Sunday 27 February 2011

Sunbury Cross - 27 Feb 2011

A group of us returned to Sunbury Cross but the Waxwing numbers had dropped during the week to about 50 and today we could only find 20 birds. Any successful catching was looking unlikely as the birds were not coming down in sufficient numbers, but we were at least successful with one being caught using a mobile net which we managed to move into an area where they came into fed and managed a catch of one as it came off the berries! With numbers low and any further catches thought to be unlike or very low we decided to finish early.

Forest of Dean - 25 Feb 2011

We had Friday free so we decided on a visit to the Forest of Dean. Unfortunately the forecast bright day earlier in the week had changed to a band of rain heading in from the SW and the day started sligthly dull and slightly misty. Fortunately the rain held off until just after midday. As we crossed the M48 road bridge a large female Peregrine rose above the bridge a few feet away. A visit to New Fancy View produce at least four Buzzards and a low flying female Goshawk giving very good views as it skimmed just over the tree tops. A couple of Crossbill also flew over. A visit to Speechy House produced two Hawfinch just as the drizzle started. On route back to Bristol as quick visit to a picnic site for Dipper was unsuccessful, which was shortly followed by heavy persistent rain for the rest of the day putting a stop it any real birdwtaching.

 New Fancy View

Garden - 24 Feb 2011

A brief session was held at home before heading off west to Bristol as Siskin numbers appeared to be increasing, just to get an true feel of how many are actually coming in. Though it was clear numbers had increased, not significantly so the catch was high, though the odd bird did drop onto the ground to fed, which if they do in any number the catch can be significant. We managed 8 Siskin, plus single Robin ,Blue and Great Tits.

6 male Siskin

Sunday 20 February 2011

Sunbury Cross - 20 Feb 2011

Having reccied the area earlier in the week and establishing that we could potentially manage a catch of some Waxwings at the site, I contacted the local authority and gained their agreement we could have a go today. This morning saw seven of us gathering and setting up at 6.45am at three locations around the roundabout, with other hopefuls ringing at Bedfont waiting for the call. The flock of about 150 odd birds duly arrived not long into the morning, but sadly they chose the opposite side of the roundabout from where we had set up most of the nets. We moved one of the nets to the other side and soon caught one - but as four of us there had not handled one before, there were people still hoping for more considering the numbers present. Not long afterwards we caught another seven, one already rung, which not only kept those present happy but allowed us to put a call into the Bedfont team and get them down to process a couple of birds as well. Sadly, for Waxwings that was it for the day, although we did manage 3 Blue Tits later.

juvenile- no yellow in the primaries

adult - yellow on the outer web of the primaries

control - right BTO above white, left blue above white above red

This bird had been seen at Brentford by one of our group earlier on in January - see history below.

NW49372  31/10/2010 Allenvale Cemetery, Aberdeen
NW49372  01/12/2010 Oswestry, Shropshire 480km SSW
NW49372  17/12/2010 Rimmington Gardens, Romsey, Hampshire (SU369225) 234km SSE
NW49372  18/12/2010 Rimmington Gardens, Romsey, Hampshire (SU369225) 0km
NW49372  12/01/2011 Brentford London 100km NE

Saturday 19 February 2011

Oxfordshire - 19 Feb 2011

Well what do you do on a wet Saturday in the week when your employer is in need to make 10% cost savings and you find you come into those cost savings, a) sulk and slowly get drunk or b) go to look at an Oriental Turtle Dove, visiting a town that you once used to work in as a young naive 18 yer old who found it all too boring - stupidity of youth - all those Oriental Turtle Doves I missed over those years! What a lovely part of the world and I ended up working in London - fool. No back garden bird feeder views to be had, but a decent enough view through the scope while it was sat in the trees at the back of the house behind the old mill. A visit to a very pleasant cafe in the town centre that was not there in 1977 and off for the hell of it to Rushy Common to see the American Wigeon, visiting some of the old villages around Chippy to see how things have changed over 20 years. Some seemed larger or my memory is just poor. Rushy Common duly provided the male American Wigeon and two red Smew, plus a Peregrine. Back at home a quick check of the Waxwings in Iver village where 25 odd were still present and seen to come down to feed on berry bushes outside the doctors surgery but it is not a catch able location - sadly.

Saturday 12 February 2011

Garden - 12 Feb 2011

Having returned from virtually bird less Stanwell, as we have been having the odd Siskin tuning up, and even a Lesser Redpoll, we put up the short net in the garden. A small number of birds were caught, 2 Siskin, 1 Greenfinch, and the usual 2 Blue Tits. The real success was the first Siskin caught was a control V032915, a 6 male.

V032915 Siskin 6 male

 V032915 tail above, tail of 5 male below

Greenfinch - 6male

Stanwell Moor ringing - 12 Feb 2011

We, in a moment of madness tried Stanwell Moor again, sensibly those of the Group that ring at Hilfield Res where their session was changed to Saturday decided to go their usual site, which was a sensible move as the 3 of us present managed 3 birds between us! So if there had been any more of us the re-trap Blue Tit at the end might have had more interest that it normally would have. We managed a Reed Bunting first thing to add to those already color-ringed, which was followed by a 5 female Sparrowhaw. Then nothing. A walk around the site also confirmed there was not much was present, the Meadow Pipit flock had not returned, though there were two Water Pipits present, but with more areas flooded the shallow pools where we usually have the nets up for Pipits it was going to be lucky to draw anything in. We closed before midday, finishing off with the re-trap Blue Tit.

5 - female Sparrowhawk