Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Group's Totals For The Year

Contributions by KH, CG, RG, AM. KW, JS and JAF.
4362 birds processed of 57 species ringed throughout the year and they were as follows(retraps/controls are in brackets and are in addition to the birds ringed):

Sparrowhawk 3; Moorhen 2; Oystercatcher 10 Pulli;  Ringed Plover 138, 16 pulli

Dunlin 63; Woodcock 2(1), Common Gull 1; Arctic Tern pulli 20; Little Tern pulli 4;

Tawny Owl 2, Kingfisher 1; Great Spotted Woodpecker 11(6); Swallow 8;

Meadow Pipit 4; Tree Pipit 2; Wren 72(27); Dunnock 97(31); Robin 163(87);

Black Redstart 1; Blackbird 177(36); Fieldfare 90; Song Thrush 72(9); Redwing 21(1);

Sedge Warbler 11; Reed Warbler 1(3); Lesser Whitethroat 15(2); Whitethroat 16;

Garden Warbler 6; Blackcap 80(11); Wood Warbler 2; Chiffchaff 57(10);

Willow Warbler 50(11); Goldcrest 67(22); Pied Flycatcher 3(1) 83 pulli;

Long-tailed Tit 61(48); Marsh Tit 39(73); Coal Tit 129(95); Blue Tit 598(236);

Great Tit 259(152); Nuthatch 12(5); Treecreeper 30(5); Jay 2; Starling 4;

House Sparrow 20; Tree Sparrow 8;  Chaffinch 221(10); Brambling 1;

Greenfinch 14; Goldfinch 21(2); Siskin 32(2); Linnet 4; Lesser Redpoll 202(4);

Bullfinch 163(23); Yellowhammer 8; Reed Bunting 36(2); Twite 38(17).

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Sparrowhawk Reduces Twite Catch

Present JS, RG, CG, and KH.

A beautiful day on Askam Pier promised so much. As we were setting up the Whoosh Net three Peregrines were flying above. One of the males made a food pass to a female whilst a first year male screamed at them.  The three then made off inland.The conditions were perfect and everything looked like the banner Photo. at the top of this blog. Within minutes the first catch produced 3 new birds 2 re-traps from this year and 1 from last year.  We were about to press the button for a second time on the Twite when a male Sparrowhawk attacked.  The Twite escaped and after hanging around for a minute or two the Sparrowhawk moved on.   This was the last we saw of the Twite for 4 hours. When they returned they stayed on the steep rough rocky side of the pier. 

This Years Colour Combination for the Duddon Estuary

Juvenile With Some Old Greater Coverts

Typical Wing Of  Known Adult 

Monday, 13 December 2010

Two Species Not Normally Caught at Eskmeals

Present A.M.  J.S. K.H. R.G.  and  C.G.
Although not unknown at this site Brambling and Tawny Owl were the highlights of December, so far.  A total of 179 birds have been processed of 19 species.  They were as follows (re-traps).  Tawny Owl 1. Wren 1(4), Dunnock 1(5), Robin 4(7), Blackbird 19(6), Fieldfare 13, Song Thrush11(3), Redwing 1, Blackcap 5,Golcrest1(1), Long-tailed Tit 3(2), Coal Tit 6(6), Blue Tit 15(12), Great Tit (3), Treecreeper 1, Chaffinch 25, Brambling 1, Greenfinch 4, Bullfinch 14(12).

When ringing we don't always see the wildlife we would with a pair of binoculars and no distractions.  Here are two shots, taken by our chief photographer, in the ringing area.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Stavanger Blackbird and Novembers Totals for Eskmeals

Present:  AM , RG, CG, JS and KH (Part Time)
A total of 404 birds were processed 120 of which were (re-traps) with one control.
Sparrowhawk 1, Great Spotted Woodpecker 1, Wren 10(4), Dunnock 4(2), Robin 19(24), Blackbird 38(8), Fieldfare 13, Song Thrush 14(4), Redwing 4(1), Blackcap 9(2), Goldcrest 10 (1), Long-tailed Tit 9(8), Coal Tit 5(11), Blue Tit 54(21), Great Tit 4(4), Treecreeper 3(2), Chaffinch 40(3), Greenfinch 2(0), Bullfinch 44(25) . Watch this space for where the Blackbird came from in Norway.
Colin Processes His First Sparrowhawk

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Frozen toes at Roudsea

Present: JAF

With the first real sharp frost of the winter, I wished I had worn a second pair of socks!

53 birds processed, of which 37 new (retraps in brackets): Great Spotted Woodpecker 1; Dunnock 1; Blackbird 1; Marsh Tit (3); Coal Tit 3 (+5); Blue Tit 7 (+4); Great Tit 3 (+3); Nuthatch (1); Chaffinch 7; Lesser Redpoll 12; Reed Bunting 2.

One of the retrap Marsh Tits (R426009) was ringed in April 2003 and is the oldest known bird in the wood.

Frosty morning at Roudsea Woods and Mosses National Nature Reserve

Friday, 12 November 2010

Askam Twite Season off with a Whoosh!!!

Present KH,  RG, AM, JS
32 Twite caught with the first one processed being a Control  This bird had been caught 1 week earlier at Heysham Bird Observatory.If as most birds it had originated from NW Scotland it shows how mobile some birds are in winter.  3 others were re-traps with one being from 3 years earlier
Although the photograph below does not show it clearly this is an old slag bank. It sticks out into the Duddon Estuary.
Superb Twite Ringing Site (Lakeland Fells with First Winter Snow)

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

New Mist Net System Pays Off

Present JS, AM, RG, CG, KH.
A total of 182 birds were processed of which 52 were re-traps. This was achieved over two days 6 and 7/11/2010. Seventeen species were caught. the details are as follows,re-traps in brackets.Wren 7(0), Dunnock 3(1), Robin 10(15), Blackbird 16(3), Fieldfare 4(0), Song Thrush 6(1), Redwing 3(0), Blackcap 5(0), Goldcrest 4(0), Long-tailed Tit 0(5), Coal Tit 5(5), Blue Tit 34(10), Great Tit 1(1), Treecreeper 2(1), Chaffinch 10(2), Greenfinch1(0), Bullfinch 19(8).
These numbers are typical for this time of year at Eskmeals except for the Blue Tit figure which is exceptionally high. A five year old Robin was a nice record, the longevity record for specie is 8 years old.
Centre  Pole of a Double Net Arrangement
Close up View Showing Fence Wire Hooks and Elastic
On our site we are fortunate, we can leave the poles standing and providing a 102mm howitzer shell does not fall it is there the next time we visit.  Nets furled overnight in winter are more often than not frozen solid.handling these and frozen poles is not pleasant. The photos. above shows how the elastic takes the weight of the net and any discrepancies in shelf string lentghs.  We  have found it better to put each net in the same place each time. The white elastic stays with the hooks on the poles.  The green string is for tethering the nets as normal prior to bagging.  Elastic is only used at one end of each net,  hooks made from heavy duty fence wire run up and down freely at the other end.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

A really portable playback system

There has been considerable discussion on the BTO Ringers' forum recently about play-back speakers for use in attracting birds for ringing. Among the several recommendations was the XMI X-mini II Mini Speaker, available from Amazon, here. 
XMI X-mini II Mini Speaker

I promptly bought one for use with my iPod Nano and found it to be so successful for attracting Lesser Redpolls and a range of other species, I bought another. I obtained a second iPod Nano cheaply on eBay. There are plenty of first-generation 1 GB Nanos available which have plenty of room for all the bird calls you are ever likely to need.

Both speaker systems pack tidily into the smallest kitchen box I could find

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Roudsea, stuck in the gully

30th October 2010
Present: KW, JAF
25 birds processed until rain stopped play at 10.00am (retraps in brackets): Robin (1); Blackbird 1; Marsh Tit 1 (+4); Coal Tit (6); Blue Tit 3 (+5); Great Tit (1);  Nuthatch (1); Chaffinch 2.

Kim takes the opportunity to warm her fingers on her tea cup during a break 
when nets were furled between showers

Thursday, 28 October 2010

In the gully at Roudsea

28th October 2010. Present: JAF
37 birds processed, 22 new (retraps in brackets): Great Spotted Woodpecker 1; Wren 1; Marsh Tit 2 (+1); Coal Tit 3 (+7); Blue Tit 7 (+3); Great Tit 6 (+4); Treecreeper 1; Lesser Redpoll 1.
Rain stopped play at 13.00.

Our site known as "The Gully" is sheltered from the wind on all sides 
and can be worked in almost any conditions except continuous rain

Monday, 25 October 2010

Wreaks Moss 25 October 2010

Present: JAF
26 birds processed, 18 new (retraps in brackets): Great Spotted Woodpecker 1; Robin 1; CoaL Tit 2 (+3); Blue Tit 6 (+5); Great Tit 2; Treecreeper 1; Chaffinch 3; Redpoll 2.

Wreaks Moss on a fine but frosty morning

Ringing station with hoar frost on the field behind

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Askam Pits 24 October 2010

Present JAF
27 birds ringed, 25 new (retraps in brackets): Wren (1); Dunnock 1; Goldcrest 2; Coal Tit 4; Blue Tit 5 (+5); Great Tit 10; Treecreeper 1; Chaffinch 1.
The feeding station is in the willow scrub on the far side of the pond

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Roudsea 20 October 2010

Present: KW, JAF
29 birds processed, 25 new (retraps in brackets):
Robin 2; Goldcrest 3; Long-tailed Tit 6 (+1);  Marsh Tit 1; Coal Tit (1); Blue Tit 5 (+1); Great Tit 7; Chaffinch 1 (+1).

Kim praying for a good catch at an improvised ringing station in Roudsea Woods

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Eskmeals 16/10/2010

Present AM. JS. RG. KH
A total of 98 birds processed of 14 species.  They were as follows (re-traps). Wren 7(1), Dunnock 5(2), Robin 7(8), Blackbird 8(4), Song Thrush 3, Blackcap 2, Goldcrest7(1), Long-tailed Tit 7(5), Coal Tit 2(1), Blue Tit 5(4), Great Tit1(1), Treecreeper 1, Chaffinch 6, Bullfinch 9(1).
As can be seen "AA" species were the most abundant the thrushes having not arrived in numbers.

AM manages to escape shed but not net.

Roudsea: Lottis boost the catch

17th October 2010. Present KW, JAF
48 birds processed, 4 retraps, 1 control (retraps in brackets):
 Robin 1; Long-tailed Tit 4 (+3); Treecreeper 1; Coal Tit (1); Redpoll 31 (+1 control); Reed Bunting 6.

Roudsea in October, the streets paved with gold

Kim extracts a Reed Bunting...

...and rings it

Friday, 15 October 2010

Eskmeals 9/10/2010 & 10/10/2010

Present AM, JS, CG, RG.
A total of 149 birds of 15 species were processed of which (22) were re-traps.  They were as follows: Wren 6. Dunnock  2(2), Robin  20(5), Blackbird 12(2), Song Thrush  5, Blackcap  4, Chiffchaff  4, Golcrest 4, Lotti 7 (3), Coal Tit 2, Blue Tit 23(4), Great Tit 7(1), Treecreeper  4, Chaffinch 12, Bullfinch  15(2).

Kirksanton 12/10/2010 & 14/10/2010

Present AM, RG, CG, and JS, KH (part time)
Over the two days 70 birds were caught with (13) re-traps.  They were as follows: Wren 5(1), Goldcrest 3(1), Treecreeper 1, Blackbird 9(4), Grespo 2, Song Thrush 1, Robin 5(3), Reed Bunting 3(1), Redpoll 4, Dunnock 1, Bullfinch1(1), Chaffiinch 1, Blue Tit 8(2), Linnet 4, Coal Tit 2, Lotti 6, Song Thrush 1.  

Too busy to admire the view
Just a nice shot

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Net Clips ( Patent Pending )

There are many different systems on all the ways we catch, and each ringer has his own personal techniques and some ringers are constantly trying to improve on perfection. So here is yet another one born out of frustration with tangled nets. The photos. below are of clips used to re-seal plastic bags. They are of minimal cost but get the ones with a mechanical hinge not the ones that clip together by bending at the end as they will eventually break.  When held this way the net loops will not feed through each other.  When taking down a net the clip is held in the up position at all times. This will ensure that you will not have to take twists out of the net length when next putting up the net.  The net can't  twist along its length as it is put into the bag.   

The two ends of a net firmly clipped ready for bagging

The clip in positioned whilst the net is still on the pole

Inner edges cut away to allow for the North Ron. net loops extra thickness
These clips can be used as an aid when furling, to hold the furled net together along the length.  If used in this way care must be taken to ensure the net will not part open by use of the appropriate number of clips.


Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Ken's Garden First

Present KH.
Two firsts were achieved today .  Twenty birds in a day and a Tree Sparrow.  The birds were as follows; 7 House Sparrows, 1 Tree Sparrow, 7 Blue Tits, 4 Coal Tits, 1 Dunnock.  There were no re-traps

I have never seen one in my garden in 35 years

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Roudsea 10 October 2010

Present: KW, JAF
55 birds processed, 46 new (retraps in brackets): Wren 2; Robin (1); Goldcrest 1; Marsh Tit 5 (+1); Coal Tit 7 (+2); Blue Tit 21 (+4); Great Tit 9 (+1); Treecreeper 1.

Kim extended her training experience with her first Goldcrest.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Wreaks Moss 9 October 2010

Present: JAF
A short maintenance visit, 20 birds captured, 19 new (retrap in brackets):
Coal Tit 3 (+1); Blue Tit 11; Great Tit 2; Treecreeper 1; Chaffinch 2.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Redpolls at Roudsea, 7th October 2010

Present: JAF
A nice Autumn day at Roudsea Woods and Mosses, specifically to target Redpolls with tape lures.
A successful morning with 84 Redpolls captured (including 1 control) among a total of 92 birds (retraps in brackets):
Dunnock 1; Robin (1); Goldcrest 2; Blue Tit (1); Siskin 1; Redpoll 79 (+4+1); Reed Bunting 3.

Adult male Redpoll

First winter Redpoll showing clear moult limit in secondary covert tract

Monday, 4 October 2010

Next Ness - Kingfisher saves the day

4 October 2010, Present: JAF
A disappointing 15 birds processed (10 new) probably because of feeders being filled in local gardens: (retraps in brackets).
Kingfisher 1; Coal Tit 1; Blue Tit 3 (+3); Great Tit 1 (+2); Treecreeper 1; Chaffinch 3.

Kingfisher at Next Ness

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Roudsea 2 October 2010

Present: JAF
94 birds processed, of which 82 new (retraps in brackets):
Meadow Pipit 2; Wren 0 (1); Robin 4; Goldcrest 1; Marsh Tit 1 (2); Coal Tit 10 (5); Blue Tit 9 (1); Great Tit 10 (3); Nuthatch 2; Chaffinch 5; Redpoll 34; Reed Bunting 4.

First-winter Robin showing clear moult limit in secondary coverts

Male Reed Bunting

Reed Bunting tail feathers

Wednesday, 29 September 2010


28 September 2010
Present: AM, JS, KH, CG, RG, and JAF.

The site is a new one for the 01229 Group, a stubblefield which had been used recently by flocks of finches and buntings. We decided to give it a try. It was a successful morning with 40 new birds representing 14 species:
Meadow Pipit 2; Wren 2; Dunnock 5; Robin 3; Blackbird 1; Song thrush 2; Whitethroat 1; Chiffchaff 1; Coal Tit 1; Great Tit 1; Tree Sparrow 7; Chaffinch 1; Yellowhammer 8; Reed Bunting 5.

Kirksanton lies on the coast north from Millom and South from Silecroft.

 200 feet of single shelf net across the stubble field did catch some birds 
but most were caught near the hedges around the edge of the field

 Ken, Colin and Rosalyn looking busy

 This Yellowhammer was one of 8 ringed
A smart looking Tree Sparrow
Roslyn extends her training experience with a Tree Sparrow

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

101 Scored at Eskmeals September Visit.

Present; AM, JS, CG, RG, and KH.
Although bright and sunny 101 birds caught . Ninety new birds and eleven (retraps). The 14 species were as follows: Wren 2, Dunnock 9, Robin 14(4) , Blackbird 2(1) , Blackcap 1(1) , Chiffchaff 1 , Goldcrest 2(1) , Long-tailed Tit (9) , Coal Tit 3(2) . Blue Tit 15(1) , Great Tit 8 , Chaffinch 7 , Greenfinch 5 , Bullfinch 12(1)

Ringer and Bird, Colour Co-ordinated.
Juvenile Goldcrest  5.8 Grammes (he will be a big help to his mum when he grows up.)

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Next Ness 3 September 2010

Present: JAF
42 birds processed, 34 new. This brings the total birds ringed at this site in the last two visits to 101.
Birds processed (retraps in brackets): Dunnock (1); Blackcap1; Chiffchaff 3; Blue Tit 20 + (3); Great Tit 3 + (2); Treecreeper 1 + (1); Chaffinch 3 + (1); Bullfinch 3.

Juvenile male Bullfinch undergoing partial post-juvenile moult

The path through the Cumbria Wildlife Trust reserve at Next Ness 
runs parallel to the railway line (on the left) and looks overgrown at this time of year.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Walney Golf Course

31 August 2010 Present: KH; JAF
23 new birds ringed: Wren 1; Dunnock 2; Robin 3; Blackbird 5; Blackcap 1; Blue Tit 5; Great Tit 3; Chaffinch 3.

Walney Golf Course site - the reed beds have extended considerably over the summer

Adult Dunnock in heavy wing and tail moult

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Eyed Hawk Moth found when cutting rides

                                                                                                                           Photograph Rosalyn Gay

Friday, 13 August 2010

Record catch at Next Ness

13th August 2010
Present: KH, JAF
67 Birds processed, 65 new (retraps in brackets): Wren 1; Dunnock 2; Blackbird 1; Chiffchaff 3; Coal Tit 2; Blue Tit 31 (1); Great Tit 19 (1); Treecreeper (1); Chaffinch 6.
This represents the largest catch by far at this ringing site.

This juvenile Chaffinch undergoing post-juvenile moult has enough pink breast feathers 
growing thorough to be able to sex it as male

You can see more pictures and information about our Next Ness site here.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Siskin at Roudsea

12  August 2010
Present: JAF
30 birds processed (retraps in brackets): Marsh Tit: 1 (2); Coal Tit 6; Blue Tit 6 (1); Great Tit 8 (1); Nuthatch 1; Siskin 1; Redpoll 3.

This crazy young Siskin was attracted to a Redpoll tape!

This handsome male Redpoll was among the three that were caught