Sunday, 26 June 2016

What a difference a week makes

At Stanford Reservoir, Northants our CES 5 on 18th June produced just three juveniles out of a miserable total of 30 birds which was more than likely due to heavy losses after an almost entire week of torrential rain leading up to the weekend.
CES 6 yesterday was a completely different story with a total of 105 birds processed throughout the day. However, only 58 contributed towards CES.
Of those 58 CES birds, 41 were juveniles and 17 were adults. Highlights of the day were this years first juvenile Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler and Goldcrest.
Unfortunately we were rained off an hour early and with everything soaking wet and all packed up decided to visit the dam for a look around. A family of Grey Wagtails were feeding on the pond weed in the outflow so we decided to set up a 20' across the channel and see if we could catch some.
Two juveniles of both Pied and Grey Wagtails were caught although the adults proved far too net-wary. A Mute Swan caught by hand on the dam ended a rather damp but productive morning.


Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Renewing the Constant Effort at Stanford

A trainee writes: The ringing year is now well into its swing at Stanford. We have a portion of our ringing site which is used for the Constant Effort Sites (CES) Scheme. This is a national survey which is organised by the BTO (amongst others). In the CES, ringers operate the same nets in the same locations over the same time period at roughly 10 day intervals throughout the breeding season. The Scheme provides valuable information on the abundance of birds, their survival and breeding success. The CES is an important source of scientific information which influences conservation nationally. The fact that we then retire to the White Hart at the end of each session is because we have exhausted ourselves in the interest of science. It is a hard life being a ringer. Anyway, we have thus far completed four CES sessions and, as usual, for this part of the season it has been a little slow because the adults are too busy sitting on eggs or foraging for youngsters to wander into our nets too often. However, we keep ourselves busy. On Saturday 4th June we met up at 0430. Adam decamped with Stuart and Max to continue his ongoing pulli (nestling) ringing marathon. The boys duly ringed 50 Great Tits, six Blue Tits, five Tree Sparrows and five Wrens. The saga continues… This left Mick, Dawn, Dave, Peter N and Pete B to conduct the CES. It was one of the better early summer efforts, with all 10 of our resident warbler species making an appearance. Numbers for the session were 22 new birds and 33 re-traps, including a new pair of linnets. Of special note were three Grasshopper Warbler re-traps; this makes us think they are definitely here for the season, which is the first for quite a few years. Finally we ringed a family of three newly fledged Robins plus their dad! Definitely a sign of things to come. Below is a picture of a juvenile Robin, he looks a bit miffed but we look forward to seeing him again later in the year.
Peter N
Juvenile Robin by P Norrie