Thursday 27 October 2022

Sculthorpe Moor Halloween Discovery Day - 26th October 2022

 This was our second ringing demonstration at the Hawk and Owl trust. We were blessed with excellent weather for late October, and with the assistance of JLS we captured and processed 75 birds. There were plenty of visitors, mainly families with children, who were there for the Halloween Discovery Day. They came for the half-term activities such as pond-dipping and bird-spotting and for Halloween, toasted marshmallows on the fire, made witches' potions and carved pumpkins. Seeing birds up close was a special surprise and many children, and their adults, even got to release birds after processing.

 Our star bird was a Jay, that became part of a University of East Anglia study, receiving darvic I4 in addition to the usual metal ring. This provided an opportunity to tell our audience of the benefit of projects using colour rings identifiable in the field allowing collection of information (e.g., movements, longevity) without the need to recapture the bird.

Jay I4

One of 5 Bullfinches processed

In addition to hoping to develop the interest of youngsters, this was a fantastic opportunity for us to talk to people about the data that we collect and how and why we do it. There were also questions about the commitment needed in order to become a ringer, how to go about training to ring and also the current situation regarding Avian Influenza.

So, all in all we were quite busy on this most enjoyable day. Many thanks to JLS for his support and to the trust for inviting us to participate on the day, and to the staff and volunteers for dropping by and also helping us prepare for the demonstration.

 Total: 62 (13)

Jay - 1
Robin - 1
Dunnock - 8 (1)
Long-tailed Tit - 1 (1)
Coal Tit - 0 (1)
Marsh Tit - 1 (2)
Blue Tit - 35 (7)
Great Tit - 7 (1)
Nuthatch - 1
Bullfinch - 5
Greenfinch - 2

We were too busy to join the other activities, but in true Blue Peter fashion, as I have tried carving pumpkins before and my design is quite appropriate for the Hawk and Owl trust, here's one I made earlier!

Tuesday 18 October 2022

Sculthorpe Moor - 18th October 2022

 There was a frost on some of the more open parts of the site this morning, and as if to confirm that autumn is now well on its way, there were reds and golds amongst the catch too. Two Goldcrests were retrapped after being  ringed here in September and five Redwing and a Lesser Redpoll were also captured.

Adult Redwing

Lesser Redpoll

As usual the most numerous bird was Blue Tit with Wren numbers not far behind.

There was a single new Marsh Tit and a young male Reed Bunting.

Juvenile Marsh Tit

Juvenile Marsh Tit

With 52 new birds and 16 recaptured that was a total of 68 from 12 species.

Total: 52 (16)

Kingfisher - 0 (1)
Redwing - 5
Wren - 14 (1)
Robin - 1
Dunnock - 8
Goldcrest - 0 (2)
Long-tailed Tit - 2 (1)
Marsh Tit - 1
Blue Tit - 19 (7)
Great Tit - 0 (4)
Lesser Redpoll - 1
Reed Bunting - 1

Wednesday 12 October 2022

Deepdale Farm - 11th October 2022

 The wind was a little stronger today than expected. On arrival, we were struck by the number of Robins that were in the area and singing. Catch totalled 18 birds including 3 Redwing recently in, and three Goldcrests that were probably also migrants, the females caught at the same time, no more than  30cm from each other.

Redwing, age 3

Goldcrest female age 3

Total: 13 (5)

Redwing - 3
Wren - 2 (1)
Robin - 1 (2)
Goldcrest - 3
Blue Tit - 2 (2)
Great Tit - 2

Monday 3 October 2022

Sculthorpe Moor - 3rd October 2022

 Thirty four birds of 8 species trapped and processed today. A couple of Great Tits already carried rings, but not ours - probably ringed at nearby Hempton.

Two Kingfishers were our best captures.

Adult male Kingfisher (main moult 5555400000)

Juvenile male Kingfisher

    This Goldcrest was in no hurry to leave

Totals: 23 (11)

Kingfisher - 2
Wren - 3 (1)
Robin - 0 (1)
Dunnock - 2
Goldcrest - 3
Long-tailed Tit - 0 (2)
Blue Tit - 10 (4)
Great Tit - 2 (4)

Sunday 2 October 2022

Walsey Hills - 2nd October 2022

 A very unusual session supporting ERB at the ringing station. It had not been especially busy and we had no success attempting to capture any of the large flock of mainly juvenile House Martin that had been frequenting the area above the ringing site, and Snipe's Pool in particular over the past few days. We had a net up but it was just too windy and the birds consistently flew above and around our only hope of capturing them.

However, a Sparrowhawk had been around all morning, upsetting the birds around the station feeders and also disturbing a large flock of Curlew from nearby fields. The Sprawk had made an earlier unsuccessful attempt at the 100+ flock of House Martins. It seems likely that a second try resulted in birds dropping too close to the ground and in the urgency to evade the predator some birds became bogged down in a muddy area of the pool, still only half full following the summer drought. The birds were noticed by one of the bird watchers and a party went down to see whether any could be reached.

The muddy fringes of Snipes Pool.

Five birds were seen initially and a couple picked up from very close to the reeds. To reach the others took a little more ingenuity.

Lengthening the net's reach to fish out more of the stricken birds.

Gaffer tape to the rescue.

With some branches, a shrimping net, gaffer tape, a little ingenuity and a lot of determination it was possible to rescue six birds.

The unorthodox method used to retrieve the House Martins. 

All needed the copious mud to be rinsed away, but after drying off and spending a little time in a dry bird bag and warming up under a ringer's jacket all were processed and released successfully to rejoin the flock.

    One of six juvenile House Martins rescued, rinsed, dried, warmed up, 
processed and then released back to the flock.


Little Snoring Garden - September 2022

 An interesting month with 78 new birds and 37 retraps from the garden nets. As to be expected Blue Tit was the leading species with 26 new and 11 retraps. It was also noted that Coal Tit, Greenfinch and Goldfinch are now being captured more frequently than of late.

Three Blackcap were a welcome addition to the birds processed, especially ADV7892, 3M ringed on the 15th of the month. This bird was controlled just 13 days later 240km away at Seaford Head, East Sussex on 28th of the month.

One of 3 Blackcaps ringed in the garden this month.

Totals: 78 (37)

Robin - 0 (4)
Dunnock - 9 (9)
Blackbird - 2 (1)
Blackcap - 3
Blue Tit -26 (11)
Coal Tit - 8 (1)
Great Tit - 10 (11)
Chaffinch - 1
Greenfinch - 9
Goldfinch - 8
House Sparrow - 1
Woodpigeon - 1