Sunday, 31 May 2009

Starling week!

102 birds handled since coming back from the Lake District on Tuesday. 100 of these are new birds and 2 were recaps. The majority of the new birds are Starlings, as a number of the nearby houses held breeding pairs and they fledged their young this week.

Also ringed -
brood of 3 Goldfinch
brood of 4 Reed Bunting + one 1J
brood of 8 Great Tit + 1 adult.
7 Blackbirds (brood of 5 + two 3j's)
brood of 4 Magpie and a brood of 2 Wood pigeon.

Totals from 27th - 31st

Starling - 70 new +1 recap
Goldfinch - 3
Reed Bunting - 5
Great Tit - 9
Blackbird - 7 new + 1 recap
Magpie - 4
Wood Pigeon - 2 = 102.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009


18/05/2009 - 26/05/2009.

Just back from ringing in the Lake District so thought I would provide an update for the ringing that has been carried out over the last week or so.

19th May saw us checking our boxes in Atherton Woods and ringing most of the pulli - 132 Blue Tits (2 recaps adults), 36 Great Tits and 8 Nuthatch were ringed.

Then early morning on the 20th we did a bit of mist netting at one of our reed bed sites, catching 7 Reed Bunting (1 control), 3 Sedge Warbler, 2 Starling, 3 Song Thrush and 1 Mallard. A male Cuckoo was mingling very close to our nets, but unfortunately not close enough!

21st & 22nd ringing in my Atherton garden, yielded 14 birds - 1 Robin, 9 Starling, 1 Wren, 2 Goldfinch and 1 Blackbird.

On the 23rd a team of us headed up to the Lake District to carry out ringing, nest recording and atlas work around the Windermere area.

On the 23rd we set up to catch at a river in Ambleside and after a short while we were rewarded with - 3 Dippers and 2 Goosander.

The 24th produced - 2 Grey Wagtail, 3 Dipper, 1 Dunnock and 1 Mallard.
The morning on the 25th was spent catching Mute Swans at Bowness on Windermere. 19 new Mute Swans ringed along with 1 Whooper Swan and 1 Canada Goose. A brood of 5 Blackbird also ringed.

2 Swallow ringed on the evening of 25th.

Thanks to all ringers involved over the last week and also thanks to the Landowners for permission to accessing their land.

Full totals.

Blue Tit - 132 + (2 retrap)

Great Tit - 36

Nuthatch - 8

Reed Bunting - 6 + (1 control)

Sedge Warbler - 3

Goldfinch - 2

Wren - 1

Dunnock - 2

Robin - 1

Blackbird - 11

Song Thrush - 3

Starling - 11

Wood Pigeon - 1

Mallard - 2

Swallow - 2

Grey Wagtail - 2

Dipper - 7

Goosander - 2

Canada Goose - 1

Mute Swan - 19

Whooper Swan - 1 = 253.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Busy busy busy!

A busy two days (19th & 20th) with 190 birds ringed. Again most are Blue & Great Tit young but other birds also ringed - Nuthatch, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Starling, Dunnock, Reed Bunting, Sedge Warbler, Wood Pigeon and Mallard. A full update next Wednesday when I come back from a ringing trip in the Lake District.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

A mixed bag.

Another good week, despite the best efforts of the weather! 100 new birds ringed, the majority being Blue and Great Tit chicks.


Long Tailed Tit - 1

Great Tit - 23

Blue Tit - 42

Reed Bunting - 5

Sedge Warbler - 1

Chaffinch - 5

Greenfinch - 6

Dunnock - 1

Starling - 9

Blackbird - 1

Stock Dove - 2

House Martin - 4

Sedge Warbler
Adult Reed Bunting
Reed Bunting chicks.

Greenfinch chicks

Long Tailed Tit

House Martin

Thanks to Craig Brookes, Ciaran Hatsall and Chris Bridge for their help this week. And well done to Ciaran (below) for finding his first Reed Bunting nest :-)

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Goldfinch control.

Some news regarding the Goldfinch that I controlled in my garden the other week. It was ringed by Dave Sowter in the Belmont/Darwen area in January 2009 as a 5 male. Controlled in my garden on 06/05/2009 a distance of around 13kms.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Good week.

Checking the BBC Countryfile weather last Sunday evening, I wasn’t too hopeful for much ringing to be carried out this week. However in between showers and with one or two good days, I’ve actually had quite a good week with 74 birds handled.

Tuesday (05th) saw me checking my nest boxes in Atherton Woods for the Nest Record Scheme. Many boxes are once again occupied by Blue and Great tits with one box holding Nuthatch and several ‘‘Tawny Owl’’ boxes holding Stock Dove. I don’t mind Stock Doves taking use of my owl boxes, I think they are smashing birds and I’d rather have them in the box than it not being occupied at all.

I was aware that one of my owl boxes held a sitting female Stock Dove. Every time I went near the box – with ladders or just generally walking past, she would shoot out of box and into the woodland canopy. However this time round, I crept up to the box with the ladders and a landing net. Gently and quietly I placed the ladders on the tree (without trying to rattle them!) and quickly climbed up and placed the net over the hole. By this time I was expecting her to dart out, but no sign of her, by now I thought she was already out feeding. So next I placed my hand in side and could feel that she was sat on the eggs. I gently lifted her off her two eggs, ringed and placed back onto the nest – wonderful!

I was also aware that a Stock Dove was incubating eggs in my old Tawny Owl hole, so once again climbed that and found 2 warm eggs and 1 cold Tawny egg. As I was coming down the tree, a Tawny flew out of a higher hole – so off I went back up the tree and could instantly hear two young owls bill clapping. I reached down into the hole, collected the owlets, ringed and placed back – but not before the female tried attacking me!! Then I had my little celebratory moment (1000th bird – see earlier post) before carrying on with nest box checking.

The day after, I had noticed that quite a number of the nearby houses had audible Starling young, which had just hatched. I started to bait the garden up with suet bars and mealworms – and before long the adults had found them.

With a few days off during the week I decided to have a few mist netting sessions in the garden, which yielded a total of 47 birds of 9 species – 38 new, 8 recaps and 1 control (i.e - ringed by another ringer elsewhere)

New Recap Control

Blackbird - 5, 2, 0,

Starling - 21, 2, 0,

House Sparrow - 2, 0, 0,

Chaffinch - 1, 0, 0,

Greenfinch - 2, 0, 0,

Goldfinch - 5, 2, 1,

Blue Tit - 1, 1, 0,

Great Tit - 1, 0, 0,

Dunnock - 0, 1, 0,

House Sparrow pair

Other birds ringed during the week –

A brood of 5 Long Tailed Tits – (Their nest had been half predated!), a brood of 2 Wood pigeon and 1 Canada goose.

Total of all birds caught -

Canada goose – 1
Long Tailed Tit – 5
Blue Tit – 7
Great Tit - 7
Goldfinch – 5
Chaffinch – 1
Greenfinch - 2
House Sparrow -2
Starling – 21
Blackbird – 5
Stock Dove- 1
Wood pigeon – 2
Tawny Owl – 2 = 61 new + 12 recaps + 1 control = 74 birds.

*** Happy 100th Birthday to the ringing scheme!!!***

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Hello Mr 1000.

I had a little celebratory moment whilst out ringing this evening. Bird GC87820 is my 1000th bird to ring whilst having my C permit!

GC87820 may you have a long and happy life!

Monday, 4 May 2009

That's more like it.

A few more birds ringed this week. A total of 36 birds handled - 34 new and 2 retraps.

Chaffinch - 4

Blue Tit - 7 new + 1 retrap

Goldfinch - 7

Dunnock - 5

Blackbird - 7 new + 1 retrap

Song Thrush - 2

Stock Dove - 2

Stock Dove pulli in nest box on 21/04/2009 and below on 28/04/2009

Song Thrush pulli
Goldfinch, one of seven caught in the garden on 03/05/2009

Recap Blackbird which I caught in the garden potter trap on the 14/06/2008