Sunday 29 March 2009

End of a busy week!

A total of 31 birds caught this week, 30 new and 1 retrap.

This includes (Garden) - 10 new Starling (See earlier post), 1 Wood pigeon, 2 Goldfinch and 1 Greenfinch.

Then a fly in visit to Lake Windermere on Saturday, catching 17 birds - 16 new and 1 retrap. After sweeping up all the unringed Mute swan (7) our attention was turned to the tame Black Headed gulls (Unusually tame for this time of the year!!) resulting in 5 birds being caught by hand. This allowed us close up views of these birds in their stunning breeding plumage. Several Jackdaw were also showing an interest in the food provided, not as tame as the Black Headed gulls but one sneaky Jackdaw came close allowing one sneaky ringer to grab it ;-)
Other birds caught and ringed include 3 Mallard (1 retrap) and 1 Canada goose.

And finally, no matter what time of the year it is, Lake Windermere is a fantastic place to promote bird ringing. Being one of the most visited places in the Lake District, it allows us to demonstrate to the public how important ringing is and why we carry it out.

Thanks to - Emily Scragg, Craig Brookes, Chris Bridge and Ciaran Hatsall.

Wednesday 25 March 2009

Starling galore!!!

With today off work, I wanted to put the net out in the garden - but its way to windy for that. So decided to take the Potter traps off the safety mode and bait them up. Not many birds took an interest in them until this greedy lot came down!!

And eventually these three captured, trap reset all ready for next time!!

Think I may have to work from home tomorrow ;-)

Tuesday 24 March 2009


Met up with Sean Gray at 07:15am at his Whiteholme Twite ringing site. A cracking morning, lovely sunshine and very little wind at first. After setting up and retreating back to the car, a small number of Twite started to appear. They appeared a little timid and their main interest seemed to be displaying to one another!

A single (colour ringed) bird entered the catching area and Sean quickly pulled the cord. After extraction and recording rings etc it turned out to be a lovely adult female.

Many thanks to Sean for inviting me along and thanks for the good laugh, coffee and pulling my car out!!!! Cheers...

Sean's blog -

Monday 23 March 2009

Quiet week.

Didn't have much time for ringing this week, but in between work and other things I managed to get the net up once or twice.

A few Goldfinch ringed along with a Starling.

Thanks to Chris Bridge for the photos.

Thursday 12 March 2009

Garden ringing.

Well my new net arrived and with a few days off work this week, I decided to give it a go in my garden.

A total of 43 birds caught - 31 Goldfinch, 4 Starling, 4 Greenfinch, 1 Long tailed Tit, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Dunnock and 1 Great Tit.

Monday 9 March 2009

New things!

My new upgraded C permit greeted me in the post last week. This now means that I can use mist nets as part of my ringing activates. I've ordered a net and hopefully that will arrive soon before the Siskin that are feeding in my garden move on!! I've also treated myself to some new potter traps (See below) which arrived this morning.

I was pleased to see that two of our satellite transmitter Whooper Swans from Martin Mere have started their migration! They left Martin Mere on 04/03/2009 and headed out over the sea towards Stranraer then progressing on further up to Coll and Tiree. They stayed over night on South Usit before setting off at around 19:00 on 07/03/2009 over the sea, bound for Iceland. However bad weather off the coast of Iceland soon saw the swans heading back for Scotland! On the 08/03/2009 they were back on Uist! See map below -

Thursday 5 March 2009

Colour ringed Ruff.

This colour ringed Ruff has been wintering at WWT Martin Mere for the last two years. It was ringed on the 30/04/2007 at Warns Skarl Kilf in the Netherlands, a total of 1284kms from Martin Mere! It was sighted back in the Netherlands on the 10/04/2008 and was seen back at Martin Mere on 02/11/2008!
Thanks to John Ball for the photo of the Ruff.

Monday 2 March 2009


An off chance visit to Windermere on Saturday 28th Feb with Chris Bridge, catching 13 Mute Swans, 2 Canada Geese, 1 Mallard and 1 Tufted Duck!

Thanks to Chris for the photo.

WWT Welney - swan/duck catch.

After the failed Slimbridge catch, Staff then drove over to WWT Welney in Cambridgeshire for another catching attempt for wildfowl on 05/02/2009. The priority was to fit 15 transmitters onto male Whooper Swans but only 11 were fitted in the end.

We awoke early on the morning of the catch, and peered out of our BnB windows to find heavy snow greeting us! After breakfast we started the journey to Welney, taking us an hour in total (Normally a ten minute journey!).

The catch went ahead, despite the best efforts of the weather and all birds were quickly processed to minimise stress etc.

c30 Whooper Swans, 20 Mute Swans, c20 Mallard and Pochard were caught. A number of birds were released from the catch, keeping numbers to a low total, due to the weather conditions.

Myself and Richard Smith helping to get the birds under control.


After all the ringing had been completed, it was time for us to have some fun in the snow!