Saturday, 26 June 2010

Great mornings ringing with plenty of birds still around. Considering how many birds we have rung in the last couple of weeks it was amazing there were any new birds left. By the end of the morning we had rung 86 birds and re-trapped 36! Highlights were a control juvenile blackcap form another site, 2 juvenile treecreepers, coal tit and 2 chiffchaffs. The male turtle dove was still singing and 2 crossbills flew west but didn't stop.

Off down to Somerset in search of large blue butterflies for a few days and hopefully to get some more ringing done.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

After a bit of a false start I am now back online.

So what has happened. Well, not a great deal really. The weather has not exactly been ideal for birding so spent most of my time concentrating on the ringing. Last weekend was excellent and with loads of juvenile birds around we managed 72 new birds and 48 re-traps. This included a net-round of 52 birds!! Most of the birds were tits and blackcaps but it did include my first stock dove. Never have the mis-fortune of having one of these birds relieve itself on you as it stinks like nothing else. The ringing bag and my clothes went straight into the washing machine. Other goodies included a juv coal tit, great spotted woodpecker and a treecreeper.

stock dove and treecreeper

Garden ringing has been going really well and the addition of fruity nibbles to the bird feeders and been attracting in the starlings en-masse. Before I started ringing in the garden I had only rung 1 starling, up until a few days ago I had rung 35 in the last month. This included one that took the garden total to 100 birds rung in about 6 weeks. Goodies for me here in the last week have been my first collared dove, a smart coat tit and a great spot. Unfortunatly I didn't have the nets when a nuthatch (1st for the garden) was about on Thursday.

coal tit and collared dove

Friday, 18 June 2010

Superfast broadband for all - what a load of rubbish!! It would be nice just to have it working for an extended period. Been without internet access again for the last week hence no posts. Been out ringing and birding and will update in the next few days with some images.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Stilts stayed around until Sunday evening but had buggered off by Monday morning.
Apart for the stilts it was a bit of a frustrating weekend with missing the tern on Saturday and then a quail flushed from the dunes by the beach boardwalk (would have been a reserve tick) and then missing a singing golden oriole on Monday. Compensation was monster views of bittern on both Saturday and Monday. The female has taken to feeding by the main path and has been showing for up to an hours in the open down to about 30m. Yesterday I saw it catch at least 3 6" rudd.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Typically I spoke too soon yesterday saying that it was June and everything was over.

Got into work atfer ringing and checked my pager bfore going to clean the bogs. Glad I did as it said 5 black winged stilts (171) on the fresh marsh. Leeged it down the path to see the birds feeding with the knot. After a few mins they took off and headed east onto the saltmarsh before most people had arrived. Thankfully they did come back and once they had settled down showed pretty well for the rest of the day. Did manage to get a crappy photo of two of the birds this evening.

As I put out the work moth trap I decided to sit outside the VC and show the visitors what I had caught. With 4 species of hawkmoth it was very popular and loads of people stopped to look. Unfortunatly at about 12:45 Tony radioed to say there was gull-billed tern on the fresh marsh but was heading east quickly. No time to get there which was frustrating as it would have been a British tick for me. Although nice, this eyed hawkmoth was little consolation!
Ringing was good although nothing of real note. Unusually new birds ended up higher with over 50 caught including 2 swallows.

Friday, 4 June 2010

June has now arrived and as usually happens most things go quiet. Not much around this week and I haven't had a yeartick for weeks.
Had a nice boot around the reserve this evening with the highlights being a spoonbill, summer plumaged curlew sand, 800 knot, 120 blackwits, 2 wigeon and a drake pintail.

The birds in the garden have now found out about the nets and you can see them trying to avoid them. Had a near miss with a sparrowhawk the other night but it managed to get out before I could get to it. Several rooks and jackdaws about this morning but they are too clever to get caught, thankfully the baby starlings haven't realised and I got 6 this morning. Total birds ringed in the garden is now over 70 in the last month.