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