Saturday, 9 December 2017

Sutton Bonington, Saturday 9 December

A very cold, calm and clear start to today's session for Jake, Sue, Kirsten, Gary and I. Quite a few birds were around early on but we had only set the main feeder nets because the forecast was for a breezy morning (although this never arrived!) and the pheasant feeder had disappeared anyway.

Catching was steady throughout the first half of the morning and we ended with a catch of 30 including 15 retraps, a little better than the last two weeks. Yellowhammer numbers were up, Chaffinch down and unusually we caught a Starling.

The catch was made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 0/2, Fieldfare 1/0, Redwing 2/0, Robin 2/2, Blue Tit 1/5, Great Tit 0/1, Long-tailed Tit 0/2, Chaffinch 2/1, Greenfinch 1/0, Yellowhammer 4/2, House Sparrow 1/0, Starling 1/0. The oldest retraps were from 2016.


Sunrise, Ringing station and Starling (S. Lakeman)

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Brackenhurst visits

26 November

A frosty start at Brackenhurst greeted Jim, Tom, Issy and me. Setting the nets in Orwin's in the dark was a challenge, but rewarded by a fleeting glimpse of a Woodcock in the ride. Unfortunately it, like most of the Fieldfares and Redwings around, evaded the nets.

Catching was steady enough to keep us busy at the copse feeder site throughout the morning, with quite a lot of new Chaffinches, despite letting a few go due to leg disease. We found time to cut out a new ride in Orwin's later on as the wind got up and things slowed down. Hopefully this will be useful in the future.

We finished on a total of 29 birds, including 15 retraps. The catch was made up of (new/retrap): Redwing 1/0, Robin 2/4, Goldcrest 1/1, Blue Tit 1/7, Great Tit 1/3, Chaffinch 7/0, Yellowhammer 1/0. All of the retraps were first ringed at Brackenhurst, with the oldest retrap a Blue Tit after nearly 4 years, ringed as a juvenile in December 2013 and previously retrapped twice in 2014 at the same site.

3 December

A still and overcast morning made Jim, Duncan, Issy and me hopeful of a good catch. Meanwhile, the sheep greeted us, hopeful of some breakfast. We were both eventually rewarded for our optimism. We got the nets up in Orwin's early and there were plenty of thrushes around. They were definitely interested in the tape, but they remained high up in the branches. We also noted a female Sparrowhawk patrolling the area, keeping things moving.

We finished on a total of 44 birds, including 20 retraps. The catch was made up of (new/ retrap): Dunnock 0/3, Robin 1/2, Blackbird 1/0, Fieldfare 1/0, Redwing 2/0, Long-tailed tit 1/2, Blue Tit 4/7, Great Tit 5/4, Tree Sparrow 1/0, Chaffinch 4/2, Yellowhammer 4/0.

All of the retraps have been caught at Brackenhurst before, mainly as young birds. The oldest retrap was a Long-tailed Tit, first ringed at Brackenhurst in November 2014 and retrapped 5 times in between at either Orwin's or the copse.

Sue Lakeman

 Blackbird, Yellowhammer, Blue Tit and hungry sheep (I. Connell)

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Sutton Bonington, Sunday 3 December

The cold weather of the last week had been replaced by quite mild weather when Maria, Jake, Trish, Alex, Gary and I arrived on site this morning. It was overcast with only a light breeze but there did not seem to be very many birds around, I thought there would be more after the last few cold days. We ended with a catch of just 24 including 10 retraps. The catch was made up of (new/retrap): Redwing 2/0, Robin 0/1, Dunnock 0/1, Blue Tit 1/5, Great Tit 0/2, Chaffinch 9/0, Goldfinch 1/0, Yellowhammer 1/0, Reed Bunting 0/1. The oldest retrap was a Blue Tit from 2015.


Sunday, 26 November 2017

Sutton Bonington, Saturday 25 November

After a delayed start this morning due to the heavy sleet shower (which the various weather forecasts had failed to predict) we eventually started to set nets at about 0715. It was a bit breezy and a few occasional bits of drizzle did not help but we were still left wondering, where have all the birds gone?

Maria, Kirsten, Duncan, Gary and I set just the feeder nets and caught far more leaves than birds, though not sure why after a good catch last week. There seemed far less movement of birds generally, even the seemingly ever-present Buzzard did not put in an appearance until we were leaving!

We ended with a catch of just 17 including 5 retraps. The catch was made up of (new/retrap): Great Spotted Woodpecker 0/1, Fieldfare 1/0, Redwing 4/0, Dunnock 1/0, Blue Tit 2/1, Great Tit 2/0, Chaffinch 2/3. The oldest retrap was a Chaffinch from 2016.


 Fieldfare (K. Hemsley)

Monday, 20 November 2017

Sutton Bonington, Sunday 19 November

A glorious, still and frosty morning dawned as we met at Sutton Bonington. Bit of a strange start as Kirsten had trouble locating us and once the gate was open Alex could not get his car to start, so we had to push it on to the campus! Maria, Alex, Sue, Kirsten, Gary and I, along with two guests set 2 extra nets near the pheasant feeder along with the 3 small nets at our feeders.

Things started a little slowly but picked up after the first round and we were pleased to get the first two Yellowhammers of the season plus a Brambling and a couple of Lesser Redpoll.

A few leaves started to fall into the nets as a slight breeze got up towards midday but nothing to interfere with catching. We ended with a catch of 50 including 20 retraps. The catch was made up of (new/retrap): Great Spotted Woodpecker 0/1, Blackbird 1/0, Robin 0/2, Dunnock 3/1, Blue Tit 5/8, Great Tit 1/3, Long-tailed Tit 1/2, Goldcrest 0/1, Chaffinch 12/2, Lesser Redpoll 2/0, Goldfinch 1/0, Brambling 2/0, House Sparrow 1/0, Yellowhammer 2/0.

The oldest retraps were from 2015. There were good numbers of Chaffinch and a few Yellowhammer around again but no winter thrushes were seen or heard.


 (photos by S. Lakeman)

Lesser Redpoll & Brambling (K. Hemsley)

Brackenhurst, Sunday 19 November

We made our second visit of the season to Brackenhurst today and set up the usual nets at the feeders and Orwin's. We were Duncan, Tom, myself and new ringer, Brendan Noone. The weather was mostly still, but there was a frost in Orwin's which hung on for most of the morning. Over the session we handled 44 birds of 11 species. Catching was steady until 11:00 am.

The most interesting retraps were:-

Robin – two from 2015. Both prefer their own territories, staying put in Orwin's & the feeding site respectively.

Great Tit – the oldest bird was originally ringed in 2012. It's been caught 15 times and seven of those were in November. There do seem to be patterns with resident Brackenhurst birds, with some using the feeders early and others late winter. I suspect over the winter food is most important initially and then towards spring being on a territory starts to supersede this.

Chaffinch – another old male, this time from 2012 and not caught between times.

Totals: 44 birds processed (21 new/23 retrap), comprising:  Greater Spotted Woodpecker 1/1, Dunnock 2/4, Robin 0/3, Blackbird 2/1, Redwing 5/0, Goldcrest 1/1, Blue Tit 1/5, Great Tit 1/6, House Sparrow 1 (pit-tagged), Chaffinch 5/2, Yellowhammer 2/0.


 Great-spotted Woodpecker (T. Shields)

Monday, 13 November 2017

Sutton Bonington, Sunday 12 November

The various weather forecasts tried hard to ruin our visit this week. On Thursday it was going to be calm and dry on Saturday, very windy on Sunday, so I decided to go for Saturday. On Friday morning it was going to rain on Saturday, still windy on Sunday. By Friday early evening it was still going to be raining on Saturday so I cancelled and moved the session to the Sunday despite the windy forecast. When Saturday dawned it was dry, still and overcast, perfect for mist netting, the rain had not materialised. So on Sunday, Maria, Issie, Duncan, Gary and I met at an already breezy site and put up the 3 small nets in the new rides. Then the wind seemed to drop despite the forecast saying it would steadily increase! The wind did start to pick up by the middle of the morning and the nets then filled with leaves.

We did manage a decent catch of 40 including 15 retraps. The catch was made up of (new/retrap): Great Spotted Woodpecker 1/1, Blackbird 2/0, Robin 1/0, Dunnock 2/0, Blue Tit 6/6, Great Tit 1/2, Long-tailed Tit 4/4, Goldcrest 2/0, Chaffinch 6/2. The oldest retraps were from 2015. There were a few Yellowhammer around again but they are not interested in the seed yet.


 Great Spotted Woodpecker (K. Hemsley)

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Brackenhurst - Sunday 5 November

Remember, remember... to have the first ringing session of the season at the Brackenhurst feeders today. We weren't really expecting fireworks, but first visits are always a little bit more exciting as you're not sure what’s about or how productive the birds have been over the summer.

Anyway, Mick, myself and, new to the group, Hanna Janiszewska, put up the usual nets at the feeders and Orwin's and over the morning we handled 57 birds of 11 species, which is pretty good for this time of year.

Surprisingly, Chaffinches accounted for 1 in 3 of the birds processed. One was a retrap from 2009, and ringed in the same month eight years ago! However, joy was mixed with sadness as the bird’s legs were badly diseased with a FPV-type infection.

All the tit retraps were adults (11) and all the new birds were juveniles (7), highlighting their site fidelity. The sound lure (til the battery died) brought in four Redwings to Orwin’s. They really like the Lithuanian song this side of Christmas.

Half the overall catch was in the first net round. All ‘n all a decent start to a winter's ringing at Brack.

Species totals were as follows: total captures: 57 (42 new/15 retrap); Dunnock 5/0, Robin 2/0, Blackbird 2/0, Redwing 4/0, Goldcrest 2/0, Long-tailed Tit 0/1, Blue Tit 4/4, Great Tit 3/7, Treecreeper 1/0, House Sparrow 4/0, Chaffinch 15/3.

The oldest retrap was the chaffinch mentioned above (and another from 2014), but there were also Great Tits from 2013 & 2014 and Long-tailed Tit ringed 2014.


Sunday, 5 November 2017

Sutton Bonington, Sunday 5 November

Trish, Jake, Gary and I made the first visit of the winter to the feeding site today. We put up 3 small nets in the new rides we cut when we baited the newly-sited feeders a couple of weeks ago. We made the first round and one of the first birds out was a Chaffinch with scaly legs. Chaffinch at this site seem to be suffering greatly from this condition, thankfully the rest we caught during the morning were clear. Then the rain started for half an hour or so before the sun came out and a Jay found its way into a net. We ended with a small catch of 25 including 2 retraps which we considered OK for a first attempt in the new location. The catch was made up of (new/retrap): Jay 1/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Blue Tit 7/1, Great Tit 4/1, Long-tailed Tit 4/0, Chaffinch 4/0, Goldfinch 1/0. The oldest retrap was a Blue Tit from 2015. A few Fieldfare passed overhead and there were a few Yellowhammer around.


Jay (K. Hemsley)

Thursday, 2 November 2017

2016 Report

The 2016 ringing report is now out! If you would like a copy, please email the address at the top of the 'Reports' page - see tab at the top.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Sibthorpe, Monday 30 October

It has been two months since I last ringed in my garden in Sibthorpe, and the calm forecast and a free day encouraged me to have a go. In the event, I was pleased I did as I handled 120 birds of which 108 were new; its a long time since I ringed 100 passerines in a day.

House Sparrows (‘spuggies’) dominated the catch accounting for just over half the birds (69). Next was Goldfinch (16), but I suspect they are local birds and their migrant cousins have not yet appeared. Several of both species were still in post-juvenile moult, which is not that surprising as they have multiple broods and tend to breed late.

Species totals (new/retrap): Wren 1/0, Dunnock 5/1, Robin 1/0, Blackbird 1/0, Goldcrest 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 14/0, Blue Tit 7/0, Great Tit 4/0, House Sparrow 60/9, Goldfinch 14/2. The oldest retrap was a spuggie ringed on Christmas day 2015.


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Ramsdale Park Golf Course, Monday 16 October

Jim, Gary and I made a visit to Ramsdale and set the usual line of 8 x 18m nets on an overcast and still morning. It started to rain a little on and off for the first half of the session but it never amounted to much. The strangest thing about the weather was the much reported red sky, a strange atmosphere to ring in but it did not stop the birds finding the nets and with 2 MP3s playing most of the birds were attracted to them.

We were hoping the calm before storm Ophelia arrived would be long enough to allow a full morning session and we were pleased to find the Met Office were a little out on their timings for the wind picking up. We took down just before lunch as the breeze started throwing leaves into the nets.

We ended with a catch which was steady throughout the morning. Ten Redwings were nice as few had been reported so far this month with the winds being predominantly from the west. We ended with a total catch 64 including 11 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 5/1, Song Thrush 1/0, Redwing 10/0, Wren 3/0, Dunnock 4/0, Robin 2/1, Blackcap 2/0, Goldcrest 6/0, Blue Tit 8/3, Great Tit 4/0, Long-tailed Tit 3/1, Bullfinch 2/5, Lesser Redpoll 2/0, Greenfinch 1/0. The oldest retrap was from 2015.


Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 9 October

The plan today was to put up the nets at the site for the last time this year, hopefully catch a few birds and then remove all the poles/guys etc. We ended with the biggest team of the year out and more birds than we expected. Tom, Duncan, Sue, Trish, Jake, Gary and I were joined by Maria and Kate who were out for the first time with the group. We set all the usual nets on a calm but clear morning. We had two MP3 players playing warbler calls. 
The catching rate was steady throughout with a little flurry at the end when a few Long-tailed Tits appeared with their usual ‘friends’. The migrant warblers have all gone apart from Blackcap and Chiffchaff, but it was nice to catch 3 Cetti’s Warblers. 
We ended with a total catch of 46 including 8 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Song Thrush 1/0, Blackbird 1/0, Wren 7/1, Dunnock 5/2, Robin 2/0, Blackcap 5/0, Chiffchaff 4/0, Cetti’s Warbler 3/0, Goldcrest 3/2, Blue Tit 2/0, Long-tailed Tit 1/2, Bullfinch 1/1, Reed Bunting 3/0. 
The retraps were all recently ringed birds. Overhead were Buzzard and Sparrowhawk, but no winter thrush movement was noted.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 10 September

Alex, Tom, Duncan and I held a ringing session at the Grange end of Holme Pierrepont. I did not expect a big catch and the Blotts end would probably have produced more - but after the recent car crimes at that end this was considered a safer bet. It was a cool, clear and a little breezy to start but cloud soon rolled in. We put up 11 nets and had two MP3 players going. Catching rate was slow to start and never really picked up, but the breeze did pick up so we took down a little early.

We ended with a total catch of 32 including 5 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Kingfisher 1/0, Wren 1/2, Dunnock 1/0, Robin 3/2, Reed Warbler 3/0, Blackcap 8/0, Chiffchaff 2/0, Goldcrest 3/1, Great Tit 3/0, Reed Bunting 2/0. The oldest retrap was a Robin from 2015. Overhead were lots of House Martins and a couple of Swifts were seen about 3 times.


 Kingfisher (A. Phillips)

Ramsdale Park Golf Centre, Thursday 7 September

Duncan, Mick and I made a visit to Ramsdale and set the usual line of 8 x 18m nets and another small line of a 12m and 9m net on an overcast and still morning. The site sounded quiet again and with many of the warblers gone from Holme Pierrepont last weekend we were hoping the small line with Linnet playing on an MP3 would help increase the expected low catch. We had two more MP3s playing warbler calls along the main net line.

We ended up being surprised by the catch which was steady throughout the morning, despite not catching any Linnets! A Jay added a bit of interest early on and a Reed Bunting was a first for the site but the main surprise was the total number of birds, particularly Blackcap and Bullfinch. We ended with a total catch of exactly 100 including 10 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Jay 1/0, Blackbird 2/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Wren 1/0, Robin 1/0, Blackcap 24/1, Whitethroat 2/1, Chiffchaff 11/0, Blue Tit 5/0, Great Tit 2/0, Long-tailed Tit 14/4, Bullfinch 14/4, Goldfinch 8/0, Greenfinch 3/0, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was from 2015.