Tuesday, 27 July 2010

27th July 2010 - Current Year Total

Have just calculated up the ringing for the year so far and we have just reached the 3000 mark with a total of 3080.

The blog is going to be taking a break for a while, but hopefully be back some time soon.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

18th July 2010 - 85 New Birds for the Garden

A vast change from the last month or so was a huge catch of 85 new birds in my garden today! A lot of Blue Tits and Great Tits and very few finches which is unusual for here (juvenile Goldfinch above) but did also include some highlights such as a juvenile Jackdaw (below), an amazing five juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker and six Blackbird.

But the shock bird of the morning came in the form of a migrant juvenile Grasshopper Warbler (below)! I can't imagine what it would be doing here as this is a bird more usually associated with wetlands on migration! I wasn't complaining though as this was only the second caught in the Horsham area, the first being caught at Warnham LNR in July 2008.
Also of interest was that there was only one retrap which was an adult male Blue Tit ringed here in late 2008.

Birds ringed: (Retraps in brackets)
Robin - 5
Great Tit - 28
Blue Tit - 28 (1)
Chaffinch - 2
Dunnock - 5
Goldfinch - 1
Grasshopper Warbler - 1
Wren - 1
Jackdaw - 1
Greenfinch - 1
Blackbird - 6
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 5

Thursday, 15 July 2010

15th July 2010 - Another Buzzard

Still not having recovered from the Buzzard ringing on Tuesday I got a call from Louise at 8.30am to say that she had just picked one up off the road! As her and James (her housemate) were leaving the office near Box Hill in the rain they watched a Buzzard fly around the adjacent field and land on the road. They stopped and Louise got out and picked it up and it was rather damp, so phoned me at which I immediately dashed over. By the time I got there the bird had dried off a lot and immediately realised that it was again a first year bird, although quite a bit older than the last two and was already starting post juvenile moult (which can be seen in the wing photos below).
Being this much older makes it hard to determine where it is from, although it is likely that it was born in the near area, it could have also come from quite a distance away.
By the time we had assessed and processed the bird the weather was far better and the bird was released and flew away. Another happy customer. Well done Louise.

Birds ringed:
Buzzard - 1

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

13th and 14th July 2010 - Reedbed and a Selection of Nests

An evening and a morning of ringing in the reedbed at Warnham LNR, joined by Eddie and Kevin on the evening. A total of 98 birds were caught including 69 new of 16 species. Highlights of the new birds included five Reed Warbler (including an autumn migrant), a juvenile Bullfinch, two juvenile Jay, a Treecreeper, a Garden Warbler, 13 Chiffchaff and ten Blackcap. The only two highlights from the retraps was a 2007 Blue Tit and a 2008 Reed Warbler.
After finishing in the reedbed, I came back to meet up with Jake, but was stopped in my tracks with a juvenile Cuckoo flying between fence posts on the meadow, coming as close as 10ft (above by Jake). Then a quick look at the sluice noted a few unringed Mallard and a juvenile Moorhen, so donned the waders and landing net and managed to catch the two unringed Mallard, but the Moorhen managed to evade me!

Then to Horsham Park to try to catch the last Canada Goose gosling, but the birds seemed well fed on bread and uninterested in my healthy sunflower hearts! But there was a surprise addition in the form of a Woodpigeon nest only six foot high which had two well grown chicks in.

Onto the farm near my house where another brood of five Swallow (below) was ready to ring, while the second broods of the other three had three, four and four eggs. Also, excitingly the Spotted Flycatcher seem to be going for a second brood in the same nest as before.
Finally got home and a check of the Greenfinch nest in a neighbours garden was successful having five chicks (one below - note the seed store on the side of the neck - weird!).
Thinking I had a really good day, Wes texted to say he had ringed three Barn Owl chicks and seven Swift nestlings in Capel today!!!

Birds ringed: (Retraps in brackets)
Garden Warbler - 1 (1)
Reed Warbler - 5 (6)
Robin - 7 (1)
Blackcap - 10
Bullfinch - 1
Blue Tit - 9 (7)
Dunnock - 2 (1)
Great Tit - 15 (7)
Chaffinch - 1
Swallow - 5 nestlings
Chiffchaff - 13 (1)
Wren - 5 (2)
Treecreeper - 1
Jay - 2
Mallard - 2
Woodpigeon - 2 nestlings
Magpie - (1)
Greenfinch - 5 nestlings
Blackbird - 3 (1)
Great Spotted Woodpecker - (1)
Barn Owl - 3 nestlings
Swift - 7 nestlings

Saturday, 10 July 2010

9th and 10th July 2010 - What a Way to Start a New Job

Day seven of my new job at Leith Hill began with my first weekly team meeting and by the time it ended it was a well deserved lunch break by all which very quickly changed to another rescue!

We were quickly approached by Jim Curtis who had been walking across the grounds of Leith Hill Place and found a BUZZARD trapped inside a tree protector! So Graham, Catherine, Sarah and myself jumped into a vehicle and headed off (rings at the ready of course). When we got there there were actually two BUZZARDS trapped inside! On approach they very quickly huddled down into a 'you can't see me' posture (below) and I was able to pick them up very easily.
It was immediately obvious that they were juveniles with the parents soaring and calling overhead and the wing feathers on inspection hadn't finished growing. But Jim then found the reason why they were inside the fencing in the form of half a dead rabbit that assumably the parents had caught and dropped in. The birds were then very quickly ringed and released. Photo above with Graham and Catherine and behind the offending tree protector!
Then this morning Eddie and I ringed at Chesworth Farm in near perfect conditions with grey cloud and no wind, but a relatively poor result in numbers although quality was very evident. Just 54 birds caught of 18 species including 39 with highlights being the first Swallow (above) roosting in the pond (autumn is here!), a Bullfinch, two newly fledged Reed Bunting (below), seven Whitethroat, a juvenile Reed Warbler, two juvenile Goldcrest (below) and an adult female Blackbird showing continental plumage.
But the two highlights of the day came in the form of retraps, first was a juvenile Chiffchaff that I had ringed at Warnham LNR just seven days ago which still hadn't started post juvenile moult. This is 3.5km as the crow flies straight through Horsham town centre, but more likely 5.5km following the river round the western and southern edge of the town. If this wasn't enough a juvenile Willow Warbler (below) was caught that had just started post juvenile moult that Wes had ringed in a nest of six at the Capel reserve on 10th June. This being a distance of 11km due south in exactly one month, although this bird probably still had at least a week in the nest to go and a sibling being retrapped there on 25th June could imply that the whole of the family was still in the area. Both very interesting signs of juvenile dispersal (see map below).
Interesting butterfly sightings included the first White Admiral and only the second Purple Hairstreak for the site.

Birds ringed: (Retraps in brackets)
Buzzard - 2
Reed Bunting - 2
Blackcap - 4
Bullfinch - 1
Robin - 2 (1)
Great Tit - 3
Blue Tit - 2 (4)
Dunnock - 2 (1)
Whitethroat - 7
Reed Warbler - 1 (3)
Chaffinch - 1
Goldfinch - (1)
Wren - 3
Chiffchaff - 2 (1)
Goldcrest - 2
Willow Warbler - (1)
House Sparrow - 4 (2)
Blackbird - 1 (1)

Thursday, 8 July 2010

6th and 7th July 2010 - Owls, Reeds and Waterfowl

On Tuesday, I went out with Barrie Watson round my local area to recheck the Barn Owl boxes, but first was to check a new box that I had found near Rowhook and on inspection a new female was present with two small chicks. This was a good find and is a new breeding species for this tetrad.

Then onto the others although the Dawes Farm pair still only had very small young and the Kingsfold pair which had had a single chick (pictured before) and three unhatched eggs now only had three eggs which were being brooded! This was a weird scenario as is was too short a time for the single chick to have fledged but they were still brooding the other three eggs, unless they were all new eggs!! Who knows! The only consolation was that we managed to catch the both adults with the male ringed on the last visit and the female being one of Barrie's that was ringed as a chick in 2005 just north-west of Crawley, so not far at all.
Wednesday after work I went to Warnham LNR to check the last two Reed Warbler nests with Eddie and although unfortunately too late for one which had already fledged, the second held quite well grown chicks (above) which were ringed. Then just further on the Reed Bunting nest fond last time with eggs now had three perfect sized chicks (below).
We then went to check the sluice and were pleased to find a few young Mallard and two juvenile Coot feeding at the bottom, so donned the waders and climbed in further down stream and flushed them all up to the plunge pool where I managed to net four birds including both Coot (below) and two of the Mallard.
As I got home, started watering the garden and noticed something flapping around in the greenhouse and on inspection found an unringed juvenile Blackbird unable to find its way to the open door!

Birds ringed: (Retraps in brackets)
Barn Owl - 1 (1)
Reed Warbler - 4 nestlings
Reed Bunting - 3 nestlings
Coot - 2
Mallard - 2
Blackbird - 1

Monday, 5 July 2010

2nd to 4th July - Finally a Bullfinch!

On 3rd, I ringed in the reedbed and Feeding Station at Warnham LNR catching 78 birds of which 64 were new. Apart from the Blue Tit and Great Tit flocks highlights of the new birds included another juvenile Coal Tit (below), 9 Robin, 3 Chaffinch, six Chiffchaff, a Nuthatch, two juvenile Reed Warbler and a pair of Bullfinch (male above). After catching nearly 100 new Bullfinchs in 2009 this year has been awful with Wes catching about a dozen and including these two I have caught just five!
The highlights of the retraps were a Robin and a Jay ringed in 2007.

The 4th was a morning of ringing at home catching 20 birds of which 18 were new including two more Jackdaw and a juvenile Wren (not many caught here). Afterwards I popped over to a couple of neighbours to ring the nine Swallow chicks from the two pairs they have nesting.

Wes managed to ring a nest of three Blackbird and a nest of six Pied Wagtail on 2nd as well.

Birds ringed: (Retraps in brackets)
Blackcap - 3
Robin - 11 (2)
Reed Warbler - 2 (5)
Great Tit - 22
Blue Tit - 20 (1)
Dunnock - 1 (3)
Chaffinch - 3
Bullfinch - 2
Coal Tit - 1
Goldfinch - 1
Swallow - 9 nestlings
Pied Wagtail - 6 nestlings
Wren - 5 (1)
Chiffchaff - 6
Jackdaw - 2
Blackbird - 3 + 3 nestlings
Nuthatch - 1
Garden Warbler - (2)

Sunday, 4 July 2010

June Monthly Totals

A great month with 47 species ringed with highlights being the first Mandarin, the first Stock Dove, the third Coot, the second Collared Dove, the second Kestrel. While nests were ringed of 14 species including a nest of Common Tern, two nests of Spotted Flycatcher and a nest of Barn Owl.

Birds ringed:
Whitethroat - 13
Chiffchaff - 39
Wren - 8
Willow Warbler - 4 + 8 nestlings
Long-tailed Tit - 14
Treecreeper - 5
Goldcrest - 4 nestlings
Song Thrush - 4 + 3 nestlings
Blackbird - 25 + 12 nestlings
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 6
House Sparrow - 24
Greenfinch - 51
Nuthatch - 1
Blackcap - 32 + 6 nestlings
Great Tit - 69 + 11 nestlings
Reed Bunting - 4
Robin - 34
Bullfinch - 5
Swallow - 3 +21
Blue Tit - 110 + 11
Nightingale - 1
Reed Warbler - 10 + 3 nestlings
Goldfinch - 19
Garden Warbler - 10
Barn Owl - 2 + 5 nestlings
Canada Goose - 8
Stock Dove - 1
Woodpigeon - 2
Mallard - 12
Jay - 4
Jackdaw - 2
Coot - 1
Kestrel - 1
Mandarin - 1
Magpie - 2
Common Tern - 3 nestlings
Kingfisher - 1
Collared Dove - 1
Marsh Tit - 2
Chaffinch - 14
Linnet - 2
Pied Wagtail - 10 nestlings
Dunnock - 14
Yellowhammer - 2
Coal Tit - 1
Spotted Flycatcher - 6 nestlings
Grey Wagtail - 1 nestling