Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Project Blackbird

Following Paulo's visit the other week and his anecdotal observations on the biometrics of Blackbirds, we have started some data collection to compare wintering Blackbirds in SW Lancs and the Mondego Valley of Portugal.

Measuring the beak.

Throughout the year, we will take measurements of the beak and tarsus of all new and retrap Blackbirds that we catch.

Measuring the tarsus.

If you are interested in helping collect some biometrics, get in touch!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

A busy week!

A busy week all in all over here in South-West Lancs! With Paulo still around following the BTO Conference, Moxey treated him to a little bit of Ince and the first session of the winter at The Woodhams.

Here are the results:

The Woodhams - 07 Dec 2009

Paulo is clearly overjoyed at the prospect of so many Blue Tits, he is dancing!

Paulo was pleased to ring his first Regulus regulus, but unfortunately the only Treecreeper that was caught was a retrap. A relatively low key session from what Moxey reports, cut short by an incoming heavy rainshower.

Blackbird 1
Goldfinch 3
Treecreeper (1)
L.T.Tit 8 (1)
Dunnock 1
Coal Tit 3
Blue Tit 22 (3)
Great Tit 11 (2)
Goldcrest 1

Total: 50 (7)

Ince Blundell - 09 Dec 2009

As I was stuck in school teaching the finer points of the formation of polysaccharides through condensation reactions, it was typical that Moxey and Paulo caught a Sparrowhawk. Paulo found the general sizes of Blackbirds interesting however leading to ideas of a study (but more of that in another post).

Paulo and a first-year male Sparrowhawk

2 (2)
Coal Tit 3 (10)
Dunnock 1
Blue Tit 16 (30)
Great Tit 9 (31)
Chaffinch 2
Blackbird 1 (1)
Sparrowhawk 1

Total: 35 (74)

The Woodhams - 13 Dec 2009


An early start for myself, Moxey and Tineke, following the first real frost of the winter. We were hoping for a decent catch but from the offset, the woods were relatively quiet with a high proportion of retraps. Siskins and Redwing were heard, with the odd Buzzard patroling the fields no doubt tempted by the huge flocks of Wood Pigeons all over the place. The highlights of the day were the first Nuthatch for the site and, after much promise, two Jays (much to the embuggerance of all that held them!).

First-year Nuthatch

Blue Tit
8 (19)
Great Tit 2 (20)
Coal Tit 1 (2)
L.T.Tit 1
Dunnock 1
Chaffinch 4 (1)
Goldfinch 4
Jay 2
Blackbird 3
Treecreeper (1)
Great-spotted Woodpecker (1)
Robin 3
Wren 1
Nuthatch 1

Total: 31 (44)

The two Jay and a Scouse Ringer

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Interview with India!

I was recently contacted by Neville Lobo, a young photographer from Bangalore, India who had stumbled across my blog. We exchanged emails for a few days, discussing ringing and birds in general. Neville had never come across ringing before as the practice isn't widely publicised in India. It resulted in Neville asking me for an interview, this can be seen here: NEVILLE'S BLOG

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

BTO Conference 4-6 December

Following the arrival of Paulo Tenreiro, we all headed off to Swanwick in Derbyshire for a weekend of socialising, interesting talks and dire food! Here are a few of the highlights!

The APAA Poster

Myself and Paulo with the APAA Poster

Saturday Evenings Ringers Meeting

Scouse Ringer, PQT and Moxey

Despite the food, we all had a great time and it was great to catch up with other ringers. In reality though, there were not many of us there under the age of 40 and it is quite likely that conferences in ten or fifteen years time will have a very different complexion.