Thursday, 30 September 2010

More from Moxey

Moxey went ringing this morning, here is his account (sent via his secretary):
With the forecast for Friday being awful,theopportunity was taken to go into CHET this morning. Met up with Joe Johnson, a ringer from The Cape, South Africa. It was nice to meet him and to witness his excitement at ringing such rarities as blue tits and great tits (both firsts for him) In fact all species ringed today were new for him! I was very impressed with his identification and to hear a dunnock being called a hedge accentor. Unfortunately there were not many migrants about but the totalof 76 ringed with 8 retraps compensated. The day was cut short due to an afternoon appointment otherwise I'm sure over 100 birds would have been caught in the three nets. Perhaps the star birds of the day were the two nuthatches - a stunning male and female.

Great Tit - 30 (2)

BlueTit - 27 (2)

CoalTit - 5 (2)

Chaffinch - 5

Blackcap - 2

Nuthatch - 2

Dunnock - 1

Blackbird - 1 (1)

Robin - 1
Wren - 1

Goldcrest - 1

Long tailed Tit - (1)

TOTAL: 76 (8)

over and out

(everybody's secretary)

In the absence of any photo's from Moxey I have attached one of my many photo's from my Canadian adventures of 2006/07. If you click on the photo, you'll be taken to my good friend Kevin 'Bloody' Grundy's blog. Me and Kev had a fantastic time over the two years and he continues some of the good work in Cambridge, Ontario. He seems to have been catching a decent number of Tennessee Warblers, a bird that we didn't too too bad for at Pinery in the fall back in the day.

First-year Tennessee Warbler

The weather forecast for the weekend looks decidedly shocking, but Saturday looks a possibility. In the meantime I will have to make do with distracting myself by watching the Grey and Pied Wagtails out my window on the yard!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

More 'crests!

Moxey went out for a short session at Ince today, below is his expansive email:

Hi Peter,

Totals as follows:
Blue tit - 4
Great tit - 9
Robin - 2
Goldcrest - 3 +1 retrap from November '09, it survived a very cold winter.
Not bad for two hours netting.

One with words eh?

Sunday, 26 September 2010

A busy weekend...

As winter looms and the leaves start to turn, as a ringer I feel an anticipation for the arrival of the birds that spend their winters here in the UK. Goldcrests, Fieldfare, Redwing, Wigeon and Pink-footed Geese to name but a few.
Moxey headed up to Banks for a snoop on Wednesday and reported 'hundreds' of Wagtails out on the marsh. In previous years the ringing group have caught large numbers of Wagtails within the greenhouses that are abundant in the area. Moxey's suggestion was that we headed up and tried to call them in to roost. Cue a phone call to Tineke (who has just started Uni in Manchester) to get home asap, picking her up on my way home from the Wirral. A brief stop in Crosby to pick up Moxey and off we set. When we arrived at Banks, there wasn't a Wagtail to be seen, not impressed! Nevermind! Nothing ventured, nothing gained and all that! An early night in preparation for the morning at Brook Vale.

I have been checking in at Brook Vale through the week as it is only a couple of miles from my home, taking the dog, Canela, for her walk and filling the feeders. The activity at the feeding station has increased in the previous week and we were optimistic of a decent catch. Within the first hour, a male Sparrowhawk had hit the net as I was extracting a Wren, and then got straight back out again. Buggerage! A female Sprawk then proceeded to patrol the fringes of the reedbed and deter anything from using the feeders! However, late on, Moxey returned from the nets with a bloody great big grin on his face with a young male Sprawk safely in a bird bag! The first Goldcrest of the fall came to calls, three Chiffchaff with low weights and a slow and steady trickle of Blackcaps. We have now ringed 81 Blackcaps at Brook Vale this year and over 100 in total.
Another milestone was reached on Saturday, with the Sparrowhawk being the 500th bird ringed at Brook Vale this year. This is the first year that I have ringed at Brook Vale, starting in late May, and it is turning out to be a real gem of a site. There is some habitat management planned over the next few months that should improve the long-term productivity of the reedbed and restrict the Willow encroachment.

First-year Male Sparrowhawk

Tineke gets in on the action

Greenfinch - 1
Goldcrest - 1
Sparrowhawk - 1
Blackcap - 6
Robin - 3 (1)
Dunnock - 1 (1)
Long-tailed Tit - 4 (1)
Chaffinch - 2 (2)
Blue Tit - 5 (1)
Great Tit - 5
Wren - 1 (2)
Song Thrush - 1
Blackbird - 2
Chiffchaff - 3
TOTAL: 36 (8)

Whilst I was otherwise engaged on Saturday afternoon, Moxey headed in to Crosby Hall to cut the net rides at the feeding station. Upon Moxey's suggestion, I headed in and with just three nets caught 43 birds over three hours. I took the music which brought in six Goldcrests, five males and one female, all first-years. The sun was shining and there was a lot of bird song throughout the woods. The feeding station is now set up with a few feeders and once the natural food starts to become more scarce and the feeding intensifies, we will step the feeding regime up.

First-year Male Goldcrest
Great Tit - 6
Blue Tit - 18
Coal Tit - 2
Chaffinch - 2
Robin - 2 (1)
Goldcrest - 6
Wren - 1
Blackbird - 2
Song Thrush - 1
Dunnock - (1)
Blackcap - 1

TOTAL: 41 (2)

All in all, a pretty decent weekend with the weather holding out, unlike last weekend! The feeding station at Ince Blundell is now set up, but there has been pretty limited activity so far. We are looking to have a go for waders at Banks at the next new moon, weather depending.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Back at Brook Vale

Since getting back from Portugal, things have been a little hectic here at Worcester Farm. The new school year, as an NQT, will provide many challenges and many long hours and with Tineke moving to Manchester to study, I'm left with the pooch and ringing to keep me occupied! I've managed four ringing sessions at Brook Vale since I have got back however, and done particularly well for Blackcaps, picking up my first Lesser Whitethroat and a surprise Grey Wagtail! Sparrowhawks have seemingly had a successful breeding season in the valley as they are frequent visitors to the site, terrorising the passerines! Two Water Rail were heard squealing this Saturday (one for the Potter traps!).

Most of the Acro's had moved through by the time we got back from our travels, however we would undoubtedly caught more but the reed bed was unpenetrable without a lot of work re-cutting the rides which we didn't have time to do. Unfortunately, the annual trip to Portugal means that unless we can find more time immediately after our return, the reed bed might be a difficult one!

The 'wet' one.

Lesser Whitethroat

Grey Wagtail
Grey Wagtail - 1
Wren - 8
Dunnock - 4
Robin - 19
Blackbird - 6
Song Thrush - 1
Reed Warbler - 3
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Whitethroat - 3
Garden Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 53
Chiffchaff - 17
Willow Warbler - 6
Long-tailed Tit - 12
Blue Tit - 44
Great Tit - 14
Jay - 1

TOTAL: 194

I have already been into Ince Blundell and but for the weather, I would have been in there ringing today, bloody rain! Goldcrests seem to be moving now so I'll be looking to target them and maybe some Mipits over the next few weeks.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Lagoa de Santo André Final Totals and Photos

We had a belter of summer at Santo André and I celebrated 25 years of my involvement with the project....okay, so maybe for the first ten years or so, my participation was limited, but from then on, I was very involved! We managed one of our best August's ever! A total of 2814 birds were ringed, encompassing 48 species with 15 foreign controls, covering France, Belgium, Holland and the UK!

Here are the final totals and some photo's of some of the birds that we caught.

Reed Warbler - 604
Great Reed Warbler - 23
Savi´s Warbler - 149
Cetti´s Warbler - 51
Melodious Warbler - 108
Sardinian Warbler - 14
Willow Warbler - 124
Blackcap - 26
Iberian Chiffchaff - 127
Whitethroat - 22
Fan-tailed Warbler - 16
Nightingale - 18
Blackbird - 26
Common Waxbill - 88
Tree Sparrow - 33
Goldfinch - 6
Iberian (!)Blue Tit - 47
Great Tit - 8
Stonechat - 11
Kingfisher - 28
Short-toed Treecreeper - 3
Southern Grey Shrike - 2
Swallow - 845
House Sparrow - 5
Wren - 4
Sedge Warbler - 231
Green Sandpiper - 1
Common Sandpiper - 8
Yellow Wagtail - 4
Greenfinch - 32
Grasshoper Warbler - 24
Woodchat Shrike - 7
Sand Martin - 49
Nightjar - 11
Crested Tit - 4
Bonelli´s Warbler - 3
Hoopoe - 1
Long-tailed Tit - 7
Red-rumped Swallow - 6
Turtle Dove - 1
Chaffinch - 1
Golden Oriole - 1
White Stork - 1
Garden Warbler -21
House Martin - 3
Moorhen - 1
Aquatic Warbler - 1
Bluethroat - 3

TOTAL - 2814

Adult Male Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)

Rui 'I-have-come-for-your-children' Brito

First-year Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica)

Sedge Warbler from Paris

Myself and Siobhán with three Common Nightjars (Caprimulgus europeaus)

Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)


First-year Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)

First-year Hoopoe (Upupa epops)

First-year Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus)

The view of the Lagoa from the Pinhal

A fistful of Phyllies - from left: Bonelli's Warbler, Willow Warbler and Iberian Chiffchaff

Dutch Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)

First-year Crested Tit (Parus cristatus)

Belgian Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)

Aquatic Warbler (Acrocephalus paludicola)

An Aquatic Warbler and a Sedge Warbler

Tó Pereira ringing his first Bonelli's Warbler whilst wife and son, Claudia and Manuel, offer ageing tips!