Sunday, 28 June 2009

End of week total

Tree Sparrow - 38
Kestrel - 3
Swallow - 1 = 42 new birds.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009


Met up with Steve, Virginie, Craig and Ciaran this evening for a bit of mist netting at Cutacre near Bolton. 5 birds caught - 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Dunnock and 1 Chaffinch.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

More Tree Sparrow

I've been working at WWT Martin Mere today, so took a few hours out and helped warden Steve Birch monitor around 70 Tree Sparrow boxes. Although the majority of boxes contained Tree Sparrow nests, most of the young had fledged - either that or the nests contained eggs of 2nd clutches. Some nest boxes did contain young and 38 were ringed.

We also checked a Barn Owl box that contained 3 Kestrel young and a Stock Dove nest box that had hatching eggs.

Monday, 22 June 2009

More Swift.

Steve was out again last night catching 5 Swift and I joined him again tonight - catching 3 birds. Also a brood of 2 Reed Bunting ringed..

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Another mixed bag!

A good week with 86 new birds ringed + 1 recap.

Garden ringing

18/06/2009 - Set a few traps on the garden lawn targetting Starling - catching 4 birds.

19/06/2009 - Mist netting in the garden resulting in the following birds caught - 1 Blackbird, 1 Starling, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Robin, 1 Greenfinch.

20/06/2009 - Mist netting again, catching - 1 Goldfinch, 1 Bullfinch, 1 Blackbird and 1 Starling.

WWT Martin Mere

20/06/2009 - checked a few of the Tree Sparrow boxes resulting in 13 pulli being ringed. Also a brood of 5 Great Tit & 4 Wren ringed.

Atherton Farm

18/06/2009 - 13 Swallow pulli ringed.

Windermere area.

21/06/2009 - Visiting various farms ringing 30 Swallows (24 pulli + 6 adults). Also 5 Mute Swans, 1 Mallard, 1 Treecreeper, 1 Grey Wagtail and 1 recap Dipper.

Weekly totals -

Wren - 4
Swallow - 43
Blue Tit - 1
Great Tit - 5
Starling - 6
Blackbird - 2
Robin - 1
Goldfinch - 1
Greenfinch - 1
Bullfinch - 1
Tree Sparrow - 13
Treecreeper - 1
Grey Wagtail - 1
Dipper - 1 recap
Mute Swan - 5
Mallard - 1 = 86 new & 1 recap.

Saturday, 20 June 2009


is what I had to be tonight! A phone call from my trainer Steve alerting me that he had caught a Swift at a local reedbed, soon had me dashing down the M61 to meet him! After a ten minute journey, Steve greeted me with two Swifts that he had flick netted.........Thanks Steve!!!

Sunday, 14 June 2009

End of week total.

Three species of birds ringed this week - 2 Herring Gull, 1 Blackbird and 43 Starling. Starling numbers in the garden have now dropped down, as many of the birds seem to have gone out to feed on the surrounding farmland.

Starling - 43 new + 8 recaps
Blackbird - 1 new + 1 recap
Herring gull - 2 new

= 46 new & 9 recaps.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Having fun with gulls in Wales (as seen on Springwatch)

I'm currently staying and working in North Wales carrying out aerial survey work around the North Wales coast. Last night we stayed in Llandudno and with seeing how Simon King on Springwatch tamely fed the Herring Gulls in Llandudno - I wanted a go! But obviously I wanted to try and catch one or two to ring, so after enquiring with the BTO - to make sure I wasn't going to be ringing in any others ringers area, I was all set. So after arriving in Llandudno, booking into our hotel, we then went in search of food! With KFC bucket & chips bought, we made our way to the sea front and immediately were confronted with a handful of Herring gulls!

With planning on going out for a few drinks after our KFC, I was careful where the birds rear end was!!

I should point out to any ''non ringer'' readers of this blog - that I do have a licence to catch and ring these birds.....

Friday, 12 June 2009

Common Tern ringing,

Up and out early this morning, meeting Dave Edwards at Doffcocker Lodge in Bolton. For the last four years, Dave and I have been colour ringing the pulli Common Terns at Doffcocker. 13 chicks colour ringed today, with 3 more clutches of eggs still being incubated.

Any sightings of these colour ringed Terns or any other ringed birds would be much appreciated and can be sent to

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Black Headed gulls.

Finally, after months and months of planning - we were issued with licences to sail over to the islands on a Reservoir in Cumbria to ring young Black Headed gulls. It is reported that during the breeding season - the island holds between 1000 - 2000 pairs of Black Headed gulls.

A very happy Craig and Steve on leaving the island!

226 young Black Headed gulls ringed.

Many thanks to the following people who have helped us with advice, gaining access and ringing the birds- Cath Ferguson (British Waterways), Jez Blackburn & Sam Birch (BTO), Fred Gould, Peter Lawson, Robin Sellers, Stephen Christmas, Craig Brookes, Ciaran Hatsall and Chris Bridge.

Sunday, 7 June 2009


A few weeks ago I noticed a pair of Jays in our local cemetery and after a bit of detective work I managed to find their nest. Unfortunately it was at the top of a very spindly Holly tree and there was no way the tree would have held my weight!

So I sent a mirror on a pole up the tree in order for me to monitor the contents of the nest. They laid 4 eggs, all hatched and this week were due to fledge. The only way for me to get at them to ring was to monitor them carefully and check the nest & tree each day for fledged youngsters.

The first two fledged today and branched to a nearby tree - allowing me to climb it and retrieve one of the birds (the other was too high up the tree!).

After ringing and a quick photo shoot, he was placed back in the tree.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

And the Starlings just keep on coming!!

During the spring/summer I can work from home (on most days) which means while one eye is focused on the computer screen the other is constantly watching the nets and traps in the garden. It's been another great week in the garden for ringing, especially for those Starlings! 90 birds have been caught this week - 77 of those are newly ringed birds and 13 were recaps. This brings the total to 158 Starlings ringed during the last 2 weeks.

Also ringed this week - 4 (brood) Swallow, 4 Blackbird and 3 Wood pigeon.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Swallow and Lapwing.

Out with Steve last night checking our Kestrel box at Botany Bay Woods in Grt Manchester. Unfortunately, despite a few sightings of the Kestrels sat in the entrance hole of the box - it was unoccupied .

We decided to check to see if any Swallows were ready for ringing. Most of the nests contained eggs but one nest had ringable chicks.

Then a quick check in the fields to look for Lapwing, finding two chicks.