Wednesday, 30 June 2010

28th and 29th June 2010 - Monday Morning, Nests and My Last Day

Another successful session by Eddie and I at Chesworth Farm on Monday morning produced 101 birds of which 58 were new. Highlights of the new birds included a breeding female Yellowhammer (above), a juvenile Whitethroat (below), a juvenile Treecreeper (only the fourth for the site), two adult Song Thrush and two adult and two juvenile Blackcap.
Retraps produced a large number of juvenile Great Tits that were ringed on the previous session, but also an adult male Blackbird that was originally ringed on 20th October 2007 as an adult.

Afterwards I went to Horsham Park again and managed to get another of the juvenile Canada Geese, leaving just one more to get and then returning home set the potter traps and managed to catch just one bird, but only the second ever Collared Dove (below). Hopefully this one will live a bit longer than the previous one!
Then on Tuesday, 29th, my last day of working for Horsham District Council, a slightly earlier start saw Jake and I venture out for my first Goldcrest nest that I had spotted on Sunday (poor shot of the nest with chicks just visible above). This was not for the faint-hearted and definitely not to try at home as the nest was about 20ft up and suspended from the end of a Douglas Fir limb at Warnham LNR. The nest held six chicks, but only four were ringable with the other two too small, but I am glad my day long ladder training course came in handy (below)!
Wes also ringed two nests today at the Capel Reserve being four Blackbird chicks and a nest of Willow Warbler which was unusually small having just two chicks and an unhatched egg.

I am now moving to a new job as Head Ranger of Leith Hill and Holmwood Common with the National Trust just into Surrey, so not too far away and although I plan to continue my ringing at the Horsham sites, the scale will be less and maybe some new ringing possibilities will be found at my new work place. Wish me luck!

Birds ringed: (retraps in brackets)
Robin - 2 (2)
Blackcap - 4 (1)
Whitethroat - 1
Blue Tit - 10 (3)
Great Tit - 9 (15)
Dunnock - 3 (2)
Yellowhammer - 1
Chaffinch - 5
Goldfinch - 1
Chiffchaff - 3 (1)
Treecreeper - 1
Willow Warbler - 2 nestlings
Golcrest - 4 nestlings
Song Thrush - 2 (1)
Canada Goose - 1
Collared Dove - 1
Blackbird - 2 + 4 nestlings (2)
Great Spotted Woodpecker - (3)
Reed Warbler - (5)
Greenfinch - 5
House Sparrow - 7 (7)

Sunday, 27 June 2010

25th June 2010 - Capel Reserve and Nests

Wes did a late session at the Capel Reserve on Friday evening and managed to catch 58 new birds of 16 species with highlights being four adult Bullfinch, 13 Chiffchaff, seven Whitethroat, a Treecreeper, a Reed Warbler, a Garden Warbler and the first juvenile Nightingale! Not bad for a couple of hours!!! The Bullfinch are quite interesting as last year we ringed just under 90 in total, whereas this year so far we are only just into double figures, did they suffer a lot due to the cold winter?

The highlight from the retraps was a Jay originally ringed on 23rd June 2006. Another species that rarely gets retrapped.

Wes also managed to ring a couple of nests this week being five Blackbird and four Swallow, but also managed to catch the parent Swallows as well.

Birds ringed:
Blue Tit - 14
Chiffchaff - 13
Whitethroat - 7
Bullfinch - 4
Blackcap - 3
Robin - 3
Wren - 3
Great Tit - 2
Greenfinch - 2
Blackbird - 1 + 5 nestlings
Nightingale - 1
Treecreeper - 1
Garden Warbler - 1
Reed Warbler - 1
Reed Bunting - 1
Goldfinch - 1
Swallow - 2 + 4 nestlings

Saturday, 26 June 2010

25th and 26th June 2010 - Reedbed and Another Rescue

Today I visited the Swallow nests again and chanced upon a Pied Wagtail nest with five young and although there were no Swallow nests ready a further nest with five eggs was found in a grand chicken shed and some noise from an unused stable produced an adult female that seemed to have got trapped (below). Thank goodness I check everyone each time I visit, but still unsure how or why she got in there!
Yesterday, 25th, was a solo session in the reedbed at Warnham LNR produced 62 birds with 48 new. Highlights of the new birds were a Jay, a juvenile Garden Warbler, an adult and five juvenile Blackcap, a juvenile Treecreeper and a juvenile and adult Reed Warbler. The adult Reed Warbler was interesting in that it displayed no breeding signs, but wasn't a failed breeder as there was no sign of any moult either. But, it did have a certain amount of fat, so must be assumed that it is a late arriving migrant that has just arrived! Another interesting catch was a juvenile Great Tit which had the dark parts of the bill replaced with a pink colouration, although the yellow fringe was still evident (below). It would be interesting to see how this bird fares in years to come!
Retraps were fairly few for here, but the highlights were two new Reed Warblers for the year, ringed in August 2009 and August 2008, and a moulting adult female Willow Warbler with a brood patch which was ringed as a juvenile in July 2009. This Willow Warbler is very interesting as it is the first retrap of this species for the Horsham sites and could be one half of a second breeding pair on the reserve and could also be a bird born on or new the reserve last year...!

Birds ringed: (retraps in brackets)
Swallow - 1 + 4 nestlings
Blackbird - 1 + 5 nestlings
Reed Warbler - 2 (6)
Blackcap - 6 (1)
Blue Tit - 16
Great Tit - 9 (5)
Dunnock - 4
Robin - 2 (1)
Garden Warbler - 1
Pied Wagtail - 5 nestlings
Wren - 2
Chiffchaff - 3 (1)
Treecreeper - 1
Jay - 1

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

19th to 23rd June 2010 - Flies, Pies, Terns and a Fish

The last five days have turned into a bit of a Ringathon with me having a good amount of time off to run around catching up on nests, a rescue and a ringing demonstration as follows:

19th - Only four birds ringed on this day. A walk with my inlaws around my home patch was rewarded with a Spotted Flycatcher calling on a wire with food which disappeared into an old wooden barn and then came out without it. A quick turn of pace to get back home rustle up a gooseberry crumble for dinner (keep the family happy!) and a drive round with rings and a knock on the owner's door. Very happy to oblige, the owner allowed me access to the barn and on entering immediately spotted the nest with four ringable chicks. Shame I forgot my camera!! Also three yearling Mute Swans turned up at Warnham LNR today and Sue managed to read the ring that was on one and was one of the cygnets that was born here last year. Good to know that it has survived.

20th - A brief morning ringing in the garden was back on form after very little recently catching 28 birds with 18 new including ten Greenfinch and two juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Part 1 - Louise and I started at 3.15am at Chesworth Farm setting the nets and was later joined by Eddie with nets down by 11am. A total of 103 birds with 83 new including a juvenile Treecreeper, 11 Greenfinch, ten House Sparrow and a Jackdaw (first caught here - above). The only interesting retrap was a Blue Tit ringed in October 2007.
Part 2 - Louise and I then went to Horsham Hospital to collect a female Mallard that had nested in one of the enclosed courtyards having seven ducklings and were unable to get out. Between us and the help of Linda from the hospital Mum and all were gathered up, ringed and taken to Warnham LNR to be released.
Part 3 - Then we made a quick visit to Horsham Park where Louise managed to bag one of the Canada Goose goslings.
Part 4 - Returning to Warnham LNR a newly fledged Magpie (above) was walking around the courtyard and I very quickly managed to pick it up, Louise ringed it and then released it out of harms way with parents nearby. Unfortunately, five minutes later a Crow came down and carried it away!
Part 5 - The main reason for returning to Warnham LNR was to then venture out onto the Millpond to ring the three Common Terns on one of the rafts (above and below), for which we were joined by Jake. The second raft wasn't so lucky with the female found dead on the raft completely emaciated leaving three unhatched eggs - possibly not being fed enough by the male?
Part 6 - A quick trip to Rudgwick by Louise, Kevin and I to meet Aston and Chris to ring another Spotted Flycatcher nest in Aston's garden which held just two young and three unhatched eggs. I remembered my camera this time (below).
Part 7 - The only unsuccessful part, was a trip to the Heronry back at Warnham LNR where there has been a lot of late breeding activity. Joined again by climber Gary we checked a nest that should have been ready for ringing, but had been predated and then found another new nest that when climbed the chicks were too old! A further new nest was also found but again just too old! A bit frustrating, but the Heronry here is now realised to be much larger than ever thought with an estimation last year of 17 nests with this year holding at least 28 nests making it the biggest in the county!

22nd - In the morning I ringed the last of the Warnham LNR nest boxes resulting in five Great Tit chicks. In the early evening Wes, Jake and I ran a public ringing demonstration at Warnham LNR which was hosted by the Friends group mainly focused on the reedbed area and with a good attendance and near perfect weather caught 25 retraps and 19 new birds of 14 species. Highlights of new birds included another Magpie, two Garden Warbler, three Blackcap and two Reed Warbler (including the first juveniles of the year) and a juvenile Kingfisher which was a real spectacle. Another amazing find was of a Golden-ringed Dragonfly in one of the nets which was the first record of this heathland species for this very non-heathland reserve (below) bringing the site odonata total to 25 species.
23rd - Another Blackbird nest of four in my garden was ready to ring this morning and a post breeding check of the nest boxes at Warnham LNR, unexpected turned up a second brood of six Great Tit and of the 40+ occupied boxes on the reserve just a single dead chick was found making this by far the most successful year!

Birds ringed: (retraps in brackets)
Spotted Flycatcher - 6 nestlings
Dunnock - 5 (4)
Goldfinch - 3 (2)
Blue Tit - 17 (7)
Robin - 4 (3)
Great Tit - 32 + 11 nestlings (6)
Chaffinch - 3 (1)
Blackcap - 3 (4)
Garden Warbler - 2 (2)
Reed Warbler - 2 (6)
Treecreeper - 1
Chiffchaff - 6 (2)
Wren - 1 (1)
Jackdaw - 1
Magpie - 2
Mallard - 8
Canada Goose - 1
Common Tern - 3 nestlings
Kingfisher - 1
Greenfinch - 21 (3)
House Sparrow - 10 (2)
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 2 (2)
Blackbird - 5 + 4 nestlings (6)
Mute Swan - (1)
Long-tailed Tit - (3)

Saturday, 19 June 2010

17th and 18th June 2010 - MANDARIN!

A brief visit to the Farm locally where I have been ringing Swallow chicks on 17th produced five chicks ringed from the third pair nesting here.
On the 18th, Louise and I ringed in the reedbed and a net in Woodpecker Hide (the newly named Feeding Station) at Warnham LNR during the morning, catching 75 birds of 17 species including 48 new birds. Highlights of the new birds included two Garden Warbler, a Reed Warbler, a juvenile Coal Tit, two juvenile Treecreeper (above), a Jay and a juvenile male Mandarin (below). The latter was one of two caught in the Woodpecker Hide net, although the second managed to escape the net. You can see it is a male as it has just started moulting into adult plumage with orange 'go-faster' stripes on the head and a few adult feathers on the side of the breast. They are almost certainly the produce of one of the pairs that has bred here and it is the first to have been caught at the sites and considering only 18 got ringed in all of Britain in 2009 it is a very good catch!
The highlight of the retraps was a breeding adult female Blue Tit that was ringed here as a juvenile on 5th Sep 2006. The Grey Wagtail pair thats nest was ringed at the beginning of May had relocated to another outlet pipe in the sluice here and on inspection had just a single well grown chick which I ringed. Unusual just to have one and no sign of any unhatched eggs!
A late visit to Leechpool and Owlbeech Woods involved a bit of nest finding with a pair of Blackcap feeding six nestlings (above) and a pair of Yellowhammer feeding, but although I spent some time looking, could not locate the nest. Very frustrating!!!

Birds ringed: (Retraps in brackets)
Swallow - 5 nestlings
Blackcap - 6 + 6 nestlings (1)
Garden Warbler - 2 (2)
Blue Tit - 6 (5)
Dunnock - 1 (1)
Robin - 2 (1)
Chaffinch - 2
Great Tit - 6 (11)
Reed Warbler - 1 (2)
Coal Tit - 1
Grey Wagtail - 1 nestling
Treecreeper - 2
Chiffchaff - 3 (2)
Wren - 1
Long-tailed Tit - 11
Jay - 1
Blackbird - 2
Song Thrush - (1)
Mandarin - 1

Monday, 14 June 2010

14th June 2010 - A New Species and a New Nest

Although the forecast for today was of showers and heavy wind I risked getting up early to go to Chesworth Farm this morning and was very glad to have done as there was no rain and the wind didn't pick up until after 9am! It also turned out to be a very productive session for Eddie and I.
Although only 44 birds were caught the 27 which were new included some real quality starting with an adult male Yellowhammer (above) and the tenth Reed Warbler for the pond this year, an adult female.
Then two juvenile Blackbird (above), which was really good as all of the nests that we have found here have been predated, so glad at least one survived. Another new juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker which was probably from a different family to the ones last week as I caught them again as well and the new bird was in active wing moult while the other two not.
The last three new birds of the day were the highlights with a Woodpigeon, a Jay and a smashing adult male Kestrel (above). This is the first Kestrel to be caught at the Horsham DC sites and a real beauty having watched it hunting for the prior 30 minutes.
After Chesworth I popped back to Horsham Park and managed to catch two of the five Canada Goose goslings and then onto Warnham LNR where the first pair of Common Terns have hatched three chicks (to be ringed soon). I then spent an hour walking through the reedbed on the edge of the meadow looking for Reed Warbler nests as this is a nest that we have never ringed before and I managed to find six of which one had three ringable chicks and an unhatched egg (above). The other nests were one with four eggs, one with five eggs (below), one with one egg, one empty, and one that had been predated.
Birds ringed: (retraps in brackets)
Blue Tit - 8 (2)
Yellowhammer - 1
Robin - 2 (2)
Chaffinch - 1
Goldfinch - 2
Reed Warbler - 1 + 3 nestlings (1)
Blackbird - 2 (1)
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1 (3)
House Sparrow - 1 (6)
Greenfinch - 4
Great Tit - (2)
Jay - 1
Woodpigeon - 1
Kestrel - 1
Canada Goose - 2

Saturday, 12 June 2010

5th - 13th June 2010 - A Busy Week

A very busy week with a combination of some netting and nesting.

Wes started with a session at the Capel reserve on Saturday 5th, briefly joined by me, catching 20 new birds of ten species with highlights being four Whitethroat, a Reed Bunting and four new breeding Blackbird.
Wednesday 9th was a windy day but the potter traps in my garden produced three juvenile Chaffinch (above) and a juvenile and adult Greenfinch.
On Thursday 10th Jake and myself netted the reedbed at Warnham LNR catching 77 birds of twelve species including 43 new birds with highlights being a Reed Bunting, a newly fledged juvenile Garden Warbler (above), five Blackcap and seven Chiffchaff. But the best catch was a female Willow Warbler with a brood patch and a male singing nearby which is the first confirmed breeding of this species at this site. There was also an interestingly plumaged juvenle Great Tit which was very dark and lacking any yellow (below). Also on this day, Wes managed to ring a nest of six Willow Warbler and a nest of five Garden Warbler at the Capel reserve and I ringed the second to last nest box at Warnham LNR of Blue Tits.
On Friday 11th, Wes checked two Barn Owl boxes in a farm building near Capel and found an unringed male in one and an unringed female in the other with young chicks.
Finally, today I ringed at home in the morning and late afternoon catching 13 new birds highlighting in a juvenile and adult female Linnet (never caught here before - above), a juvenile Nuthatch (below) and another adult Jackdaw. In the field behind the house I also managed to find a nest of five Pied Wagtail in a log pile on a trailer which I ringed and a Linnet nest with one egg.
In a brief trip out at lunch today, 13th, to Horsham Park I managed to catch a Coot (below) in true Kane Brides fashion. Then a detour home via the Swallow nests that were at egg stage last week to find the nest with three eggs had three ringable chicks and the nest of five eggs with only day old chicks.
Birds ringed: (Retraps in brackets)
Blackbird - 5 (2)
Whitethroat - 4
Chiffchaff - 10 (3)
Great Tit - 8
Robin - 7 (1)
Greenfinch - 4
House Sparrow - 1
Willow Warbler - 2 + 6 nestlings
Reed Bunting - 2 (1)
Bullfinch - 1
Garden Warbler - 1 + 5 nestlings (1)
Reed Warbler - (1)
Blue Tit - 20 + 6 nestlings (20)
Chaffinch - 3
Dunnock - 2
Linnet - 2
Goldfinch - 6 (1)
Pied Wagtail - 5 nestlings
Swallow - 3 nestlings
Barn Owl - 2
Jackdaw - 1
Coot - 1
Nuthatch - 1

Monday, 7 June 2010

7th June 2010 - Chesworth and Owls

A decent selection of species this morning at Chesworth Farm with new birds including a Jay, another new Reed Warbler (nine birds now caught here), two juvenile Great-spotted Woodpecker (below) and a good haul of 15 Greenfinch. A Spotted Flycatcher was seen, but away from the nets.
I was joined at 10am by Barrie and Anne Watson and Eddie to check the Barn Owl box here. On inspection, the box contained five well grown chicks (below) and all were of a ringable size although varying dramatically. The most amazing thing though was what else was in the box.
Apart from the knock over smell of ammonia and pellets galore there were two freshly killed mammals (which I think I had seen the male bring back to the nestbox only moments earlier) being a Common Shrew and a Field Vole (below).
We then went to a couple of other boxes near my Warnham garden finding a pair at one with four eggs, being brooded by the adult female that was caught here last year, while the other nest contained a day old chick and three eggs and a capture of the adult male (below with Barrie).
Birds ringed: (retraps in brackets)
Robin - 4
Goldfinch - 4 (1)
Blue Tit - 16 (2)
Blackcap - 2 (3)
Reed Warbler - 1 (3)
Whitethroat - 1
Great Tit - 1 (1)
Song Thrush - 1
Jay - 1
Reed Bunting - (1)
Great-spotted Woodpecker - 2 (1)
House Sparrow - 4 (3)
Greenfinch - 15 (2)
Blackbird - (2)
Wren - (1)
Barn Owl - 1 + 5 nestlings (1)

Sunday, 6 June 2010

6th June 2010 - Warnham Ducks and Warblers

A short session at Warnham LNR this morning by Jake and myself produced 15 birds with highlights being three new Reed Warbler and a retrap which was ringed here as a breeding adult male on 3rd June 2006, and a juvenile Great-spotted Woodpecker. Afterwards we donned the waders and got into the sluice where we managed to scoop up four of the seven Mallard ducklings that have been feeding there recently including the runt of the brood (pictured with me below).
The four remaining tit boxes at the reserve were also checked with one abandoned at nest lining stage, one with a Great Tit sat on five eggs, a Blue Tit nest with just two young and three unhatched eggs (ringed) and a Blue Tit nest with eight too small chicks. So still some more to be done!

Birds ringed: (retraps in brackets)
Great-spotted Woodpecker - 1 (1)
Robin - 4 (1)
Reed Warbler - 3 (2)
Song Thrush - 1 (1)
Chaffinch - (1)
Blue Tit - 2 nestlings
Mallard - 4

Friday, 4 June 2010

1st to 4th June 2010 - More Nests and Youngsters

Having not visited Coot Pond in a while, Jake and I went over with a bag of seed after work on Tuesday, 1st, and managed to catch four of the Canada Goose goslings (below with Jake) from the brood of seven that are here and hopefully catch the others another day.

Then I popped over to check a couple of boxes that have had Stock Dove in the past, but just one was occupied with an adult on two eggs (below).

On Thursday, 3rd, an early morning session was done at Warnham LNR catching a total of 34 birds including new birds with highlights being a Garden Warbler, a Reed Bunting, three Reed Warbler, two Chiffchaff (including a juvenile - above), a Woodpigeon and six Blackbird, although the star was two juvenile Marsh Tit (below).

Highlights of the retraps included two male Long-tailed Tits of which one was ringed on 23rd Sep 2006 as an unaged bird and the second ringed on 2nd Sep 2007 also as an unaged bird, neither of which have been caught since! After work Jake and I visited some local neighbours to see if any of their Swallows were ready for ringing and of the four nests, one had four ringable young (below), one had five ringable young, one had three eggs and one had five eggs. After which I popped to Kelly and her daughter Millie's house to ring their nest of Blue Tits which was small with just five chicks. Millie could hardly contain herself she was so excited!

And then yesterday, 4th, a late morning session at Leechpool and Owlbeech Woods produced just nine birds including two male Garden Warbler and two male Willow Warbler (below). Also here today were a family of Redpoll and a Nightjar was heard churring on three occasions during the ringing.

Birds ringed: (retraps in brackets)
Blackcap - 2
Garden Warbler - 3 (1)
Robin - 4 (1)
Reed Warbler - 3
Marsh Tit - 2
Reed Bunting - 1
Blue Tit - 3 + 5 nestlings (4)
Great Tit - 1
Swallow - 9 nestlings
Chiffchaff - 2
Wren - 1
Willow Warbler - 2
Blackbird - 7 (1)
Long-tailed Tit - (2)
Great Spotted Woodpecker - (1)
Greenfinch - (1)
Dunnock - (1)