Wednesday, 11 May 2011

11th May 2011 - A Nesting Week

This was a full on week of ringing with the grateful help of Gary, Louise, Kevin, Eddie and Jake.  The week was mainly focused on going around nests and nestboxes that have been under observation over the last few weeks, but also a couple of netting sessions and a few surprises.
The week started with the first surprise being a Tawny Owl that was reported to us at Leith Hill dazed on the side of the road.  Went to inspect and indeed a beautiful female (above) was sat on the side of the road.  She was showing a developed brood patch, so obviously had a brood of young nearby and after about five minutes she had recovered, so quickly ringed and released her so that she could get back to her young.

Two netting sessions were had on Leith Hill catching a total of 18 new birds which included three Garden Warbler, four Whitethroat, five Willow Warbler and three Siskin and finally the first two Blackcaps for this site which involved one bird with a high fat score suggesting that this was a newly arrived migrant.

The only other netting session was in my garden at home where I have reduced to just a single net, but caught three new birds - a Blackcap and surprisingly a new pair of Long-tailed Tit (where have they been hiding?).
On Friday morning (9th) Gary, Louise and I went round all the Jackdaw boxes at Leith Hill and although the majority were still either on eggs or too young chicks we did ring an adult female and a brood of five.  We were also very surprised to find two Barn Owls in a box which I had been watching Jackdaws use over the last few weeks, one of which we caught and ringed (above).  Whilst going round we also managed to find a Chaffinch nest and a Treecreeper nest that were able to be ringed.  Generally Treecreeper nests aren't possible to be ringed, but occasionally they are and much caution should be taken.  A section of the loose bark had fallen off making them far more accessible than they should have been.
Afterwards a trip to one of my near neighbours, Bob Day, who wanted me to check two boxes at his house that he had seen activity at produced a female Mandarin (above) sat on eggs in one and then two Tawny Owl chicks (below with Bob) in the other.
This also saw the first visit to Warnham LNR for the Nestbox Scheme here of which there are 53 boxes at present managed by Friends of Warnham LNR!  Although a number were unused we still managed to ring 18 nests of Blue Tit and Great Tit as well as a couple of adults.

The last ringing this week involved a couple of Blue Tit boxes at my home and a nest of Pied Wagtails at the National Trust Surrey Hills head office in Mickleham.

A very fulfilling week!!

Birds ringed:
Garden Warbler - 3
Whitethroat - 4
Siskin - 3
Blue Tit - 2 + 108 nestlings
Blackcap - 3
Chaffinch - 4 nestlings
Pied Wagtail - 4 nestlings
Willow Warbler - 5
Treecreeper - 5 nestlings
Long-tailed Tit - 2
Great Tit - 70 nestlings
Blackbird - 1
Tawny Owl - 1 + 2 nestlings
Barn Owl - 1
Jackdaw - 1 + 5 nestlings
Mandarin - 1

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