Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Kirksanton Moss

Present AM, RG and CG.
A few wind free days made this a very productive site.  The table below shows the species and numbers caught on 4 recent visits.



Thursday, 27 September 2012

Leisurely West Coast Migration

Present AM, RG and CG.
Part of the team are exploring the migration potential of a West Coast site called Kirksanton..  It is where the western most mountain of the lakes, Black Combe, meets the Irish Sea. In certain conditions large visual migration can be seen,  At the time of writing this blog they are having a third ringing session.  Two sessions in  September have produced the following. I have a feeling they will be lucky  today 

Mipit Net Inspection

Some sit Tight in the Hedge
Is this a First year Bird?

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Easy Species to Age.

Present CG, RG, JS, and KH.  A nice number of species considering, the site is a wet broad-leafed wood.
Photographs of two species we did not debate the age of, unlike the Marsh and Coal Tits.

Part of our Ringing History.  Members will know the details. 

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Eskmeals Saturday 21/07/2012

Present JS, RG, CG, LH and KH.
Bright sunshine and the poor breeding season reduced our normal July catch size by approximately 50%.  A total of 56 birds were processed of 14 species.  They were as follows, (retraps). Wren 3(1), Dunnock 9, Lesser Whitethroat 1,  Blackcap 4, Blue Tit 8(1),  Robin 7, Song Thrush 2, Chiffchaff  8, Willow Warbler 4, Great Tit 2, Treecreeper 1, Jay 1, Bullfinch 1, Lesser Redpoll 3

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Reduced Activity

Our main ringing site being out of bounds until recently due to security clearance problems, the groups activities have been much reduced.  The  following is a summary of our activities during April, May and June,
a total of only 137 birds processed of which there were 25 species. They were as follows (retraps) :
Peregrine 2, Tawny Owl 2, Great Spotted Woodpecker (2), Tree Pipit 3, Wren 1, Dunnock 2(1), Robin 5, Blackbird 5, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Garden Warbler 2, Blackcap 3, Chiffchaff  9, Willow Warbler 6, Goldcrest 1, Pied Flycatcher 10, Long-tailed Tit 1(1), Marsh Tit 15(11), Coal Tit 1(2), Blue Tit 11(1), Great Tit 9(12), Nuthatch 11, Treecreeper 1, House Sparrow 1, Chaffinch 3, Greenfinch 2.

 Nest and eggs of a ground nesting Tawny Owl against a large conifer. Two pulli ringed and survived as the nest was in the middle of a fox proof  pheasant pen.

Some people spend money on fibre optic endoscopes. This photograph through a mirror shows a correctly designed nest box and a mirror is all you need. 

One of two ringed with a Schedule 1 Licence.  A very poor year in our area for this species. 

Monday, 23 April 2012

Ground Nesting Tawny Owls

Present RG, CG, KH, LH and JS.
When this bird was found we could not believe how early she was nesting and that it was on the ground.There is a definite shortage of natural holes in this large larch wood. All three eggs hatched but only two have survived to this stage. 

Monday, 9 April 2012

March - Ringing Totals

Present RG, CG, LH, JS, AM and KH
The highlight of the month was a returning Chiffchaff that was ringed and re-trapped on two occasions last year, therefore, it would be reasonable to say it is returning to breed. The other thing worth mentioning was the Blackbird with the de-formed bill, was re-trapped and does not appear to be losing any condition, see earlier blog for photographs.  A total of only 13 species was processed during the month. They were as follows, re-traps being the second number shown.
Wren 4,4; Dunnock 4,1; Robin 1,0; Blackbird 0,2; Song Thrush 2,0; Chiffchaff 7,1; Marsh Tit 0,4; Coal Tit 1,1; Blue Tit  9,3; Great Tit 1,5; Treecreeper 1,0; Chaffinch 6,0; Bullfinch 0,2.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Eskmeals - Old Robins Re-visit.

Present KH. LH. RG, CG, and JS.                                                                         Date 11/02/2012

A total of 48 birds were processed of which 33 were re-traps. They were as follows (re-traps).
Sparrowhawk 1, Wren 1(2), Dunnock (2), Robin 2(7), Blackbird 1(1), Blackcap 2, Goldcrest (1), Long-tailed Tit (3), Coal Tit 1(1), Blue Tit 5(15). Bullfinch 2(1).

Two of the seven re-trap Robins were a minimum of five years old and although re-trapped previously one had not been seen for two and the other three years.

This got me thinking about winter visitors to Eskmeals.
It has long been a disappointment, that in ringing 1194 Blackcaps since 1988, our group have never had a control at Eskmeals.  I have investigated, using IPMR, and found that if you regard the beginning of November through to the end of  February as winter, then we have had birds returning consecutive winters on 8 occasions. This is with only 44 other re-traps, summers and same winters. There have been no occurrences of a summer bird being re-trapped in this winter period.  This, I believe, shows how important this west coast Sea-buckthorn site is for Blackcaps.
It is not a site for other over wintering warblers with only 2 Chiffchaffs out of 658 and 1 Willow Warbler out of 3497 caught in what I would call deep mid-winter.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Marsh Tit Bycatch

Present RG, CG and KH.               Roudsea  08/02/2012

We were hoping to colour ring some Marsh Tits with no success at all . The usual suspects were caught in the usual numbers. Then our day suddenly brightened. Three Haw Finches a fourteen year gap since the last one. The first picture shows the relaxed ringers grip.  The second shows how to prevent being nipped.  You have to keep the index finger gently under the birds chin. You can see on the second photograph and I can still feel the pliers like nip that you will get if this procedure is not used. 

Monday, 30 January 2012

Interesting Blaca

Present KH, LH, AM, RG and JS.       Eskmeals  28/01/2012

Perfect ringing conditions and, as a fortnight ago, a slow start but a good final total.  The Bullfinch obviously roost away from our net sites, as we are there two hours before they honour us with their presence.  On our last visit to this site the blog was entitled "Bullfinch Bonanza", today we had  twice as many new birds and went well past the 100 colour ringed. 

A total of 142  birds was processed of 16 species, re-traps shown in brackets. They were as follows: Wren 1(1), Dunnock (4), Robin 5(6), Blackbird 8(3), Fieldfare 3, Song Thrush 4, Redwing 2, Blackcap 6(2), Goldcrest 2(1), Long-tailed Tit 4(4), Coal Tit 3(7), Blue Tit 5(17), Great Tit 3(5), Treecreeper 1(1), Chaffinch 3(2), Bullfinch 34(5).     

Blackcaps always remind me of little boys whose mothers cut their hair with the use of a pudding bowl.  The bird below looks like his mum has given him some highlights

Monday, 16 January 2012

Bullfinch Bonanza

Present : JS, AM, RG, LH, KH.                                                  Eskmeals  14/01/2012

Although we knew we were close to processing a 100 birds the cold wind got into old bones. Too cold to do a count we finished and found out later we were 1 short of the ton.  

Ninety-nine birds of  sixteen species were processed.They were as follows with re-traps shown in brackets; Sparrowhawk 1, Wren 1(1), Dunnock 2, Robin 4(4), Blackbird 7(2), Fieldfare 7, Song Thrush 3, Redwing 4, Blackcap 5, Coal Tit 3(1), Blue Tit 3(17), Great Tit 2, Treecreeper 1, Chaffinch 5(1), Greenfinch 1, Bullfinch 17(7).

Below are three photographs of some interest taken on the day.

Song Thrush Replacing Lost Feathers

Notice How Sunlight changes Eyes

Blackbird Twisted and Crossed Bill