Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Back to the New Normal

The BTO recently sent round guidance for ringing, and so we have started again, in a modest fashion, whilst maintaining social distancing. It has been a very strange period, and we are delighted to get back out in the fresh air, and what is now the summer sunshine.
Our birds at the res seem to have managed very well without us, and we are now getting good numbers of juvenile Sylvia and Phylloscopus warblers, as well as the usual resident species.
Dave, Kate, Theo and I were out at the beginning of June, having a pleasant, but possibly unexciting session. We were amazed to find not one but two Swifts in our nets, one at Box 8, one at Safari.

Photos courtesy of Theo.
These are the first Swifts since 2001, and quite possibly the only ones caught in a static mist net at Stanford. Ringing ticks for Peter and Kate. Fantastic birds! 

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Ringing is Postponed

Those of you who follow the blog may recall, we scrub bash for the first three months of the year and start ringing in April. However, while the country, and indeed the world, is dealing with the Coronovirus pandemic, we are following government and BTO directives and postponing the start of the ringing season. At the moment we don't know quite when ringing will start this year, but we shall return, and look forward to ringing again in good fellowship. Everyone keep safe.

On a more cheery note, here is a Stonechat ringed near the dam in February 2020- the first exciting bird of 2020 (but not last), and only the second for Stanford!
Peter N

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Don't tell them your name Pike.

Two reprobates from the group at the BTO Trainers Conference,  Thetford, February 2020 

Friday, 21 February 2020

End of Year Round Up for 2019

Whilst Britain is lashed by various storms, it is time to write up a brief summary of our totals for the year, courtesy of the group’s secretary Adam, who has sent round totals on a spreadsheet.
Numerically, we have broken our own 40 year record for new birds and hence grand total (8,376 and 10,343 respectively). Controls have been very much in line with previous years (23) and have generally confirmed that our warblers fly down the west coast of France and through the Iberian peninsula en route to West Africa. The balance has been made up with 1944 retraps.
A number of species have done exceptionally well. We have had the best year ever for a number of species, including Blackcaps (2360), Blue tits (636) Sedge warblers (453), Reed warblers (439), Willow warblers (392), Garden warblers (119), Long tailed tits (97) Song thrushes (54) and Redstarts (16). Adam has applied himself diligently to the nest boxes and is largely responsible for recording breaking numbers of Stock doves (62) and Tawny owls (8).
All in all, a difficult year to follow. In summary, we have rung 61 species, the second best ever total, despite no birds of prey, and very strangely no House martins.

At present we are busy scrub bashing, and will be until the end of March, when our migrants start to return. It will be nice if and when the rain stops falling- perhaps by June?
As can be seen, we have a good line in mud, also rain and wind, but despite this we have good fun, all are welcome to join us!
Peter N