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.