Monday 26 March 2012

Place Farm, Brewer Street, Bletchingley, Surrey - 25 March 2012

This morning we headed over to Bletchingley, Surrey to ring in some friends' garden. They get birds ranging from Willow Tit to Yellowhammer and have recently had up to 20 Redpoll visiting. Of course by the time we were able to arrange a visit the Redpolls were long gone, as was a Yellowhammer that left the moment the net was erected.

 Nuthatch - 5

Blue Tit - 6 with pollen around beak


We were intrigued to capture a Blue Tit bearing ring number T089632 and look forward to finding out when and where it was ringed.

The catch total was 102 (1 control),  as follows:

Robin - 2

Blue Tit - 66 (1)
Great Tit - 28
Nuthatch - 1
Goldfinch - 4
Chaffinch - 1

Stanwell Moor ringing site - 24 March 2012

The morning was spent maintaining the ringing rides and reducing the height of willow carr that is springing up in the filter beds. Some loftier trees were taken down to no more than a couple of feet and most of the vegetation adjacent to nets is now approximately six feet high. 

          The main ride, looking towards the lake.

A new ride into one of the filterbeds.

 A new gap through the trees along the filterbed bank.

Brush pile

Sunday 18 March 2012

Stanwell Moor ringing site - 18 March 2012

Denise having woken at six got up and managed a few late Siskin with five before breakfast.

A visit mainly to get the ride area cleared of some Willows in the hope of encouraging more Swallows into the site this summer was met when we arrived by a singing Cetti's Warbler and Chiff-chaff in the ringing area, but the Cetti,s failed to appear and we caught nothing in the carr area, but we were makign a bit of a noise as I played with my new Ryobi streamer/hedge trimmer/chain saw attachments. We set a small open box on the mound and managed a single Meadow Pipit and Linnet before the 2wind got up and made catching unlikely.

Meadow Pipit - 5

Linnet - 5 female

Total (2):

Meadow Pipit (1)
Linnet (1)

Weston Shore - 17 March 2012

A run down to Weston Shore to Farlington RG for a hoped Brent Goose catch was met with rain just south of Basingstoke that was still coming down at Weston. Unfortunately on top of the rain we failed to get a catch as part from an odd couple of Brents that did not stay long enough, the big flock did not turn up until the tide had go out too far. Plus the group of twenty off Turnstone that had been manoeuvred toward the net would not go in front of it due to the presence of half of dozen or more Crows and turned back with a couple walking over the net. There was some discussion about leaving the net set for high tide in the afternoon but due to the fact too many of us had pm commitments we had to call it day.

We got home to find our pm commitment had fallen through so I took a walk around Queen Mother Res to walk off the stress of ME accident traffic crawl, with an hour and a half not getting above 20. The Iceland Gull came into roots again, the Great Northern was still there and I managed to grab a brief view of my first Wheatear of the spring as it flew over the reservoir.

Queen Mother Res - 15 March 2012

A brief visit after work to get out and enjoy some of the nice weather after being stuck in the office all day proved a fairly worthwhile visit with a second winter Iceland Gull in the roost sitting in the middle of the reservoir looking at a distance almost pure white. The Great Northern Diver was still present, only 20 feet from the reservoir wall, but no camera. A nice male Black Redstart was on the fence making feeding sorties onto the reservoir inside concrete bank, with a small flock of Fieldfare and Redwings feeding on the grassy bank.

Sunday 11 March 2012

Black Park - 11 March 2012

It was decided to give Black Park a visit, just to see whether the Redpoll were still amenable. As it turned out, most were not. We only managed 4 new and a re-trapped bird that had been processed in our garden on Feb 11. 

 Lesser Redpoll - 5 female

While there we were treated to views of Buzzard (2), Red Kite, Woodcock (3) and Crossbill (5+).

On returning home we didn’t catch any birds but saw Buzzard (3) and Red Kite overhead. I’ve always liked Lottis and having a pair take up residence in a desirable Ceanothus with conveniently sited snack bar have endeared them to me even more as they pluckily drive off any birds that settle too close to their nest. 

Long-tailed Tit nest material collecting

Two Buzzards of three circling above the house

Total catch 4 (1 re-trap):

Lesser Redpoll - 4 (1)

Pitsea tip - 10 March 2012

Saturday saw three of us heading over to Pitsea for another run out with the North Thames Gull Group. As we were setting up it was noticeable that the majority of the birds feeding on the tip were Black-headed Gulls. Once our load of fresh rubbish had been delivered and spread the gulls came in quickly, at first mostly Black-headed Gulls, but after a wait due to the gull numbers and a minor technical problem a catch was achieved by which time some of the bigger gulls had come in, with a good catch of 419 bird, with single controls of Black-headed and Herring Gulls.

Black-headed Gull age 7

Also on the tip were four Mediterranean Gulls, a single Yellow-legged and Caspian Gulls.

The catch total was (413 new, 4 re-traps and 2 controls):

Black-headed Gull - 295 (3)
Common Gull - 2
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 8
Herring Gull - 413 (6)