Tuesday 29 November 2011

Mistle again ! But out foxed too......

Our 2nd Mistle Thrush in one week !!
Our 1st hillside Redwing joining the regular Fieldfare under a night time lamp.
Song Thrushes, Blackbirds and Redwings in Wendy's garden....

Woodcock for the Group processed through IPMR passed the 100 this week..
But last night -- 4 Foxes on one site I suspect made the Woodcock jumpy, with only 2 caught.
But where are our re-traps ?? See the Woodcock Network for more...

We still love our sedgies... another control... a passage adult with us in late May 2011, controlled returning south at our sedgies favourite watering hole....Loire-Atlantique, France on 18th August 2011.

Monday 21 November 2011

Mistle completes the garden set

A nice surprise! A Mistle Thrush in the garden was a new species for the ringing group.
It turned up in a garden net alongside a Great Spotted Woodpecker.
The Woodpecker was a juvenile. The picture shows the old brown unmoulted Greater Coverts and the white tips to the primaries.
Over the winter we plan to have regular sessions in the garden to keep the trainees up to speed with a good variety of birds, not just Blue Tits!
As well as a 60 foot net near feeders we have a net in an adjacent field that catches species like Redwings, Bullfinches and Song Thrushes. A couple of nets between a group of apple trees catches Fieldfare, Blackbirds and Starlings.
Plenty to keep us busy alongside our nocturnal wanderings for Woodcock and Golden Plover which are successfully continuing too.

Friday 18 November 2011

The Woodcock Network show us the way...

A trip up to Aberystwyth yesterday to learn how to fit geolocators to Woodwork was an all round great learning experience. As we work with The Woodcock Network, it was good to meet Owen Williams, the Director and Dr Andrew Hoodless, Scientific Advisor.
Following a successful trial of geolocators by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and having secured funding the plan is to fit geo locators on between 35 and 40 woodcock. This effort will be as a part of a wider collaboration between the Woodcock Network, GWCT, and The French Game and Wildlife Department.

Practical experience is obviously the way to learn so out in the field Andrew showed us how to fit the geolocotor.
We were using dummy satellite transmitters which are bigger than Geolocators but the fitting technique around the legs of the Woodcock is the same.
The transmitter sits comfortably and securely on the Woodcocks back and does not interfere with preening or flying.
Enough Woodcock were caught for us all to practice on different birds. All the birds were also ringed and biometrics taken as usual. There is a useful pictorial ageing guide on the Woodcock Network website.
As well as learning this technique, the invaluable part of the evening was the lengthy discussions about the different equipment we all use. Not one net was the same and we have come back with new ideas about lamps and nets and a shopping list! Also it was good to compare the field type and Woodcock habits at sites we use. Could earthworm density and different farming practices be a big factor in Woodcock usage is something that would be interesting to look at in the future.
Thanks to Owen and Andrew for a very enjoyable, educational evening.

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Last year a leo, this year.... a shortie !!

Over the last 2 evenings carrying out regular winter wader ringing in coastal Ceredigion fields Arfon has caught and ringed, 3 Woodcock, 5 Snipe and 14 Lapwing. Effort rewarded not only with these waders but a Short-eared Owl last night.Last December, Paddy and I, on coastal South Pembs fields for Skylarks found this Long-eared Owl. Winter night time ringing does provide the chance for some otherwise near impossible birds to ring, and research.
Tomorrow evening, back to Woodcock on the hills -- geolocator fitting the lesson...

Thursday 10 November 2011

Kevin calls......from Walney !!

BKR001 -- what a tale....
This little Goldcrest - see post below;-
Amazingly ringed by one of own (Kevin Johns) who emigrated to Cumbria a year ago!
Kevin ringed this Goldcrest at Walney Obs - his new ringing base on March 28th 2011.
Well done at Walney.....send more west coast migrants our way......

November Cetti's..... but is it our's?

Sessions for migrating Redwings are going well with a few more ringed at our CES site this morning. We are also catching Blackbirds with longer wings than our local population, suggestive of continental birds. A new Cetti's warbler was good too, maybe a passage bird rather than one that was bred on the reserve.
This was only our 8th Cetti's this year compared with 18 in 2010.

Sunday 6 November 2011

BKR001 -- goldc

After yesterday's little jewels (see post below), what could we find ?
A couple of Redwings, a couple more Blackcaps, and a few Goldcrests....
1 a gem !!
Goldcrest BKR001.........the 1st Goldcrest control for us, with new crests and Blackcaps daily...where was this ringed??
Ideas welcome..!
Enjoying our birding too.......The Gower Isabelline Wheatear to end the morning !!

Saturday 5 November 2011

Not One !......I've got TWO !!!

Teifi Marshes this morning;-
(photo Tommy)CES net 11 came up with Wendy's target bird of the morning session,..... 2 Firecrests, not just the one in the plan !
A female on the left sexed on attitude, then wing length and crown colour, a male on the right.
CES is over and we try and get into some of the rides late in the year, on the 7th November 2010 a Garden Warbler was the prize.
Today also delivered 2 Blackcaps, and 10 Goldcrests all juveniles.
Last night whilst setting up nets, 9 Redwings were nice....
...we will see what this evening and tomorrow morning bring......

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Extreme ringing

.... we could have gone bigger but not smaller!
The day started with a 4.6g Goldcrest in warm sun and ended with a 330g Woodcock in a howling cold south easterly wind.
Our coastal dune site continues to add to our Goldcrest totals for the year but was otherwise quiet. A late Small Copper butterfly was a nice sighting there.
A wander round the Frenni fields under a starlit sky with the lamp was also quiet but we caught two juvenile Woodcock. Two Golden Plover, a Fieldfare and a Skylark were the only other birds seen.
Our Rock Pipit numbers are creeping up with another 13 caught on Sunday at Patch. Unlike last Autumn we still haven't caught any with Scandinavian features.