Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Black Highlight and Colour Ringed Twite

This November there has been three ringing sessions at Eskmeals one at Askam and one in Roudsea Wood.  Active KH, AM, RG. JS and CG.
A total of 355 birds processed of 23 species. 
They were as follows,(re-traps).  Sparrowhawk (1), Great Spotted Woodpecker 1(1), Wren 9(2), Dunnock 11(2), Robin 16(10), Blackbird 24(4), Fieldfare 6, Song Thrush 16(1), Redwing 2, Blackcap 14, Goldcrest 10(1), Long-tailed Tit 3(4), Marsh Tit 3(2), Coal Tit 19(11), Blue Tit 38(11), Gret Tit 11(7), Nuthatch 2, Treecreeper 1(2), Carrion Crow 1, Chaffinch 5(1), Greenfinch 3, Bullfinch 58(16), Twite 19(7).

The Twite catching season kicked off with a catch of 26 birds and some interesting colour ring re-sightings.  Three Heysham (Morecambe) ringed birds.  Two Mull of Kintire and one Isle of Man ringed bird.

The  details of a controlled Ring Plover with a Belgian ring were received this month.
Ringed as a 5 in January 2002 in Senegal (for those with poor geography skills see location indicator at the bottom of the page). It was controlled at Priory Point (Morecambe Bay) May 2010.  4650 kilometres and 15 degrees NNE. 

The team could not  remember when if at all we had caught a Carrion Crow in a mist net.  All were presently surprised at how easily the bird was to handle.   

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Marsh Tit R.A.S. in Roudsea Wood

Present KH, RG and CG.
The group has decided to continue the work that Jim Fowler had been doing over the last 6 years on  a Marsh Tit RAS in Roudsea Woods (to see location see link below).  We colour ringed 3 Marsh Tits and had the following bye-catch, re-traps in brackets.
Great Spotted Woodpecker (1), Wren 1, Marsh Tit 3, Coal Tit 10(3), Blue Tit 10(2), Great Tit 10(2), Chaffinch 4, Greenfinch1.   

White Ring Being Placed Over Carmine - Marsh Tit.

Marsh Tit - Typical Ring Combinations

Friday, 21 October 2011

Bullfinch R.A.S. Kick-off

This last weekend the 15th and 16th of October different members were active on different days at Eskmeals.  JS,  MW,  RG, CG,  LH and KH.  123 birds of 15 species  were processed.  They were as follows, re-traps in brackets.   Sparrowhawk 1, Wren 3(1), Dunnock 4(2), Robin 3(1), Blackbird 10(1), Song Thrush 5, Blackcap 10, Chiffchaff 2, Goldcrest 9, Long-tailed Tit 2(1), Coal Tit 7(6), Blue Tit 12(4), Great Tit 3(2), Chaffinch 7, Bullfinch 22(3). 

A tape lure was used successfully to increase Bullfinch numbers as the group is attempting a RAS.  The first colour combination used was Violet over Violet Left Leg with Violet over metal Right Leg The ring was placed on a  female so you can guess what she will be called, if we see her again. 

First Male Colour Ringed Bullfinch

Monday, 10 October 2011

September Ringing Totals and Colour Flagged Tunstone

The group totals for September were lower than average  due to the weather and holidays  They were as follows with retraps shown (**) : Wren 2, Dunnock 5(4), Robin 11(1), Blackbird 2(1), Song Thrush 1, Blackcap 5, Chiffchaff 8, Goldcrest 13, Long-tailed Tit (2), Coal Tit 3 (3), Blue Tit 11 (4), Great Tit 2 (2), Chaffinch 5, Greenfinch 2, Bullfinch 19 (1).
A Ruddy Turnstone was seen on 23/03/2011 at one of our ringing sites (Foulney Island) .  The white flag, it probably had another on its other leg, indicates it was ringed in Autumn 1994 at Nunavut, Ellesmere Island CANADA.  We saw another on Foulney in 2007 and I would strongly suggest that this is the same bird.
If you wish to see where Ellesmere Island is click on the location below the comments

Photograph  K Hindmarch

Photograph  K Hindmarch

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Isle of May Trip

Present MW, RG, CG, LH, KH and (Mike Easton, Temporary Member).
This trip which some of the team take annually is very weather dependant.  The most successful ones being with some Easterly wind during the week.  Everyone enjoyed the week of hot weather but Southerly winds.  It was so hot at one stage I cooked my camera taking Gannet photographs, just as they were getting closer. Only 140+ birds were ringed and the winter thrushes arrived as we were leaving.  Further photographs will be posted on my other blog.

Colin,Maynall,Ken, Linda and Rosalyn towards end of the week

Determined to do Better Next Year

This Spotted Flycatcher gave one Person Identification Problems
Our Constant Companions Unless You Were Carrying A Camera

Thursday, 8 September 2011

August Totals - Chiffchaff Most Numerous

Present AM, JS, CG, RG, LH and KH.
The month and it's weather only gave the group two chances to meet and thus the numbers were as follows.
A total of 88 birds of 17 species. Wren 5, Dunnock 6, Robin 11, Blackbird 1, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Whitethroat 4, Garden Warbler 2, Blackcap 8, Chiffchaff 15, Willow Warbler 3, Goldcrest 3, Long-tailed Tit 1, Coal Tit 1, Blue Tit 7, Great Tit 9, Jay 1, Bullfinch 10.
Four of the members are off to "The Isle of May" to increase our species knowledge. Great Grey Shrikes and Ring Ouzels here we come. 

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Group Meets N.W. Swan Group Member.

Present JS. KH. RG. and CG.  Jack Sheldon is a member of our group and The North West Swan Ringing Group. Through Jack, who has taken these photographs and is therefore not on any, it was arranged to extend our skills/knowledge by ringing Mute Swans.  Charles Findley showed the members the finer points of how to do this.  The day before, we were ringing birds 1000 times lighter in weight and thanks to his patience we each ringed, and colour ringed, 4 birds each. Detailed photographs and notes were taken of each stage for future expeditions.  A few are shown here to give a flavour of the day. Thanks again Charles.

A Picture of  Rural Tranquillity

Trussed and Indignant

Charles Shows Weighing Technique
Colin is not thinking of "Chicken In A Basket"

Thursday, 28 July 2011

June and July Updates

Present AM, JS, MW, RG, CG, LH, and KH.
The weekend weather for these two months was poor, but a total of 29 species were ringed some of which were pullus.
They were as follows:
 Oystercatcher 5, Herring Gull 1, Great Spotted Woodpecker 1, Tree Pipit 1, Dipper 4, Wren 9, Dunnock 20, Robin 26, Blackbird 7, Song Thrush 5, Mistle Thrush 1, Lesser Whitethroat 8, Whitethroat 5, Artic Tern 5, Little Tern 2, Ringed Plover 10, Garden Warbler 2, Blackcap 31, Chiffchaff 31, Willow Warbler 25, Goldcrest 2, Pied Flycatcher 63, Marsh Tit 3, Coal Tit 12, Blue Tit 19. Great Tit 13, Treecreeper 4, Chaffinch 5, Bullfinch 15.

The photographs below typify the two months catching, interesting but not inspiring.

Song Thrush that had been anting.

Not a Juvenile to Catch on First Outing Alone

Bill Not Broken ,Malformed.

Worth a Picture as Not Caught Often

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Pallid and Common Swift Ringing - Spain May 2011

Present RG, CG, and KH.
A Spanish Ringer kindly took us to a building site in Algerciras.  Work on this part built block of flats in the middle of the town had come to a halt two or three years earlier.  We were soon catching swifts even before having fully positioned the first net. The birds more often than not were caught on the way out as they could not turn sharp enough to use the net free window in through which they had entered. It was decided to stop catching as soon as we re-trapped a bird caught that day.50 swifts were caught of which 43 were Pallid Swift. Full biometrics were taken and only one bird was found to be aged 5. The primaries of both species were extremely stiff  and unusually course to the touch. The Common Swifts were stronger and more difficult to handle, both species had extremely sharp claws  The experience was one not to be missed.   
Nets Up At Some Windows
Pallid Swift Apus pallidus

Pallid Swift

Pallid Swift Wing

Common Swift Wing

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Successful - Ring Plover Catch - Walney. 19/05/2011

Present JS, AM, CG, RG, MW, KH and members of the Morecambe Bay Ringing Group.
The plan was to utilise the fact that Ring Plovers always roost higher up the beach than other waders.
94 Ring Plovers and 4 Dunlin were caught with one Ring Plover re-trap caught previously a few miles away almost one year to the day. The Dunlin were all of the schinzii race. Full biometrics were taken and the Ring Plovers all were within the range of the British group but due to overlap in the wing size range some could be from Greenland or N.Scand/USSR.  Only one was identified as aged 5 and its biometrics, wing and weight helped confirm it as a juvenile . It had the smallest wing and weighed less than any of the other 94.  

Just After The  Cannons Fired

Jack Does A Quick Stock Take

Male Ring Plover

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Jim Fowler

It is with great sadness that I publish this post. Dr.J.A.Fowler died of a heart attack whilst canoeing last week on Coniston Water. I will publish a list of the birds seen  and some photographs of his recent trip to Australia in the next few days.The following link is a touching tribute to Jim . http://dailybitsnbobs.blogspot.com/

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Pair of Goldcrest Return to Eskmeals 16/04/2011

Present RG, CG, AM, JS and KH.
On imputing two re-trap Goldcrests into IPMR I noticed that this male and female had been caught together approximately 12 months earlier. A pair of Pied Wagtails were an unusual catch for this site, being only the third and fourth caught in 23 years. The photograph below illustrates how they started a debate.  Motacilla alba or yarrellii.  Close examination on site and then of photos taken and the use of reference books confirmed that both were yarrellii.
Bird on Right Lighter than Photograph Shows 
 A total of 66 birds processed 22 of which were re-traps.  They were as follows,(re-traps): Pied Wagtail 2, Wren 4(1), Dunnock 3(2), Robin 3(5), Blackbird 1(2), Song Thrush 1, Blackcap 5(1), Chiffchaff 3(5), Willow Warbler 3, Goldcrest (2), Coal Tit 1(1), Blue Tit 2, Chafffinch 4, Lesser Redpoll 2(1), Bullfinch 10 (2).   

Monday, 11 April 2011

Redstart and Returning Migrants 09/04/2011

Present: RG; CG; AM; KH  and JS.
A total of 45 birds of 11 species were processed of which 9 were (re-traps). They were as follows. Wren (1), Redstart 1, Blackbird (1), Blackcap 3(0), Chiffchaff 8(1), Willow warbler 5(1), Long-tailed-Tit 1(1), Coal Tit (1), Chaffinch 5, Lesser Redpoll 2, Bullfinch 9(3). The highlight was a male Redstart.  This was unfortunately only seen by myself as I was working some distance from the others and the birds welfare comes first.  It was the first I had handled in the spring and I could not believe the amount of feather abrasion.. A photograph is included for the benefit of the others in the group.  The two returning warblers were of no significant age. 

Can Anyone Age This?  
Feathers Stuck Together by Nectar.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Blues at Hay Bridge 19/03/2011

Present KH, RG and CG
After 101 Siskins we returned to the same site 10 days later and complete silence.  The noise from the flock had been remarkable. 96 birds were processed of 12 species (re-traps).Great Spotted Woodpecker 2, Dunnock 1, Robin 1, Long-tailed Tit 2, Marsh Tit (1), Coal Tit 4 (2), Blue Tit 34 (13), Great Tit 8 (5), Nuthatch1, Chaffinch 12, Goldfinch7, Siskin 3. The only thing of note was an adult male Chaffinch with a wing of 93mm and the sorry state of the Blue Tit shown below.
Is this Feather Mite?

Some Degradation 

This Wing Okay

Thursday, 10 March 2011

101 Siskins Ringed 09/03/2011

Present JS , KH, RG and CG
A not at all promising day turned out to be the opposite. Strong West Winds with rain almost led to the cancelling of the day at Hay Bridge.  It was only the horrible forecast for the rest of the week that decided us to have a go. We took with us some drop traps as insurance against the high winds   The birds processed were as follows, (re-traps). Robin 0 (1), Blackbird 0 (1), Long-tailed Tit 1 (1), Blue Tit 18 (3), Great Tit 2, Treecreeper 1, Chaffinch 13, Goldfinch 11, Siskin 101 (3), Lesser Redpoll 9 (2). We had two controls a Siskin and the last bird of the day a Lesser Redpoll. 

Chardonnerets -  Taken, used successfully at the start. 
One of the One Hundred and One

Too Busy to Pose

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Roudsea 7 March 2011

Present: JAF, CG, RG.

64 birds processed, 20 new (additional retraps in brackets): Marsh Tit (4); Coal Tit 3 (+2); Blue Tit 8 (+18); Great Tit 8 (+19); Nuthatch 1; Chaffinch (1).

Ros and Colin extract from a mist net set in coppiced hazel scrub

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Rassing Day 2

Roudsea Woods and Mosses NNR, 2 March 2011
Present: JAF, KW, PM
A quieter day, 47 birds processed, 17 new (additional retraps in brackets): Marsh Tit (4); Coal Tit 1 (+1); Blue Tit 13 (+17); Great Tit 2 (+7); Nuthatch (1); Chaffinch 1.

 Pam records while Kim processes a Nuthatch

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Let the Rassing commence!

Roudsea Woods and Mosses NNR, 1 March 2011, Present JAF

A good start on the first day of the Marsh Tit RAS season with one new bird and 18 retraps/re-sightings.

A total of 116 birds processed, 39 new (additional retraps in brackets): Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 (+3); Marsh Tit 1 (+18); Coal Tit 2 (+2); Blue Tit 20 (+21); Great Tit 10 (+33); Nuthatch 4; Chaffinch 1.

Roudsea Woods and Mosses NNR on a spring morning

 The first Marsh Tit of the 2011 R.A.S season

And what better way to kick-off the RAS season than with a fry-up on the trangia!

Sunday, 27 February 2011

February's Totals Eskmeals and Rusland Valley 27/02/2011

Present KH, RG, CG and JS (part time)
The Winter Thrushes have moved away and ringing will be slow for the next month unless the weather take a turn for the worst. The month totals are as follows, re-traps in brackets.
Wren (1), Dunnock (2), Robin 2 (3), Blackbird 1 (1), Fieldfare 2, Blackcap 4, Long-tailed Tit (1), Coal Tit 4 (5), Blue Tit 69 (15), Great Tit 38 (5), Chaffinch 10, Goldfinch 6 (1), Siskin 22 (1), Lesser Redpoll 20,Bullfinch (1).
The two things of note in the month were our preparation for our Spain ringing trip and our encounters with Kite Surfers when trying for Rock Pipits.
Ros Practises Taking Biometrics Ready For Spain

They who harass geese shall be harassed (eco warrior) 

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Spring arrives at Roudsesa

26 February 2011. Present: JAF.

At last some spring sunshine and reasonable temperatures. Mainly maintenance (repairing and topping up feeders ready for the start of the RAS season next week), but a few birds caught (additional retraps/resightings in brackets): Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 (+1); Blue Tit 3 (+6); Great Tit (3); Marsh Tit 1 (+5).

The warmer weather brought out these little fellows 
making their way to spawning sites

Monday, 21 February 2011

Miserable Monday at Roudsea

21 February 2011, present: JAF, KW.

A promising start with 4 Marsh Tits in the first round before rain stopped play at nine o'clock. 23 birds processed, 13 new (additional retraps in brackets): Robin (1); Blackbird 1; Marsh Tit 2 (+2); Blue Tit 3 (+3); Great Tit 2 (+4); Nuthatch 2; Chaffinch 1; Lesser Redpoll 1.

Kim tries to stay cheerful
on a miserable Monday morning
processing the last few birds
before rain stopped play.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Hawk among the Tits at Roudsea

17 February 2011; Present: JAF

68 birds processed, of which 42 new. The session was remarkable for an influx of Blue Tits. Additional retraps in brackets: Sparrowhawk 1; Robin 1; Blackbird 1; Marsh Tit (5, +2 field sightings); Coal Tit (2); Blue Tit 35 (+12); Great Tit 2 (+4); Nuthatch 2; Chaffinch 1.

A male Sparrowhawk makes a change from the plethora of tits

Roudsea Woods and Mosses NNR on a winter's afternoon

Roudsea, 18 February 2011, present JAF

70 birds processed, 30 new (additional retraps in brackets): Great Spotted Woodpecker 1; Marsh Tit (5); Coal Tit 1 (+2); Blue Tit 22 (+22); Great tit 3 (+11); Chaffinch 3.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Wednesday morning in the park

Askam Park 16 February 2011. Present: JAF.

With the local kids safely locked up in the village school I was able to pass a couple of hours in the little park while waiting for the the engineer to come to service my gas boiler.

13 birds (11 new. retraps in brackets): Dunnock 2; Blackbird 2; Starling 3; House Sparrow 2; Greenfinch 1; Bullfinch 1 (+2).

A quiet corner of Askam village park. 
The mist net is set in front of the hedge on the far right.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Record catch at Roudsea

10 February 2011. Present: JAF

123 birds processed (45 new) represents a record catch for this site (previous best 94).
A retrapped Marsh Tit ringed on 3rd March 2003 is the oldest known bird in the wood and was a member of the first cohort of Marsh Tits in the RAS project.

Species list (additional retraps in brackets): Marsh Tit: 2 (+11); Coal Tit 2 (+9); Blue Tit 18 (+28); Great Tit 20 (+29); Nuthatch 1 (+1); Chaffinch 2.

"Old Faithful", (right below: blue above red; left below: metal) 
is the oldest known bird in the wood

Hazel catkins in late winter sunshine in Roudsea Woods and Mosses NNR