Thursday, 23 December 2010

A Little Something for Xmas

People would be wrong to think we only catch thrushes at Stanford in December. Admittedly, 48 of the 50 new birds ringed today were thrushes... but amongst the other (two) birds was the 51st species to be ringed at the Reservoir this year, a Little Owl...

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Snow ringing today!

As the snow is now falling it is time to update the blog with the results from the last couple of ringing sessions.
Mick visited the res on Monday and managed a very credible 33 Redwing, 19 Fieldfare, 2 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush and 1 Reed Bunting.
A crisp and frosty Tuesday morning accompanied by a beautiful lunar eclipse saw Mick and Adam push the Redwing total over the 600 milestone with a further 58 ringed. A dozen more Fieldfare, 3 Blackbird and 2 Reed Bunting completed the days ringing.
With October Redwing weights being mid 50's to low 60's, it was encouraging to see that they were predominately mid 60's to mid 70's with only the odd one in the high 50's to low 60's range.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Ding Dong! - Redwings Merrily On High!

 Friday 17th December

After Masai Mick's midweek effort in raising the Group's annual total of Redwing above the 400 mark, the question we were all asking was "Can we take the total to 500 before the New Year?"

The question was rapidly confined to the waste bin after Friday's session:

AGH, having worked extensive shifts all week and being completely oblivious to his family's needs of assistance with the festive preparations, decided to team up with MJT for another early morning sortie to Stanford in the search for even more thrushes.  Three hours later, having duly ringed one Song Thrush, four Blackbirds, thirteen Fieldfare and one hundred (yes - 100 !!) Redwing it was apparent that the Redwing target had been set too low.

With the Group's ring stocks now dwindling faster than the Council's grit supplies an urgent call to BTO sales was clearly needed in order to remedy the situation and I was promised that the BTO Elves would package and post my order without delay.

 Saturday 18th December

With not a trainee in sight, the three of us met at the usual hour of 0600hrs and those of a superstitious mind will realise what was to come - a poor catch of a couple of Fieldfare, 3 Blackbirds and 15 Redwing quickly brought us back down to earth.  However, as it was pointed out, not so very long ago we would have been pleased with 15 Redwing as an annual total. Cue to retire to The White Hart for refreshments in front of the log fire!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Masai Mick's Record Jump

With dreadful weather forecast for today, the troops were duly informed that today's ringing was cancelled.

Masai Mick

Our Dear Leader, MJT (aka "Masai Mick" for reasons yet to be divulged) awoke early, ostensibly to watch the cricket.  However, he decided that a couple of hours ringing was actually possible before the weather broke and duly slipped over to Stanford.  He ringed 21 new Redwings and was back home before the rest of us had stirred from our slumbers.

His sterling effort increased the number of Redwing ringed this year at the site to 402, making it the second most ringed species there this year - behind the 483 Blue Tits 


Saturday, 11 December 2010

Thrushed with Success

The 114 Redwings ringed at Stanford this week took our current annual total for Redwing to 355 new birds - more than double the combined annual totals for the last 30 years.


An additional 23 Fieldfare, 12 Blackbirds and 3 Song Thrushes contributed to the 167 new birds ringed this week. Two Goldfinches, a Reed Bunting, a Goldcrest and a female Blackcap were also welcome additions for the week.

However, a party of 15 Waxwings on Friday 10th successfully evaded the nets.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

More Thrushes

A female Merlin bouncing the net would have been a new ringed species for the site but we still managed to have a good morning with:

Redwing 31 (plus 2 retraps)
Fieldfare 7
Blackbird 4
Song Thrush 1
Chaffinch 1
Robin 1 retrap

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Turdus curvirostra

A frosty morning at Stanford today targeting thrushes resulted in 46 new birds ringed:

Redwing 26 (plus 2 retraps)
Fieldfare 13
Blackbird 6 (plus 4 retraps)
and a Robin.

One of the retrap Blackbirds was this individual that, with its deformed bill, we never thought we would see again. It was originally ringed on 4th September whilst it was in post juvenile moult.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Thrushed off our feet

A busy week targeting thrushes resulted in a catch of 110 new birds, including 75 Redwing and 10 Fieldfare.

Unusually for us, the retrap numbers also included 3 Redwing, previously ringed by ourselves during the past few weeks.

Also reported: Red-breasted Merganser (a red head) , 12 Goosander and a drake Red-crested Pochard.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Potato, Leek, Bacon and Stilton Soup - Highly Recommended

Head Chef Lisa's Potato, Leek, Bacon and Stilton Soup sustained us on another foggy, damp morning which resulted in only 19 new and 27 retraps but edged this week's totals at Stanford to an impressive 77 new birds ringed and 121 retraps processed.

With 12 new Goldfinches, 32 Redwing and 16 new Tree Sparrows for the week bringing our annual totals for these species to record numbers of 111, 128 and 314 respectively.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Common Redpoll - 50th Species This Year

A Common Redpoll ringed at Stanford today was our first since two were ringed in 1995 and was our 50th species to be ringed this year at the site.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

New Annual Record

A foggy morning resulted in 91 birds.
21 new Redwing brought this year's total to 117 - a new annual record which previously stood at 106

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Another New Species For The Year

51 New birds and 21 Retraps in this morning's session included our first Cetti's Warbler for the year which was only the 6th ringed at Stanford.
Other birds today included 16 Tree Sparrows, 7 Redwing and 7 Lesser Redpolls.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

First Green Woodpecker For The Year

Green Woodpecker ringed today

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Great Grey Shrike

Whilst ringing today at Stanford Reservoir we were fortunate to see a Great Grey Shrike in the hedge alongside the rail track. Mobbed by a 100 or so small  passerines, the bird was visible for only about 30 seconds. That is, myself and MJT saw it for this duration. JGC caught a fleeting glimpse of the Shrike (and impressively identified it) within one second, and then spent 29 seconds looking for his camera...

Friday, 8 October 2010

Yellow-browed warbler

Trapped and ringed today at Stanford Reservoir!