Friday, 26 February 2010

Chardonnerets versus Mist Net 26/02/2010

Present KH.

It was not an ideal day for a mist net ,a little too much wind. I decided to place 3 Chardonneret and 1 Potter Trap on a wall with a 40 foot Superfine Mist Net close by. The Cardonnerret out performed the Mist Net and the potter trap was a complete waste of time . Joe Public puts up the fat balls on the trees and I simply move them into the traps.

It only take one minute to set up

Dog walkers pass by and never notice the traps

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Next Ness 16/02/2002

Present: JAF, KW

Next Ness is a small boggy woodland strip (mainly alders and willow) running parallel to the railway line. It is owned and managed by the Cumbria Wildlife Trust, to whom we are grateful for permission to ring there. The wood is habitat for Teal, Moorhen, Kingfisher, Siskin and various tits and finches.

Today we processed 24 birds, of which 19 were new (retraps in brackets):

Wren 1 (0); Coal Tit 1 (1); Blue Tit 8 (3); Great Tit 3 (1); Chaffinch 4 (0); Bullfinch 2 (0).

Next Ness CWT Nature Reserve is the strip of woodland alongside the railway line.
The approximate position of the feeding station is arrowed.

There is just one site where a 120-foot net can be stretched across
the swampy woodland through the tangle of willow and alder

The improvised field station at Next Ness Nature Reserve

ASKAM PARK 15/02/2010
Present: JAF

Another attempt yesterday at the House Sparrows was thwarted by noisy children playing in the park during Half Term. Why couldn't they go somewhere else?
Ringed: Blackbird 2; Song Thrush 1; Greenfinch 1; Bullfinch 1; House Sparrow 3.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Elusive Finches Hay Bridge 12/02/2010

present K.H.

Hay Bridge Deer Reserve has many feeders and attracts numbers of photographers taking the easy option of obtaining stunning shots of finches around the feeders. The birds are so approachable the photographers with the large lenses are three times the distance away that the birds will normally accept. There should be signs up warning of flash photography. Although large flocks of Siskin and Redpoll were present, they were not going to be caught.

36 birds were processed of which 32 were new, re-traps in brackets. Blackbird 1(0) Coal Tit 2(0) Blue Tit 20(4) Great Tit 7(0) Chaffinch 2(o)

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Behind the Hut at Roudsea 14/02/2010

Present: JAF, KW.

Worked behind the Hut at Roudsea Woods and Mosses NNR

61 birds processed of which 26 were new (retraps in brackets):

Great Spotted Woodpecker 0, (1); Robin 1(0); Marsh Tit 1, (3); Coal Tit 0, (2); Blue Tit 14 (12); Great Tit 5, (16); Nuthatch 0, (1); Chaffinch 4 (0); Redpoll 1 (0).

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Century Before Lunch (Eskmeals 13 /02/ 2010)

Present: KH, JS, A. MacK, MW, JAF
Our Director of Studies gave a demonstration of how not to handle birds of prey. Photographs of the bloody outcome are available for those who have a strong stomach.

129 birds were processed of which 98 were new, re-traps shown in brackets.
Sparrowhawk 1(0); Woodcock 1(0); Wren 2(0); Dunnock 3(0); Robin 5(2); Blackbird11(6); Fieldfare 28(0); Song Thrush 6(0); Redwing 11(0); Blackcap 7(0);Goldcrest 1(5); Long-tailed Tit
0(3); Coal Tit 1(3); Blue Tit 2(3); Great Tit 1(1); Chaffinch 8(2); Bullfinch 10(6).

Ken and Jack process a Woodcock

One of the 28 FieldfaresRinged

One of the Seven Wintering Blackcaps Caught

Friday, 12 February 2010

Bottom End at Roudsea 12/02/2010

Present: JAF, KW

Ringed at a feeder in the coppiced hazel stands at the bottom end (SE corner) of Roudsea Woods and Mosses NNR.

55 birds were processed, of which 33 were new and one Blue Tit was a control:

Long-tailed Tit 2, (o); Marsh Tit 0, (1); Coal Tit 4, (o); Blue Tit 14, (10); Great Tit 11, (11); Nuthatch 2 (0).

Only a single recent retrap Marsh Tit was disappointing.

Working amidst the coppiced hazel trees

Monday, 8 February 2010

River Duddon Nest Boxes 08/02/2010

present LH and KH

A cold dry day, perfect for carrying boxes up Wallabarrow Gorge to replace six rotten boxes. Two designs of box were installed the target specie being Pied Flycatchers.

Linda re-numbering refurbished Hay Bridge donated boxes.(BTO Small Hole)

The reason for the strange design. They were made from a ship's ladder salvaged off the beach.

13,000 Fieldfare at Eskmeals 06/02/2010

present JS ,AM ,KH

Strictly speaking 13,000 were estimated a few days earlier as part of the B.T.O. Atlas. There were thousands on Saturday with many more feeding in the surrounding fields and roosting within the gun range.
49 birds were processed with 38 being new ( retraps shown in brackets):
Fieldfare 15(0); Blackbirds 3(1); Song Thrush 2(0);Bullfinch 5(4);Blue Tit 4(3);Blackcap 2(0);Great Tit 3(2);Chaffinch 2(0);Coal Tit 1(0);Long-tailed Tit 1(1)

Fieldfare what Fieldfare?

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Old Marsh Tit at Long Tom, Roudsea

Present: JAF, KW.

Worked at Long Tom ride, processed 39 of which 17 new (retraps in brackets):

Great Spotted Woodpecker 1; Marsh Tit 1 (2); Coal Tit 3 (2); Blue Tit 12 (15); Great Tit (3).
Highlight was Marsh Tit R426277 (RBG,B;LBM) which was ringed on 27th May 2003 and is one from the first cohort of Marsh Tits ringed in the RAS programme.

Kim processes a Blue Tit at the "Long Tom" ride in Roudsea Woods and Mosses NNR

Friday, 5 February 2010

Askam Park Sparrow Roost

Present: JAF, KH. 5 February 2010

There has long been a roost of House Sparrows inhabiting a hedge the runs along the back of a small recreational park in Askam-in-Furness. Today we thought we'd give it a try. We caught 4 sparrows, but have learned something from the trial. Birds ringed were:

Blackbird 1; Bullfinch 2; Chaffinch 2; House Sparrow 4.

Askam Park: The mist net runs in front of the hedge at the back

Ken extracts a Bullfinch

Target species, a male House Sparrow

Brown Blue Tit 04/02/2010

Present KH
Thursday I decided to get among the Siskin and Redpoll Flocks at Hay bridge. A total of 49 birds were processed with 37 new,(retraps in brackets):
Blue Tits 25 (4); Coal Tits 3(1); Great tits 4(7); Blackbird 1(0); Nuthatch 1(0); Redpoll 3(0).

Below are photographs of a Blue Tit? We have some differently coloured tits in the valley. Another Blue Tit was photographed but the subtle difference in plumage was not apparent on the photos.

The brown colouration appeared to come from the lack of the fine barbules on the feathers that hold the blue colouration, notice how my fingers show through on the bottom photograph. Please feel free to comment.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Pre-rassing commences at Roudsea

Present: JAF

The "RAS Season" for our Marsh Tit study begins formally on 1st March. However, February is a the month for setting up feeding stations, catching and colour-ringing last-year's juveniles that were missed during the winter and generally "getting the feel of things". The last two days (2 nd and 3rd March) were spent in Roudesea Woods and Mosses, targeting Marsh Tits. In the 2009 season, survival of adults was well up to average; however recruitment of new birds into the population was very poor, suggesting a poor breeding season in 2008.

This winter, very good numbers of new Marsh Tits have been ringed, suggesting an excellent breeding season last year (2009). I ringed 10 this morning alone and 19 individuals were accounted for in the two days.

In these two days, 109 birds of 8 species were processed, of which 59 were new. The numbers are below (retraps in brackets:

Great Spotted Woodpecker (1); Blackbird 1; Marsh Tit 10 (9); Coal Tit 2 (9); Blue Tit 17 (13); Great Tit 22 (18); Nuthatch 1; Redpoll 6.
A clearing through the woods under the power cables is a good habitat for catching Marsh Tits

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Frost Delayed Start at Eskmeals 30/01/2010

Please Note Nearest Cumbrian Village is Ravenglass

Present MW,AM, JS.

In my absence a start time of an hour after sunrise was agreed. The excuse was to help thaw the nets. Please note it is a high security area and nets can be left furled. This did not greatly reduce numbers; 51 new birds, 20 re-traps. Included in the new birds were 16 Fieldfare, 4 Blackbirds, 6 Song Thrush and 6 Bullfinch. The remainder were the usual mix with the notable absence of Blackcap, there being 7 caught a week earlier.