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Posts Tagged ‘tawny owl’

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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with another early visit to Woolley Firs looking to catch more Redwing, a 0600 hrs start saw 4 of us in the fields setting up in the dark. The weather forecasters haven’t exactly been on top form of recent so we took a slight chance that the wind wouldn’t be as forecast. However it was and this had a big impact on our catch with only 10 birds caught, but at least we did catch a 5 Redwing! Also caught; Yellowhammer, Jay, Great tit, Blue tit and Long-tailed tit. However, I missed most of the action though due to the quick onset of a headache shortly after set-up which had me in the car popping pills (headache remedy pills!).  I was in two minds whether to go home but thought it best to let my pounding head subside first. I didn’t really want to leave because we had plans to ring Tawny and Barn owls later in the day.

Yellowhammer carefully being ringed

Yellowhammer carefully being ringed

 

Jay

Jay

 

 

The wind continued to cause issue, most of all making the nets very visible to the birds, the decision was made to set-down around 1045 hrs after a couple of rounds without birds. I was able to help with take down as my headache was finally easing, which was a relief as this meant I would be ok to ring the owls.

We left site and headed for a cafe for a spot to eat before heading over to Bisham wood and the owls, a very tasty full English was consumed which helped banish the remnant of the headache.

Over the past two years a few members of our ringing group have been taking part in the reinstating of an owl project in some of the woods in and around Berkshire. Initially we had to establish the locations of the boxes and gps them, once this was done we had to clear the boxes out, removing multiple layers of nests or old squirrel dreys, then remove the boxes we considered to be surplus to requirements and relocate in new locations. Many of the boxes have been in place for 10 years so there was also plenty of repairs to do.

So our first port of call for the owls was Bisham Wood,  a couple of Tawny owls had been seen roosting in one of the boxes the previous week and we had high hopes they would still be using the same box, it turned out that they had moved residence but fortunately only along to the next box. We carefully retrieved the Owls and checked to see if they had been ringed before, they both hadn’t so we ringed them. A thorough examination of the wing feathers had us determine they were both adult bird with both having 3 generations of feathers, a wing length was recorded and a weight taken and a few photographs of the open wing for the records before we released them back into the wood.

Tawny Owl

Tawny Owl

The second location, Little Marlow, where we hoped to ring a couple of Barn owls, was just a short 10 minute trip from Bisham wood, a private family house with a Barn owl box in a tree in the garden. A camera was installed in this box so we where able to confirm the owls where in residence with a quick phone call before setting off. This box had had a breeding pair in the summer who had managed to fledge 5 from a brood of 6, which is a very good outcome for Barn owls, the young birds had all been ringed before they’d fledged. Now the box was being used as a roost possibly by the breeding pair. Again we carefully retrieved the birds and ringed them. These two did indeed turn out to be an adult male and female.

Barn Owl

Barn Owls

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

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http://bishambarnowlgroup.blogspot.co.uk/

A new blog dedicated to owls, owl boxes and owl ringing from my friend and fellow ringer, Paul.

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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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Wraysbury Saturday 18th May

CES 2 saw a team of 7 arriving at 0545 hrs under overcast skies; a slight wind prevailed.

The usual gathering of equipment and quick march to base had us ready for set-up in no time. We split into 3 teams and headed off  to our designated rides. All nets were up by 0640 and our first bird of the day arrived shortly thereafter.

There was a constant flow of birds caught until about 092o hrs; approx 90% of the day’s total of 33 new, 39 retraps.

My contribution :-

Blaca (Blackcap) 1
Chiff (Chiffchaff) 1
Dunno (Dunnock) 2
Garwa (Garden Warbler) 2
Goldf (Goldfinch) 1
Lotti (Long-tailed Tit) 2
Robin 1
White (Whitethroat) 3
Wilwa (Willow Warbler) 1

Windsor Sunday 19th May

CES 2 saw a team of 7 arrive at the usual CES meet time of 0545 hrs.

Weather wise; scattered clouds early on becoming breezy and overcast as the morning drew on.

Quite a low bird count with 26 birds processed in total; 16 new & 10 retraps, bird of the day was a 6F Moorhen caught in one of the potter traps which I processed and was a ringing tick for me.

My contribution :-

Reebu (Reed Bunting) 1
Reewa (Reed Warbler) 2
Wren 2
Moorh (Moorhen) 1

Moorhen

Moorhen

Windsor Sunday 26th May

CES 3 saw a team of 6 arriving under cloudy skies at 0545 hrs.

A prompt set-up had all the nets in place by 0700 hrs. The cloud cleared around 0730 and we were bathed in sunlight for the rest of the session, the wind did pick-up and we experienced a few gusts.

A steady flow or birds throughout the morning, although not great amounts; a total of  11 new and 20 re-traps, just enough to keeps on the move. Highlight of the session was an adult Great Spotted Woodpecker. Overhead a pair of Hobbys were spotted expertly plucking food on the wing.

My contribution :-

Blabi (Blackbird) 1
Bluti (Blue tit) 1
Reewa (Reed Warbler) 6

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Bisham Wood Monday 27th May

A trip to the woods to check on the Tawny owl boxes; alas no owls were found in the boxes but we did find 3 with Stock Doves, 2 with eggs and one with a chick and an egg. A return will be planned to ring the Stock Dove.

 

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Woolley Firs 02/02/13 

A small team of 4 for this session.

My contribution:- 4

Blabi (Blackbird) 1
Bluti (Blue tit) 2
Coati (Coal tit) 1

Woolley Firs 16/02/2013

Carl and myself were joined by a first time visitor for this session. A total of 25 birds processed.

My contribution:- 23

Bluti (Blue tit)  14
Greti (Great tit) 7
Nutha (Nuthatch) 1
Robin 1

Bisham Wood 23/02/13

A trip to the woods on Saturday to continue with our owl box program another 4 boxes replaced and a further 4 taken off site for refurbishment.

A very cold morning with slight snow flurries throughout and a very cold wind. We retired to the pub afterwards for a warm meal and pint.

Tawny Owl Box BW

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