tea in hand.

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Saturday 7th February

A trip over to the farm to catch Skylark, the weather was against me with the winds up enough to make my nets very visible to the keen-eyed Skyla’s with the inevitable result, no Skylarks! I did put up a 30′ across the hedgerow and caught a few of the usual suspects. Highlight of the day, this Leucistic Great tit.

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Leucistic Great tit

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Leucistic Great tit

 

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Following two successful visits in the spring netting for Skylarks we where again back on the farm on Sunday. Carl, Marie & Jason joined me on Sunday morning for our first attempt of the autumn.

After a summer crop of linseed; Michael, the farmer has now planted a crop of winter barley, he sowed without ploughing in the residue stubble left from the linseed harvest, this will benefit the birds greatly throughout the winter, the new crop will also offer protection from the elements when the weather turns wintery. Michael has kindly allowed us to net on the planted field, we are able to use the tractor lines to move along the field and with careful foot placement maneuver between the crop lines.

Carefully setting up!

Carefully setting up!

The weather wasn’t too bad first thing; a light chilly northerly breeze prevailed with 90% cloud cover, this did deteriorate around 09:30 when a band of moist weather rolled over.

The catching success of the spring was not repeated with a single Meadow pipit the only bird of the session. Although we saw c80 Skylarks; with a few pairs displaying typical behaviour of ‘chasing’, none landed in the nets. A small flock of Meadow pipit were also observed.

We set down at 11:00.

We’ll return in a few weeks time.

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