Sunday, 28 November 2010

Stanwell Moor ringing site - 28 Nov 2010

Our second outing for the weekend was to Stanwell Moor, still with Redpolls at the back of our mind and a possible cannon net wader catch on the South coats, we met up with Lesly from the ringing group. Again, unfortunately the day was rather slow and we only managed 18 new birds with 7 re-traps, one of these being one of our autumn Cetti's again, with a second one calling from the opposite side of the lake. Visual sightings included one Little Egret and a minimum of 3 Water Pipits, which unfortunately landed on the mound behind the net, instead in front of it, so despite still being in the area we draw a blank on any as far as ringing was concerned.

Ringed totals were:

Meadow Pipit - 6 (though 150 odd present on the mound next to the M25)
Wren - 2
Song Thrush - 2
Blackbird - 1
Chiff-chaff - 1
Blue Tit - 4
Reed Bunting - 2 (both cr)

Song Thrush

Cetti's Warbler


Home Cottage Farm, Iver Heath - 27 Nov 2010

With the weather have turned cold and frosty we thought we would give the orchard a go for winter Thrushes with Gavin and Sam from the ringing group, though we were all in two minds, as we were not sure whether any had actually started coming into the orchards, and with the low wind we wondered whether a bash at Chobham Common for the many Redpolls in the area would have be a better option. As it turned out, yes it would have been, as the catch at Chobham was a 100+ Redpolls. We had a few Fieldfares knocking around, but no Redwings, and none of the 20 Fieldfares about were coming into the orchard where the large amount of windfalls were, possibly as they were still rather hard and not yet softening up. We managed only 24 new birds, with 3 re-traps.

Green Woodpecker - 1
Robin -1
Blackbird - 4
Song Thrush - 1
Long-tailed Tit - 2
Great Tit - 5
Blue Tit - 8
Chaffinch - 2


Green Woodpecker

Song Thrush

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Home Cottage Farm, Iver Heath - 21 Nov 2010

Due to the slightly breezy conditions we decided to give Home Cottage Farm a try. The farm is a mixed fruit farm, mainly pick your own and can get a good gathering of winter Thrushes. Unfortunately the weather was too mild and despite some fields having had large crops of fruit, with many apples still on the trees and even more on the ground, only one Fieldfare was seen. Despite this we caught 86 birds with 11 re-traps, one being a Blue Tit rung in the garden by Denise the day before. New birds were Blue Tit (68), Great Tit (4), Long-tailed Tit (1), Goldcrest (1) and Blackbird (1). Catching was slow apart from the 74 Tits in the net at once, mostly Blue, an exercise hopefully not to repeated too often again. Whilst extracting large catches of Warblers is a delight, taking out some many Blue Tits that grab every bit of the net they can and want to take every opportunity to peck you was an experience. Thankfully we had the assistance of Helen from the ringing group.

juv Goldcrest

Later we met up with Vic and Emma, plus Gavin at Stanwell Moor to give the Starling roost a try, which we were not sure was a good idea after the 74 Tits earlier, but always one for punishment we gave it a try, but unfortunate the roost is quite mobile, either due to weather conditions or the harassment from the local Sparrowhawk, and tonight only about 20 came in instead of the usual 400 odd, resulting in a nil catch..

Garden - 20 Nov 2010

Whilst I was enjoy the day on an Essex tip Denise stayed at home and whilst doing a few odds and ends, did some garden ringing, with 27 birds of which 2 were re-traps, one a Robin last caught in 2008 and not in 2009.

New birds were the usual Blue Tits (21), plus Goldfinch (2), Robin (1) and Starling (1).

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Pitsea tip - 20 Nov 2010

Today it was up and off to Pitsea tip for a ringing session with the North Thames Gull group.
Plenty of Gulls around, with a Caspian and two adult Meds seen. There very few colour ringed birds about.

Two catches were made, neither especially large, the second producing an adult Med Gull, alas not mine to ring. The catches consisted of:

Catch 1

    Ringed Retraps Controls Colour ringed
Black-headed Gull     117 3 0 0
Common Gull     1 0 0 0
Herring Gull     34 0 0 34
Great Black-backed Gull     2 0 0 2
Catch totals     154 3 0 3

Catch 2
Species     Ringed Retraps Controls Colour ringed
Mediterranean Gull     1 0 0 1
Black-headed Gull     68 0 0 0
Common Gull     1 0 0 0
Lesser Black-backed Gull     3 0 0 3
Herring Gull     8 0 1 8
Catch totals     81 0 1 12

Setting up

adult Black-headed Gull

colour ringing a juv Herring Gull

adult Common gull

adult Mediterranean Gull

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Stanwell Moor - 13 Nov 2010

We left just after 11am for a session at Stanwell Moor, but on route the rain started to come down. A planned quick diversion to King George VI Reservoir at Staines managed to produce the Great Northern Diver, and the Common and Velvet Scoters.

We went to the ringing site and watched the rain. We had a look at the potter trap to see if anything had cleared the mackerel up and as we went into the ride found a Swan sitting in the middle, which made no attempt to move. It had a head injury and when it did make an attempt to move it only hobbled on one side. Probably injuries due to a territorial scuffle with the pair on the lake. A fortunate visit as we were able to get it collected by Swan Rescue and saved it any overnight harassment from the local foxes. While at the site a Little Egret flew over.

Rain continued and any thoughts of ringing were forgotten and a return to home was made.

** sadly the Swan died overnight with injuries to the leg caused either by a fox or dog

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Stanwell Moor ringing site - 7 Nov 2010

A visit today turned into one of those upside down days. Setting up took an eternity, with 3 out of 5 60 ft nets with cords through the loops, one other had a previously repaired bottom line break at setting up, one double panel also had loop/cord problems and the cord on the potter trap snapped!

Then the birds did not turn up in any quantity - only 15 for an 8 hour stay. We found the Starling roost was about 400 odd birds and I rather stupidly started to think how could we optimise a catch on another day with some backup.

We did manage 4 Starling at the roost, with the other birds being a Great Tit, 2 Reed Buntings, 7 more Meadow Pipits, taking us over 200 this autumn, plus a control MEPIT! L631581 - obviously this years from somewhere. But the star bird, one of the reasons for getting access to the site as they sometimes are present from the near by Staines Moor was this bird:

Water Pipit

A good catch considering the slow day and at times rather windy conditions that made the nets rather noticeable.

Garden - 6 Nov 2010

I was at the OSME council meeting at Tring and Denise was going to occupy herself with some garden ringing, but before I left, the first bird in the net turned out to be:

Ring-necked Parakeet

Unfortunately, unlike a few others that had previously managed to extract themselves, this one seemed to have got it self settled permanently into the net pocket. Neither of us are proud, garden gloves were obtained as neither of us wanted to lose parts of our fingers during handling. Once processed I left Denise to mixed day varying between some garden ringing and decorating. 36 birds were processed, 15 Blue Tits, single Coal and Great Tit, 10 Goldfinch, 4 Starlings, the Parakeet, plus 4 re-traps.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Stanwell Moor ringing site - 30 October 2010

A visit today in quite good conditions, despite a slightly lazy start just after 8am, took us through until almost dusk.

A total of 52 were caught with six re-traps (including a Cetti's Warbler), a Reed Bunting (X763004) from the ringing groups nearby site at Wraysbury GP, a controlled Chiff-chaff (BXT506) and 45 new birds: Blackbird (1); Blue Tit (4); Dunnock (1); Goldcrest (4); Linnet (1); Meadow Pipit (23); Robin (2); and Reed Bunting (9). A Water Pipit was also seen.

Chiff-chaff (above and below)


Reed Bunting