Monday, 28 February 2011

27th February 2011 - A Wet Weekend in the Garden

Dodging the wet weather this weekend I still managed to catch a total of 92 new birds in my garden with the help of Louise and Gary (below).
Highlights of new birds included the first Wren of the year, a Coal Tit, two Long-tailed Tit and another two new Great Spotted Woodpecker!  Interestingly, last time I retrapped a Great Spotted Woodpecker was back in early November 2010 and since then I have caught ten new comprising two adult female, two adult male, a first year female and five first year males.

And almost the last bird caught of the weekend was a control adult Blue Tit - ring number X896793.  Will post details when I get them back from BTO.

Also caught a single new Goldcrest in the Rhododendron Wood at Leith Hill on Monday.

Birds ringed:
Coal Tit - 1
Chaffinch - 5
Goldfinch - 9
Great Tit - 8
Dunnock - 1
Blue Tit - 59
Long-tailed Tit - 2
Wren - 1
Goldcrest - 1
Greenfinch - 5
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 2

Monday, 21 February 2011

20th February 2011 - Barn Owl Boxes

Thanks to the help of Barrie, Simon and Brian and the three landowners we managed to erect three new Barn Owl boxes this week around north Warnham.  Possibly a little bit late for this season but the three other dates we organised to do it got drowned out by the weather and Barn Owls have been seen regularly in these areas.
The only ringing this week was a couple of hours at Leith Hill and at home producing 16 new birds including the first Jay of the year.
Birds ringed:
Blue Tit - 8
Great Tit - 1
Coal Tit - 3
Chaffinch - 1
Goldcrest - 1
Greenfinch - 1
Jay - 1

Monday, 14 February 2011

13th February 2011 - Woodpeckers and Recent Recoveries

A single session in my garden on Saturday (12th) produced 47 new birds with highlights being a Marsh Tit, a Woodpigeon and another three new Great Spotted Woodpeckers!  Also caught was a Great Tit that was suffering from Avian Pox (below - abscess on chin) which continued to be seen around the garden all weekend.  I see about half a dozen 1st year Great Tits a year suffering from this in various amounts.  All of the abscesses have been around the head area apart from one which had a growth on the carpal joint of one wing.
Also received a few recoveries back:

Mute Swan  Z18761
Ringed as adult female at Warnham LNR on 6th April 2009
Ring Read at Earlswood Lake, Redhill, Surrey on 9th December 2010
621 days  21km  NE

Mute Swan  Z18769
Ringed as a 1st year at Warnham LNR on 5th September 2009
Taken into care at Bough Beech Reservoir, Kent on 13th August 2010
342 days  37km  ENE
Chiffchaff  DJB324
Ringed as a juvenile at Warnham LNR on 3rd September 2010
Hit a window at Herne Bay, Kent on 7th October 2010
34 days  110km  ENE

Greenfinch  TR01622
Ringed as a 1st year female in my Warnham garden on 26th March 2010
Hit by a car in Horsham on 18th May 2010
53 days  2km  E

Great Spotted Woodpecker  LA33658
Ringed as an adult female at Chesworth Farm, Horsham on 8th June 2009
Found dead in Chesworth Crescent, Horsham on 26th November 2010
536 days  0km

Blue Tit  L424302
Ringed as a juvenile in my Warnham garden on 4th August 2010
Killed by cat in Warnham on 16th September 2010
43 days  0km

Birds ringed:
Great Tit - 3
Blue Tit - 33
Marsh Tit - 1
Chaffinch - 3
Goldfinch - 1
Greenfinch - 2
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 3
Woodpigeon - 1

Sunday, 6 February 2011

1st February 2011 - Redpolls, Redpolls, Redpolls

There were loads of Redpoll at Henman Basecamp, the National Trust bunkhouse in Broadmoor, last week so on Tuesday morning I set up a single 40ft for two hours.  The result was amazing with the first net round resulting in 35 Redpoll, two Blackbird (inc. a continental female - below), two Marsh Tit and three Great Tit! Whilst extracting there were still at least another 50 Redpoll in the tree tops above me.
The second round was less productive producing just another two Marsh Tit (below - note the distinctive pale edge to the mandibles which separate from the all black Willow Tit) and a Goldcrest, but no more Redpoll!
Out of the 35 Redpoll two were Lessers that I had previously ringed on New Year's Eve about 1km away on Duke's Warren, Leith Hill, while the rest were new including THREE Commons.  The first (below) was significantly bigger, had a more Lesser-type plumage colouring and had a wing length of 80mm, whilst the following two looked typically Common with generally grey and white plumage and wing lengths of 75mm.

Looking at Svensson, the combination of features of the first bird matched either ssp. rostrata or islandica (Greenland/Iceland populations) of Common Redpoll which are on average even bigger than Arctic Redpoll.  When released this bird flew down onto a log and then a series of short distances through the woodland keeping very much to the ground flora unlike the other two Commons and all the Lessers, which flew straight up to the tops of the trees.  According to Birds of the Western Palearctic one of the characteristics of these subspecies is that they are far more terrestrial, compared to ssp. flammea or Lesser Redpoll which are much more arboreal.  Any comments greatly appreciated.

Birds ringed:
Lesser Redpoll - 30
Common Redpoll - 3
Great Tit - 3
Marsh Tit - 4
Blackbird - 2
Goldcrest - 1