Sunday 27 March 2011

Hamble Point - 27 Mar 2011

A pleasant day on the south coast at Hamble Point with Pete Potts et al endeavouring to get a catch of waders, with Knot, Redshank, Turnstone, Oystercatcher, Dunlin and a few Grey Plover in the area. At one stage we had an odd twenty or so Turnstone in front of the net but with birds in the safety area, we lost them and ended up later with a small group of mainly Oyestercatchers in front of the net when the catch was taken, resulting in eight new birds, two Redshank and six Oystercatchers, along with a potential Oystercatcher control.

 Redhank - adult going through colour ringing

Oystercatcher - 5

  Oystercatcher - adult control after colour ringing

Oystercatcher - adult  through colour ringing

Saturday 26 March 2011

Stanwell Moor - 26 Mar 2011

A visit primarily to clear willow from the reed/carr area with the hope of trying to induce a little more reed growth and reduce shoot overs, plus increase the Swallow/Sand Martin roosts. Nets were put up more for the heck of it rather than any real serious expectations. Sighting included two Little Ringed Plovers, a Sand Martin and two Swallows.
Ringed: Chiffchaff and a single Long-tailed Tit, plus a retrap Lotti.

Good job our expectations were not high!

Friday 25 March 2011

Garden - 21 to 25 Mar 2011

We continued with the pre-work sessions but as the temperature drifted into the 60s the Siskin flock disappeared towards the end of the week, no early morning chattering come from the nearby NR - may be we have done the last this spring ? winter end? Depends on whether you are coming or going?

21 - Single Siskin and Goldfinch
22 - Siskin (7), Lesser Redpoll (2), single Blue and Great Tit
23 - Siskin (3) and a re-trap
24 - Single Lesser Redpoll
25 - Single Blackbird, Lesser Redpoll and Blue Tit, plus a Blue Tit re-trap from 2008

Monday 21 March 2011

Garden - 20 Mar 2011

Another quiter session in the garden produced:

Siskin - 9
Lesser Redpoll - 1
Goldfinch - 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker -1

 Great Spotted Woodpecker - 6 female

Garden set up

Pitsea tip - 19 Mar

I spent the day with the North Thames Gull group at Pitsea. We managed one catch which we did not take early and due to the day getting warmer this turned out to be the only catch of the day, followed by the AGM at Rye Meads.
The catch consisted of the following:

Black-headed Gull       287    2 re-traps and 1 control

Common Gull       8   
Lesser Black-backed Gull       26   

Yellow-legged Gull       1   

Herring Gull       41   

Common Gull - 5

Black-headed Gull - 5

Garden - 19 Mar 2011

Whilst I was away enjoying myself at Pitsea tip, Denise was taking a more pleasant and leisurely time in the garden catching Siskin with a much prized Norwegian control - a 6 male 7H55534 from Stavanger. He days total came to:

Siskin - 44, plus 2 re-traps and the Norwegian control
Lesser Redpoll - 2
Goldfinch - 1
Starling -1
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1

Siskin - Norwegian control 
(above and two below)

Redpoll - 5 male

Friday 18 March 2011

Garden - 14 to 18 Mar 2011

Early mornings continue to allow some pre-work catches, which had a odd mix of a couple of good Siskin days and a couple where early on in the day at least they were absent, though these two days produced a couple of oddities, on one are-trap of one of the first Blue Tits we ever did, T884385 on 15th which was first rung on 25/3/2006 and on the 16th a possible control Blue Tit, V954771, though we do have a group member that lives a few miles away that resided in Holland for a period that might be using up some old rings as the bird was a 5.

Totals were:
14/3 - Siskin (19) and one re-trap from this year
15/3 - Siskin (1) and two Blue Tit re-traps
16/3 - One Blue Tit re-trap and the potential Blue Tit control.
17/3 - Siskin (2)
18/3 - Siskin (15), Goldcrest (1), Dunnock (1) and one re-trap Siskin from 2009.

V954771, 5 Blue Tit - control

 Goldcrest - 5 male

Sunday 13 March 2011

Garden - 13 Mar 2011

Well today turned into a bit of a Siskin day before and after the heavy rain. Denise had a Redpoll tape going as well, which seemed to help bring them in, plus a few Redpolls, but we have noticed on rainy days birds come into the garden to fed more frequently. The catch for the day was:

Lesser Redpoll - 4
Siskin - 26
and a re-trap Robin

Strangely and thankfully not a single Tit!

Female (above) and male (below) Lesser Redpoll - both 5s

Siskin male - 5 male with abnormal black facial mask

Saturday 12 March 2011

Weston Shore - 12 Mar 2011

A trip down to the Solent saw us with the Farlington RG team at Weston Shore at the reasonable hour of 7.45 to set up to two nets for hopeful, Brent Goose catch. After setting the cannons, all we had to do was too find the Brents that were nowhere to be seen as the tide was quickly rising. Fortunately 40 odd were by the sailing club and after encouraging them to move a little closer, a small group decided that the area in front of the nets was a suitable area to fed thankfully as time was running out quickly. A catch was taken with both nets resulting a decent catch which could have been easily a lot worse. The catch was 20 Brent Geese (12 new), 5 Oystercatchers (4 new) and two new Black-headed Gulls. The Oystercatchers were all colour ringed as part of an on-going project in the Solent and all the Brents were also colour ringed as part of a Dutch study (see

Processing the Oystercatchers (all 6s) and colour-ringing.

Brent Goose processing and colour ringing. Because they carry two colour 
rings on each leg they are not fitted with a BTO ring.


The release as a group

Putting the equipment away

Friday 11 March 2011

Garden - 6 to 11 Mar 2011

A few brief sessions in the garden, one briefly after the Sunbury Waxwing session on the 6th, and the rest due to the earlier sunrises before going to work on 7/8th & 10/11th, with the sessions on 7/8 th being joined by Gavin to get his first Siskin ringing experience and thankfully had a few to get a reasonable idea of the differences between 5 & 6s.

Totals were:
6th - Dunnock (2), Blue Tit and Goldfinch
7th - Robin, Blue Tit and Siskin (8)
8th - Blue Tit, Great Tit and Siskin (8)
11th - Blue Tit (2) and Siskin (7)
12th - Blackbird and Siskin (3)

Goldfinch - 6 male

On the 10th we re-caught L605734 a 6 Blue Tit with a deformed bill that had originally been rung on 28/10/10 as a 4. The bill on the upper mandible was now 20mm (1mm) longer, the lower mandible was also longer. The bird was extremely waxy to the feel, probably to to preening difficulties and was only 9.9g, sadly possibly the bill defect was beginning to effect the birds condition and possibly life expectancy.

Sunday 6 March 2011

Sunbury Cross - 6 Mar 2011

The group did a third visit to Sunbury Cross with a view to hopefully catching further Waxwings. We mustered at 6.30am and got the nets up quickly as the birds started coming in and managed just one catch at 7.15, with a total of 11 birds, later followed by a single Blackbird. This allowed everyone present to gain further experiance of birds in the hand and we had at least 4 adults to compare with the remaining 7 5s.

The team processing the catch

 5 female (above & below)

Comparison of adult and 5 - yellow on primaries 
and depth of yellow on the tail tip

adult (6) female (above & below)

difference between adult (left) and 5 (right) yellow
in the primaries

adult (6) female (above & below)

Garden - 5 Mar 2011

With the Siskin numbers building up as they often seem to in the garden during March we tend to try and make an effort to capitalise on the increased numbers as they can be reliable for controls and equally it is good to try and re-trap some old friends. Today's catch brought in new Siskin (10), Dunnock (1), Blue Tit (6) and Great Tit (1), plus 2 re-trap Siskin and one Blue Tit. One of the retrap Siskin was V791680, fist rung on 28/02/2008 when it was aged as a 6F then. Older females appear bright/greener than certainly 5s.

V791680, 6F

Saturday 5 March 2011

Garden - 2 Mar 2011

This morning a nice new addition to the garden list, albeit only as fly overs, 4 Waxwings flew over as I got into the car to go to work, first picked by their trilling call. Nice start to the day!