Sunday 29 November 2009

Garden ringing & a few Coot.

Mostly garden ringing this week, in between dodging rain showers!

23/11/2009 - 3 Starling & 1 Blackbird

26/11/2009 - 8 Goldfinch.

27/11/2009 - recaps in brackets (below)

Goldfinch - 17 (6)
Greenfinch - 2
Robin - 1
Great Tit - 2
Starling - 2
Blue Tit - 4 (3)
House Sparrow - 1
Dunnock - (1)

Meanwhile Steve went over to his feeding station and had a nice catch of 50 birds.

28/11/2009 - 9 Coot colour ringed at Redesmere Lake.

Sunday 22 November 2009

Whooper to Watermead!

Many thanks to Julie at Watermead County park in Leicestershire for getting in touch with Steve, regarding one of our ringed Whooper Swans.

Whooper Swan - ZY0349 - was ringed at Bowness on Windermere on 25/05/2009 and was seen pretty much throughout the summer there. However on the 11/11/2009 it turned up at Watermead Countrypark in Leics at total of 222kms away from Bowness.

Not surprisingly the bird was in a flock of Mute Swans - just as he was when ringed at Bowness on Windermere!

Even though ZY0349 was ringed in the UK in spring - when it should have really been back in Iceland - it just goes to show these birds are not loafing around on the same pond all the time - waiting for the next handful of bread!!

Thanks to Julie for the above photo.

Wednesday 18 November 2009

WWT Martin Mere catch.

Miserable start at Martin Mere this morning with the catch being on & off at first. However with the terrible weather we didn't want to catch lots of birds. Unfortunately or fortunately (!) the door to the pipe was blown down during the night which put quite a few of the birds off entering the trap this morning. We wanted to catch more ducks than swans and we manged that as the swans were very weary.

In the end the door was released and we caught 4 swans (3 Whoopers & 1 Mute), 1 Greylag Goose and 106 ducks. Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to ring any of the duck as I had to leave for a meeting - but check out Sean's blog for more info.

Thanks as always to all the ringers who come to help at the catch. Their help is very much appreciated.

Tuesday 17 November 2009

Caerlaverock Swan Catch.

Today we had our first swan catch of the winter and instead of heading home from Scotland on Sunday - I decided to stay up until Tuesday. So a team of WWT staff, volunteers & local ringers all met at WWT Caerlaverock on the Solway Firth.

When talking to members of the public at WWT reserves - I'm often asked how do we catch the birds and so I thought I would take a series of photos and display them here... During the winter the birds get fed four times daily and this allows members of the public to see the birds up close - it also allows us to entice them into our decoys aka swan pipes.

Once the head warden & catch organiser feels we have enough birds to cope with - a line is pulled (which travels underground) and this releases the ''door'' a net suspended from the roof of the pipe - capturing the birds. It is at this point the adrenaline rushes through you - and everyone runs out and into the pipe to get behind the birds to get everything under control. Once we've formed a line in the water - we slowly walk the birds to the top of the pipe - where birds are separated.

Swans & geese get penned up and the ducks get placed into crates until ringing can begin. Ducks are then taken out - ringed, aged, weighed and swabbed before being relased. Whooper & Mute Swans are ringed with both BTO metal rings & darvic rings, aged, weighed, have their skull & tarsus measured, (Whoopers) have their bills photographed, swabbed and then released.

Birds caught - Whooper Swan, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Mallard, Shoveler, Wigeon and Gadwall.

Tonight we're heading down the M6 and staying at Martin Mere - hopefully tomorrow we'll be catching there....update tomorrow.

Thursday 12 November 2009

This week....

All garden ringing this week (40 caught) except an early morning, before work trip to the Shakerley feeding station (5 caught). Depressing total from Shakerley I know, despite the previous day looking really good - but that's 5 more birds with rings on - that's how I'm gunna look at it :0)

Anyhow bags/car packed - I'm off up to Scotland for a long weekend....


Goldfinch - 22 new + 1 recap
Chaffinch - 2
Robin - 1
Blue Tit - 2 new + 1 recap
Great Tit - 1 + 1 recap
Dunnock - 1 recap
Starling - 11
Blackbird - 2
= 41 new + 4 recap = 45 birds caught.....

Over and out....

Monday 9 November 2009

Garden ringing.

I woke at 06:45am and peered out of the window and saw that there was the first real frost on the ground. As I was working from home today - I got up and stuck a net up in the garden. Not long after, the first Goldfinches were coming down to feed at the feeding station - resulting in 21 being caught. Throughout the remainder of the day a total of 30 birds caught 26 new & 4 recaps.

Goldfinch - 20 new + 1 recap.
Great Tit - 1 recap
Chaffinch - 1 male
Robin - 1
Dunnock - 1 retrap
Blue Tit - 3 - 2 new & 1 recap (from another site further down the road - ringed as a pullus in May this year)
Starling - 2

After the mad rush of Starling in spring - they've only just starting to come into the garden again. Yesterday a flock came into the garden and we managed to count 138 from a photo we took!! Hopefully we can catch a few more.....

Lithuanian Black Headed Gull

Ring read in field at WWT Martin Mere on 06/11/2009.

356216 - Black headed Gull

Age : in the nest (1)

Date : 04-06-1989

Place : Kietaviskes (54.45'N 24.38'E), Kaisiadorys district, Lithuania

Sunday 8 November 2009

Just a few..

Not had time to do much ringing this week as I've been busy with work. However I put the net up in the garden yesterday morning and managed a nice little catch of 14 birds - 11 Goldfinch (10 new & 1 recap), 1 Greenfinch, 1 Dunnock and 1 Blue Tit.

Meanwhile Steve has been out catching Coot, Canada geese & Tufted Duck...

Today I've been out with Sean again - he came over from Halifax to give us a hand with catching and colour ringing some more Coot.... Today we caught - 10 Coot, 1 Tufted Duck, 2 Mallard, 4 Canada Geese and 9 Mute Swan.

So that's that for this week!

In the pipeline for the next coming weeks - both my garden & the Shakerley feeding stations are getting quite busy and Steve has set up another feeding station at one of our sites - so hopefully we'll be netting these over the next few weeks. We're also about to dust off the Teal trap and float it - ready for action. And as winter sets in - that will give us more opportunity in catching more Coot & Gulls. And finally, with the Whooper Swans now back at the Wildfowl & Wetland Trust centres - I'm going to be travelling around the country quite a bit attending various wildfowl catches at Martin Mere, Caerlaverock, Slimbridge and Welney.....

Sunday 1 November 2009

End of week totals.

A good week with 89 birds handled - 76 new, 12 recap and 1 control.

Wren - 1
Goldfinch - 7 new + 1 recap
Chaffinch - 4
Greenfinch - 1
Bullfinch - 2
Willow Tit - 1 new + 2 recap
Blue Tit - 5 new
Great Tit - 3 new + 2 recap
Dunnock - 1
Blackbird - 1
Jay - 1
Tufted Duck - 2
Coot - 35 new + 2 recap
Canada Goose - 10 new + 5 recap
Mute Swan - 2
Black Headed Gull - 1 Norwegian control.

37 Coot colour ringed this week.