Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Askam Pits 30/12/2009

Present: JAF

A visit for ride-maintenance on a very blustery day but a net put up in thick willow carr caught 13 new birds: Sparrowhawk, 1; Blackbird 2; Goldcrest 1; Coal Tit 1; Blue Tit 7; Great Tit 1.

Askam Pits are a relic of the old iron-ore mining era of the 1800's and offer a diversity of habitats including hawthorn and bramble scrub, open water, a little reed bed, and thick willow and alder carr. Feeding station in willow carr is indicated.
Ringing with permission of Ray Steele

Feeding station in the willow carr

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Roudsea Woods - behind the hut 29/12/2009

Present: JAF, ES, Josh Blanchard Lewis

38 birds processed, 5 new (Great Tit 4; Blue Tit 1); 33 local retraps.

Roudsea Woods and Mosses National Nature Reserve
The diagonal scar running through the wood is a line of power cables

Emily extracts a BlueTit

Josh processes R295207, a colour-ringed Marsh Tit from the very first cohort, ringed on 23 December 2002 (7 years almost to the day) and is the oldest known bird in the wood!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Roudsea Woods - beaten by the snow, 22/12/2009

Present: JAF

A speculative visit in which the new "Quarry Ride" was fully deployed with its chain of three sixty-footers for the first time. The weather was poor and only two birds were caught, a Wren and a female Reed Bunting.

A section of the triple-sixty-footer in Quarry Ride winds its way between the Christmas trees

Marsh Tit R736051, ringed as a first-winter on 3/12/09 is identified from the colour-rings

Monday, 21 December 2009

Eskmeals Bullfinch Bonanza - 19/12/2009

Present: J.S. K.H. & A.Mac.

120 birds processed with 26 retraps of 14 species, see list from last week. Although there was no snow at this time there was a cold weather movement of 28 Bullfinches and 13 Blackbirds. Some of these were obviously by their size of Scandinavian origin. Below is a photograph of a resident female Sparrowhawk.

Sparrowhawk, notice the pupils

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Eskmeals - Warblers and Winter Thrushes

Present: J.S., A .Mac. & K.H.

A promising session with 48 birds processed. 38 were new and the 15 species were as follows:-Chaffinch 8; Blackbird 6; Bullfinch 6; Robin 4; Dunnock 2; Coal Tit 2; Song Thrush 5; Goldcrest 4; Sparrowhawk 1; Blackcap 2; Greenfinch 1; Fieldfare 3; Redwing 1; Wren1; Great Tit 1.
Typical Eskmeals Habitat - The West Coasts Answer To Spurn.
February looks good for large numbers of Fieldfares

Spurn does not provide a backdrop as good as this.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Askam Twite Finally in the Net

Present: J.S. and K.H.

The first birds of this year, none were caught in the spring, were caught in late November. Only 50+ are on this winter site down approximately 50%. The catch of 24 with none escaping were 94% this years pulli. We have noticed in the past, two separate sections of the flock. As with waders different ages loosely stay together, this may be some sort of pecking order. Statistically 70% of what we catch are 3s with the expected sex ratio of 50%.The actual ringing site is in the middle of the slag bank shown , known locally as the Pier as it sticks out into the Duddon Estuary.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Haybridge to Norway

A Blackbird ringed on the 27th of February 2005 was controlled at Svensbo, Vindafjord, Rogaland on the 25th of July 2009 some 783 km

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Ringers' Conference 4-6 December 2009

Present: KH, JS, ES, MW, JAF

Five members of 01229-Ringing Group attended the Annual Ringers' Conference (Swanwick, Derbys) which this year celebrated the Centenary of the British Ringing Scheme. With five present representing a quorum, the opportunity was taken to hold the Annual General Meeting of the Group, with Emily elected to take the Chair, when the principal business was the Toast to Absent Friends.

01229-R.G. Annual General Meeting: Maynell, Jim, Ken, Emily (Chair), Jack

During the Conference, two reports of ringed birds affecting the group became available.

Long-tailed Tit BXC466, ringed at Leighton Moss, Lancashire on 6 October 2007, was controlled at Roudsea Woods and Mosses on 18 October 2009, almost exactly 2 years later, a distance of 17 km (this is the bird referred to in this post).

Mute Swan W15499 Ringed at Hodbarrow on 6th August 2008 was found dead (flown into overhead power cables) at Holme, Cumbria on 16 September 2009, just over a year later, 36 km to the East.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Roudsea Woods and Mosses 03 December 2009

Present: JAF, PM

A good session with 52 birds processed of which 17 were new, including the first Kingfisher for Roudsea.

New birds: Kingfisher 1; Goldcrest 1; Long-tailed Tit 4; Marsh Tit 2; Coal Tit 3; Blue Tit 5; Great Tit 1.

Pam seems happy to process the first Kingfisher ever ringed in the wood

The amount of orange on the lower mandible indicates this is an adult female

"Old Faithful" - Blue above Red on right leg was ringed on 2nd March 2003 in the first cohort of Marsh Tits.

It is the oldest known bird in the wood

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Roudsea Woods and Mosses 28 October 2089

Present: JAF

A good morning with 63 birds of 11 species processed.
The 54 new birds were: Great Spotted Woodpecker 1; Coal Tit 6; Blue Tit 6; Great Tit 1; Chaffinch 10; Redpoll 21; Bullfinch 1; Reed Bunting 7.
(The other species processed were Robin and Marsh Tit).

The day marked the inauguration of a new ride "Quarry Ride" which is cut for three 60-footers in line. Today, just one net was deployed that caught the Redpolls, Reed Buntings and Bullfinch.

Behind the "Hut". This site is sheltered from the wind and is shady and the
Natural England staff regularly put out food during the winter,
thus making this a very handy site at short notice

"Quarry Ride" had its Maiden Session this morning, doing well by catching some 30 birds

Friday, 27 November 2009

Wreakes Moss 27 November 2009

Present: JAF

A brief maintenance visit, 6 birds processed, 1 new Great Spotted Woodpecker and 5 recent local retraps.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Wreakes Moss 21 November 2009

Present: JAF

A good catch under the conditions, 31 birds processed, 27 new birds, 4 recent local retraps.

New birds: Wren 1; Coal Tit 2; Blue Tit 14; Great Tit 5; Chaffinch 3; Redpoll 2.

Rain stopped play at 10.15

The very small proportion of retraps suggests a high turnover rate of birds at this site, it is possible they are on the move along the Duddon Valley.

Wreakes Moss by Google Earth. The feeding station and ringing site
is just inside the corner of the wood where indicated.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Roudsea Woods and Mosses 17 November 2009

Present: JAF

Mainly a maintenance visit, but a net in the Gully caught 13 new birds and 1 recent local retrap.

New birds: Goldcrest 4; Blue Tit 5; Great Tit 1; Redpoll 3.

A brief burst from the iPod attracted these four Goldcrests

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Roudsea Woods and Mosses 15 November 2009


A rather murky morning at Roudsea resulted in 21 birds processed, 8 new and 13 local retraps, until rain stopped play at 10.30.

New birds: Marsh Tit 1; Coal Tit 3; Blue Tit 3; Great Tit 1.

1 Mute Swan was ringed later at Ulverston

Visitor Carwyn tops up the 01229-designed grain silo.
The chicken wire deters grey squirrels but allow access to small birds.

Another new Marsh Tit is colour ringed and joins the R.A.S.
study population (see Side Bar)

A stop at the Ulverston Canal results in an immature Mute Swan ringed

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Eskmeals (unusual birds, this site).

Present JS ; MW ; AM ; KH

This Tawny Owl was flying around in broad daylight and appeared fully fit.

Kestrels are rarely caught; this was included to show the moult

Grey Wagtails, another bird that we don't normally see in this dune system

Wreakes Moss 12 November 2009

Present JAF

25 birds processed, 22 new, 3 recent local retraps.

New birds: Great Spotted Woodpecker 1; Robin 1; Coal Tit 3; Blue Tit 2; Great Tit 11; Chaffinch 2; Redpoll 2.

Ringing station at Wreakes Moss. A plank nailed firmly to the fallen tree
makes a satisfactory ringing table

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Walney Golf Course, 11 November 2009

Present JAF and KH

The ringing site near Walney Golf Course with wetland and willow scrub habitat

26 birds caught, 21 new birds, 4 local retraps, 1 control (a blackbird with a Heligoland ring).

New birds: Wren 7; Dunnock 1; Robin 1; Blackbird 2; Long-tailed Tit 6; Blue Tit 2; Chaffinch 2.

Female Blackbird carrying a Heligoland ring

Askam Pier 9th November 2009

Present KH and JS

A Twite in the hand is worth two on the salt marsh. Five hours of patience was rewarded with no birds being caught. Nine were under the net, but we wanted more. Later six were under the net, but we wanted more.Late in the day three could have been caught if they were just a little closer to the middle of the net.

Bungees taught and optimism high

Net flying perfectly over birdless catching area

Monday, 9 November 2009

Roudsea Woods and Mosses 09 November 2009

Present: JAF

This visit was mainly for ride maintenance and filling up feeding stations.
The "Redpoll Net" meanwhile caught 3 Redpolls and a Song Thrush. The Redpoll bonanza seems to be over.

First winter Song Thrush

A clear moult limit in the coverts indicate a first-winter bird

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Wreakes Moss 24 October 2009

Present: JAF

Wreakes Moss is a component of the larger Duddon Mosses National Nature Reserve. We have not used the site since September 2004 but I visited it today to install a feeding station for later use. I put up a net for half an hour before the heavens opened and caught 10 new birds.

New Birds: Coal Tit 1; Blue Tit 7; Great Tit 2.

Noteworthy was the use of the last ring on a string of 1000, the first of which was used on a Blue Tit in Roudsea Wood on 2nd March 2008.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Roudsea Woods and Mosses 23 October 2009

Present JAF

103 birds processed, 78 new birds, 25 local retraps.

New birds: Great Spotted Woodpecker 1; Wren 1; Robin 2; Goldcrest 1; Long-tailed Tit 1; Coal Tit 3; Blue Tit 12; Great Tit 6; Chaffinch 3; Redpoll 47; Reed Bunting 1.

"Redpoll Ride"

This ride has caught 60 Redpolls in two sessions

Female Great Spotted Woodpecker

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Twite at Home

Recent recovery forms from the B.T.O. have shown that the birds now known to breed in N.W. Scotland and winter in N.W. England are winter site faithful, but do wander within the N.West. Three birds ringed at Askam have subsequently been controlled twice at Heysham. Two birds ringed on Bank Marsh(Ribble Estuary) have been controlled twice at Askam. These are recent, but not the only controls and re-traps we had from the 368 Twite caught on the Duddon Estuary.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Lesser Redpoll Control

This bird moved 149km south in 13 days this spring!! Hay Bridge is one of the Lake District sites the group use and Light Oaks is ringing site used by J A Lawrence near Stoke on Trent.

(Coincidentally, J.A. "Andy" Lawrence is a former student and ringing trainee of JAF!)

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Roudsea Woods and Mosses 18 October 2009

Present: JAF, KW

41 new birds ringed; 5 local retraps; one control (Long-tailed Tit).

New birds: Wren 3; Robin 1; Long-tailed Tit 7; Marsh Tit 1; Coal Tit 2; Blue Tit 6; Great Tit 4; Nuthatch 1; Goldfinch 3; Redpoll 13.

Rain stopped play at 10.30 am.

Latest recruit Kim examines a nice pink male Redpoll


Saturday, 17 October 2009

Eskmeals 17 October 2009

Present KH, JS, JAF
69 New Birds Ringed, 6 retraps.

1 Sparrowhawk; 12 Wren; 8 Dunnock; 11 Robin; 6 Blackbird; 3 Song Thrush; 2 Blackcap; 2 Goldcrest; 3 Long-tailed Tit; 3 Coal Tit; 5 Blue Tit; 3 Great Tit; 7 Bullfinch; 2 Redpoll.

First winter male Sparrowhawk, Eskmeals, 17/10/2009 . The wing of this bird was 7mm below average. At this open site we normally catch females, let's hope one of them does not eat him.

Walney Golf Course, 16 October 2009

Present: JAF, KH, JS

14 new birds ringed, 5 local retraps.

New birds: Wren 1; Dunnock 2; Robin 1; Blackbird 4; Blue Tit 4; Chaffinch 2.

Next Ness, 15 October 2009

Present: JAF

14 New birds ringed, 6 retraps.

New birds: Robin 1; Coal Tit 2; Great Tit 1; Blue Tit 8; Jay; 1; Chaffinch 1

Walney Golf Course, 13 October 2009

Present: JAF, KH, JS.

27 new birds ringed, no retraps.
Great Spotted Woodepecker: 1 (a female undergoing post-juvenile moult maybe evidence of breeding on Walney); Wren 4; Robin 3; Blackbird 3; Blue Tit 8; Great Tit 4; Chaffinch 1; Bullfinch 2; Reed Bunting 1.

Also seen: Jack Snipe.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Walney NNR, 10 September 2009

Present: JAF

30 New birds ringed.

New birds: Wren 3; Dunnock 1; Spotted Flycatcher 1; Coal Tit 1; Blue Tit 11; Great 2 Tit; Chaffinch 2.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Walney Biggar Bank 25 & 28 July 2009

Present: JAF, KH, JS

10 New birds ringed: Wren 1; Blackbird 3; Sedge Warbler 1; Whitethroat 5.