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Posts Tagged ‘Windsor’

Saturday 31st January

I spent the day with Carl & Paul at various locations west of Windsor: at Fifield; Holyport; and Touchen End bolting Barn owl and Little owl bird boxes to trees. Whilst at our last location we were asked by a neighbour if they could add further boxes to their land, they have a Barn owl box at the moment which was occupied by a Barn owl this year and a Kestrel last. A further visit is planned.

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…for this season.

 

Although wading through the thick mud of the reed beds at GMP can be very hard work (the water levels have been very low this year) the last visit of the year is always tinged with a little sadness knowing it will be 6 months before we again don our waders and step out into the reeds.

Having completed the CES last visit we were able to set more nets in different locations this time around, our main area of concentration this week was the NW corner. The catch for the session was 35 with a 24/11 new/retrap split, highlights of the day, a Cetti’s warbler first ringed April 2011 and a first year Grey Wagtail.

Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail

Unfortunately for Carl having replaced one of his 60′ nets a few weeks ago after a Canada goose went through it, twice! the same thing happened again, another costly hole.

The last visit of the year also means gathering up all the poles, ties and potter traps for removal from site for repairs and safe keeping.

It’s been a most enjoyable season on the pond and the customary after session pint and chips at The Beehive will be missed. All that’s left to do now is crunch the numbers and see what sort of year it’s been statistically.

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Saturday 13th April
A trip to Wraysbury to prepare the rides for the forthcoming CES season and put up a few nets to see what was about. Not a great number of birds caught but I did manage to process my first summer migrants of the year, 2 chiffchaff.
Saturday 20th April
Second visit to Tadworth Meadows south field on LBF with Skylark in mind again. Carl pulled into my drive under clear chilly skies at the agreed met time of 0400 hrs. A quick unpack of kit from the boot and a short 5 minute walk saw us in the middle of the field ready to set up. We decided on 3 lines of 2 nets and set up. We were ready and waiting by 0500 hrs, We didn’t see any birds on the wing until about 0600 hrs, it seems as though the birds had decided on a lie-in! At 0700 hrs and after plenty of marching around the field we finally caught 3 birds, unfortunately as we approached the net to extract 1 of the birds flew off. The 2 remaining birds turned out to be our total for the session.
Skylark on the farm

Skylark on the farm

We packed up at 0900 and headed back to my house.
Sunday 21st April
Windsor. A rather cold start with the need to de-ice the car before leaving home. A large team of 8 assembled at 0545 hrs ready for the final preparations for the CES which starts in May, this included hammering in the Willow stakes that we had chopped down forming the rides at BCA in the Willow plantation a couple of weeks ago, the replacing of the old guy ropes and some final reed flattening. We set nets up in the reed beds as we went, nets were also deployed in the wood area too.
There was very little wind early on and the early chill was lifted as the sun started to rise, by 0900 hrs it was fairly warm and very pleasant.
There was plenty of bird activity in the reeds and we could hear plenty of singing migrant Warblers including Sedge, Reed and Cettis. The first bird processed was a Wren caught in the wood. The first bird of the season extracted from the reed nets, which I did, was a ringed Reed Warbler, turns out we were old acquaintances having met last summer when I had attached the ring! To think this little 11g bird had flown to Africa from Windsor at the end of last summer and was now back in the same reed beds this spring ready to mate and raise its own offspring, truly amazing! A further 7 birds were processed throughout the rest of the morning including another amazing bird, a 7-year-old Reed Warbler first ringed in 2007 and subsequently re-captured every year since bar one, a fair few miles on the clock!
We set down around 1300 hrs having had a very productive morning. We left site and retired to the pub for a well-earned pint.
In bed at 6am!

In bed at 6am!

Prepped reed beds

Prepped reed beds

Taking down the mist nets

Taking down the mist nets

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