Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

To all our readers and followers we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Autumn update

Peter N writes: No doubt Mick will give us an end of year summary soon, but it has been noted that the blog has been looking a little sparse, so here is an update. It has been a fabulous year at Stanford with some fabulous birds. In September we ringed our first ever Wryneck (see earlier posts), and last month we ringed the first ever Common Snipe (ringed by Kate, our new trainee). So that is two absolute stonkers.

Common Snipe by P Norrie
Adam had been running a sweepstake for the next new species to be ringed, and Snipe was on the list, so that ended it, congratulations to Lesley. This raised £135 for the group, well done Mr H for organising it.
I won’t steal Mick’s thunder by doing a preview of the years statistics, except to mention our Redwing totals. Redwings are migratory thrushes, about the same size as a Song thrush, but with a nice red under-wing and flank, plus a pale eye stripe. They come to us to over-winter from Scandinavia and points north when the weather gets colder. We never chase totals (cough, cough) but this year we have been able to ring throughout December, because the weather has been dominated by high pressure. By contrast last year December was largely a washout as front after front came in from the Atlantic. We have been out three times a week before dawn with the Latvian love song playing on the Mp3 players and the nets set high! This has paid off and we have now ringed over 900+ To celebrate this, here is a commemorative picture of ‘Mr 900taken on a cold grey morning.

2016's 900th Redwing by P Norrie
Will we get to crack the 1000? We start scrub bashing in January in preparation for the return of the breeding birds and December is moving on; if the weather holds we might be able to get another five sessions in, so it is possible but far from certain… for all of this and much, much more, keep watching this blog!