Sunday, 29 June 2014

More visitors

After last Saturdays visitors we had more this week in the form of a recently moved ringer of ours returning from deepest Lincolnshire to do a bit of ringing with us and two guys from the South Leicestershire Owl Group, Paul and Jon. It was nice to see Ed again and catch up with what he has been getting up to. The weather forecast was not great for Saturday morning but we decided to give it a go anyway and hoped we would miss the predicted showers. As I drove to the reservoir I was hoping I had made the right decision as it was heavily overcast with some thick patches of mist, anyway we all assembled at 04:30 to erect the nets. With some 22 nets up we were hoping for another good morning ringing the same area as last Saturday. We were not to be disappointed, with a great mornings ringing again we managed to process 194 birds of 27 species. Today we managed to catch the first Grasshopper Warbler of the year, an adult in breeding condition. What a day with 9 species of warbler caught together, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a Woodpigeon and another juvenile Kingfisher. Although it was a bit hectic at times everybody had a good mornings ringing with Paul and Jon seeing many species in the hand for the first time and also their first experience of Mist netting, we hope they enjoyed themselves!! The most numerous species caught today were Garden Warbler 21, Blackcap 20, Whitethroat 18 and Chiffchaff 17. We also caught an impressive 6 Lesser Whitethroat making a total of 13 over the last 3 visits. At 11:00 it started to drizzle so the nets were taken down and kit packed away. We then went to the stables to ring 2 broods of Swallows and then off to our headquarters at the White Hart in South Kilworth to discuss the day and have a well earned drink. - Mick

Friday, 27 June 2014

Exploding June

After Saturdays great effort I was looking forward to this weeks CES session. So on Monday I met Dawn bright and early to do the CES. What a day we had with 96 new birds ringed and a further 36 retraps made for a great days ringing. Although we caught nothing of note their were lots of juvenile birds about with the most ringed being 16 Blackcap followed by 12 Tree Sparrow and 11 Chiffchaff. On Thursday I decided to ring in the area just past the dam up to the orchard. I arrived at 04:30 to erect the nets and started catching straight away. This heralded the best days ringing we have ever had in this particular area with again 96 birds ringed and 36 retraps of which most were juveniles. Again the most ringed species was Blackcap with 15 followed by Chaffinch on 11 and Willow Warbler on 10. I also had a first for me, not a first ringed as we have done a number over the years but a first in a Mist Net!!!!! CARRION CROW what a turn up! Anyway with 322 birds ringed and 116 birds retrapped I think you will agree June has certainly exploded with juvenile birds. Mick.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Visiting Ringers

Saturday dawned to a bright and calm morning and with a 04:30 start things looked good and all we needed were the birds to play the game, and play they did with some 184 birds processed. With Adam having a late start due to working a night shift we were glad to see a group of visiting ringers. Jesse is working up here till mid September and is a C ringer with the Rye Bay Ringing group so we hope she will become a regular during here time up here, while Jed Andrews brought over 2 Spanish ringers, Juan and Jose to have their permits upgraded to 'A'. Anyway we ended up with a much bigger team than usual, with people scattering along the side of the Reservoir the nets were soon in place. A quick cup of coffee and we were off extracting the first wave of birds about 65 in all. What a start but with the number of people ringing we soon had the birds cleared and off we went for round two which was a little disappointing but not to worry it was still early morning with plenty of time to catch. After ringing at Rye Bay for the last 4 years Jesse got a ringing tick much to our surprise in the shape of a Tree Sparrow, later on she got to ring some pulli as well, well done Jesse! Meanwhile the two Spaniards were making a great impression with everybody with their knowledge and good humour, I wish they could stay and join the group !!!! Anyway I digress, Adam turned up about 10:00 with bag in hand, in it was a new bird for Juan a Stock Dove not bad at all. Adam had also been to do the brood of Kestrels on the far bank , a large and feisty brood of 3. In the meantime the Spaniards were treated to 3 Lesser Whitethroat, a species that is not encountered back home as they migrate through Italy. A juvenile Coal Tit was a decent bird for us as we only ring very small numbers here, then just at the end of the day we hit a Long Tailed Tit flock catching 20 birds, they seem to have had a good year this year I counted 56 going through the garden the other day. Blackcap is another species on the up with 20 birds caught mainly juvenile, long may it last with CES visit 6 this coming week. Mick

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Yesterday, after seeing the weather forecast, we decided that we would not be ringing today and therefore would meet at the later time of 09:00 and check some of the larger nest boxes which should now have Stock Doves starting to take up residence. On arrival at the rail track gate the skies were clear and no wind! We'd fallen for it again! We had promised ourselves that we would ignore forecasts as they invariably turn out incorrect. With new guy posts, a sledgehammer and a roll of guy cord in hand we walked around to the orchard to ensure the rides were equipped for tomorrows CES session. Well, the weatherman can be happy with his forecast, albeit a little later than predicted, as the heavens opened and we got drenched within 30 mins. After a soggy walk back to the cars and a cuppa we had eventually dried off but it still continued to rain and when 12pm came we gave up any chance of checking the nest boxes.
The skies did manage to clear up by 2pm as Ian Bartlett ventured out and very kindly sent in these images.
Cuckoo - I Bartlett

Spotted Flycatcher - I Bartlett

Mute Swan and cygnets - I Bartlett

Common Terns - I Bartlett