Saturday, 30 August 2014

Saturday 30th August

At 05:00, Dave, Mick and I met at the rail track. It was blowing a hoolie, but we decided to see if any areas were sheltered enough to get a few nets up. We managed to put up 9 nets and although each round was rather poor in numbers, over the day we did scrape together 31 new and 34 retraps including a retrap Kingfisher, 14 new Blackcaps and 5 Reed Warblers. It seems that the Whitethroats are mostly gone now as we caught only 3 all day.

We spent the morning getting to know Peter who joined us at 07:00 and is a prospective new trainee. Simon joined us a little later and so we ended up with almost a full team. To finish off the morning nicely as we were locking the gate, a Camberwell Beauty crossed the rail track.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Blackcaps in the Mist

Not being sure if I was going to go out or not I didn't set the alarm as the weather forecast was for early morning rain but in the end I woke up anyway so I decided to get up and go. What a great decision! Although it was raining when I left for the reservoir at 04:15, by the time I got there 20 minutes later it had turned into that fine miserly rain with a bit of mist. I erected the nets and switched the audio lures on and sat waiting to do the first round of the nets about 30 minutes after dawn. As the title suggests the first round was lots of Blackcaps a couple of Garden Warblers and Lesser Whitethroat mixed in with the usual fare. Whilst doing the round of nets I noticed a number of Swallows hanging around so i switched one of the Lures to Swallow and hey presto I caught 22 Swallow with two Sand Martins (a new species for the year). This second round also produced more Blackcaps and by the end of the morning I had caught a respectable 36 birds, 31 being new. By 10:00 it tailed off rapidly leaving me on 97 new birds and 33 retraps, not a bad morning considering I wasn't planing to go out -- Mick

Monday, 25 August 2014

Garden session

The weather forecast for today was heavy rain and 40mph winds. Well, at 07:00 this morning it was calm in Corby with no rain so I opened my 30' net and turned on a lure to try and catch some warblers. Firstly I set the lure for Whitethroat which worked well when I caught one within minutes. After a couple of non-warbler rounds I changed it to Blackcap and Chiffchaff but first I had to change the batteries which were in the garage. When I returned a couple of minutes later there were six birds in the net which included a Blackcap and my first Lesser Whitethroat ringed in the garden. I have heard Lesser Whitethroats singing in scrub behind my garage for a few years so I knew it would only be a matter of time before I caught one.
Lesser Whitethroat

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Saturday 23rd August

We had a good turn out this morning with me, Mel, Mick, Simon and Dave meeting on the railtrack at 05:00 and Adam joining us a little later on. It was quite cool to begin with and the first round was low in numbers. Over the course of the morning we achieved 53 new and 41 retraps, with highlights being one 3J House Martin, 11 Blackcap and 10 Whitethroat. No Tree Pipits caught today but we did have one more Garden Warbler which means that we are crawling towards the record, only 4 more to go! Other points of interest this morning - a flock of 11 Ravens went over during an early coffee break and by the feeders was a Clouded Yellow butterfly.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Just like the buses

Inspired by Peter Alkers exploits up north with passing Tree Pipits I thought I would give it a go down here in Northamptonshire, not that we get any down here on a regular basis any more but low and behold I had success. As I said just like the buses we caught one way back in 1976 then no more till this week when I have caught 2 on consecutive days. What a result !!! This week I have also caught 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, this brings us to 11 for the year the first time we have ever reached double figures and also a Kingfisher that brings us to 15 for the year which is a joint record, so all in all not a bad week despite the weather. On the warbler front we are edging ever closer to a couple of records. Lesser Whitethroat has reached 67 for the year, all we need is another 9 birds and Garden Warbler is currently sitting on 95, a tantalising 5 away. Overall we have not done too bad this year up to now with some 1400 warblers ringed to date so come on you ringers down South..... start catching a few of our birds!!!! Mick

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Saturday 16/08

With just me, Dave and Mick attending, we had a small team to do the CES this morning . It was much colder than we have been used to recently and unfortunately, while the area that we process the birds is very central to the whole of the CES, it is most definitely not a sun trap!

The first round produced good numbers but as usual this dropped off for subsequent rounds. Over the course of the morning we caught a very respectable total of 61 new and 49 retraps. Of those 100 birds, highlights were 12 Whitethroat, 2 Lesser Whitethroat and 3 juvenile Swallows. After refilling the feeding station, we sloped off to our headquarters  - The White Hart at South Kilworth - for refreshment.

Monday, 4 August 2014

July review

Well what a month July has been. We have had our best month ever for birds captured with some 1659 birds of which 1075 were new. This is only the third time we have achieved 1000+ birds ringed in a month, well done to all group members and visiting ringers. Its fair to say that this year we have had a very successful breeding season with lots of fledged young about, this is illustrated quite well by our Blackbird total this month. Usually we ring less than 10 during July but this year we have caught 33, a staggering increase with us doing nothing different than in previous years. The last time we achieved anything like that was way back in 1978 when 37 were ringed. The most ringed species this month have been Whitethroat with 174 ringed, Tree Sparrow with 156 and Blackcap with 118. Good numbers were also achieved for Reed Bunting 77, Garden Warbler 48 and Lesser Whitethroat with 26. The only species for concern at the moment is Sedge Warbler with much smaller numbers being caught than usual. This is possibly due to a smaller breeding stock due to reduced numbers returning in the spring. For a fuller look at what we have caught during the month please go onto our web page and click the statistics page and then the relevant month.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Never believe the weatherman!

This morning's forecast was for rain, rain and more rain. We decided to meet up anyway at the rail track at 04:30 to see if we could dodge the showers. There was a decent turn out - myself, Mick, Craig, Dave and Simon. We put up nets from Feeders to Berries and two 30 ft nets on the rail track. The first round did not bring in high numbers at all but over the course of the morning, we managed to catch 59 new and 30 retraps. Highlights of the day were 4 Lesser Whitethroat and 15 Tree Sparrow. We checked the Linnet nest for pulli but found the adult still incubating eggs so moved on to the stables and Park Farm to check Swallow nests resulting in 16 pulli ringed. It just goes to show that you shouldn't put too much faith in the weatherman!