Saturday, 23 October 2010

Moxey on Tour.....and one from the Cape!

Ringing was off today - too much wind and rain, so I took advantage of a free'd up Saturday and headed up to Bamfords Mill near Leyland to collect an order of bird food (with five feeding stations on the go this winter, we're going to go through a lot of bird food!). With Tineke and Canela in tow, we stopped off at Mere Sands Wood near Rufford for a walk and a bit of a birdwatch. There wasn't much about, a few Tufties and Coot (checked all I could see for colour rings).

After dropping the bird food off at Moxeys, I headed for home, via Brook Vale and Ince Blundell to fill those feeders and then came the inevitable text from Moxey. Moxey arrived in Portugal on Thursday morning and has been ringing with Paulo near the Spanish border as part of a ringing course introducing people to ringing birds. I was devastated that I couldn't get there soon enough to take part, as I fly out in the morning. So the text read:

'Having a cold Super Bock, 77 ringed so far, Rock, Cirl, Siskin, Green Woodpecker,
Firecrest, Grey Wagtail, Chiffchaff, Kingfisher and Blackcap. Dutch Blackcap.'

Bloody typical! Anyhow, I fly out tomorrow and have a few ringing sessions of my own planned! I'll be arriving in Porto in the morning, with orders to wake Rui up (he's got a late one planned) and head out for breakfast. In my usual style, none of my plans are finalised and I haven't even packed, let's see what happens!

In other news, I received an email from Jo Johnson who was over visiting relatives in Formby recently and spent a couple of sessions with Moxey at Ince Blundell and Crosby Hall:

Hi Pete,
I am now back in Cape Town and would just like to thank you
for the effort you made to make my visit more memorable.
The ringing
trips were superb and it is a pity that we cannot do it again.
If you
are ever in Cape Town I will make sure that you get an equally rewarding experience. Sent you a picture of one of my catches, hope you like it.


We also do weddings, baptisms and bahmitzvahs (sp?)!

A Malachite Kingfisher.....apparently.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Even more 'crests and a Sprawk!

Taking advantage of an INSET day at school, I was able to get down to Crosby Hall at 2:30 to join Moxey and Neil Diamond who had been there since the morning. Catch rate through the day was steady although relatively slow with an even mix of new birds and retraps. As I was driving through the Mersey Tunnel, I got a text from Moxey:

'Got a big brown job.'

It has taken me a while to get used to the fact that Moxey has managed to master the art of text messaging, but in this case, I knew exactly what he meant and just hoped he had taken photo's. The act of taking photo's was reserved for Mr Diamond today and can be seen below.

Juvenile female Sparrowhawk

Moxey successfully hiding his satisfaction

As Moxey was ringing the Sparrowhawk, Neil watched a male Sparrowhawk taking a Fieldfare across the park. Following the ringing session at Fulwood, where we were 'plagued' by Sparrowhawks patrolling the fringes of the reedbed, it seems that Sparrowhawks have had a fairly successful breeding season.

Wren - 1
Goldcrest - 6
Blue Tit - 7 (10)
Great Tit - 9 (20)
Chaffinch - 10 (3)
Coal Tit - 1 (6)
Blackbird - 6 (1)
Greenfinch - 2 (1)
Robin - (1)
Sparrowhawk - 1

TOTAL: 43 (42)

Moxey heads off to Portugal in the morning for a spot of ringing with Paulo Tenreiro and I will be joining him on Sunday. I'll be spending some time in the North West trying out a few new sites with Antonio Pereira and Rui Brito before heading down to Coimbra to meet up with Moxey and Paulo. Good times.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

An Overdue Update

It has been a pretty busy week here in Liverpool following a manic week in school that included a trip to Bangor in Wales to give a talk to the Bangor Bird Group about setting up a bird observatory in Canada. We were out last weekend with a visitor, Neil Everett, who hopes to train to be a ringer, for the sake of this blog, we shall call him Neil Diamond.

Last Saturday we enjoyed the sun at Brook Vale (becoming a regular weekly haunt) and ringed 39 birds, including six Blackcaps a Bullfinch and a lateish Chiffchaff. On Sunday, we headed into Crosby Hall and ringed a total of 40 birds including Blackcap, Treecreeper and Goldcrest as well as a Great-spotted Woodpecker that was originally ringed on Altcar Rifle Range by Ian on 22nd June 2007.
The view over Bangor Harbour

Moxey headed into both Crosby Hall and Ince Blundell this week with relative success. There has been a decent movement of Goldcrests over the past few weeks although the Blackcaps are starting to dry up, between us we have ringed over 110 Blackcaps this calendar year (see SWLRG blog for year-to-date round-up).

No photo's from Moxey, but here are the totals:

Crosby Hall - 13th October

L.T.Tit - 3 (4)
Goldcrest - 5
Treecreeper - 1
Coal Tit - 1 (3)
Blackcap - 1
Blackbird - 6 (4)
Blue Tit - 18 (24)
Great Tit - 17 (29)
Robin - 3 (2)
Dunnock - (2)
Greenfinch - 2

TOTAL: 68 (73)

Enjoying the weekend sun at Crosby Hall

Ince Blundell - 15th October

Nuthatch - 1
L.T.Tit - 7 (1)
Goldcrest - 6 (1)
Blackbird - 3
Coal Tit - 5 (3)
Great Tit - 10 (4)
Blue Tit - 7 (7)
Dunnock - 1
Wren - 2
Jay - (1)

TOTAL: 42 (17)

As the weekend approached, I was itching to get out again having visited Brook Vale twice during the week, as well as Ince Blundell and a new site, Fulwood Marsh on Rimrose Valley. Neil Diamond joined myself, Tineke and Canela The Bungee Dog for a pre-dawn start down at Brook Vale. As the temperature in my car read 5 degrees, this was the coldest morning we have had so far and with Autumn well and truly upon us, we were rewarded with our first and second Redwing of the fall. We also had our first Coal Tit and Treecreeper for the site.

Moxey put in a brief appearance, but quickly disappeared as soon as there was signs of any real work needing doing (resting his knee for the Portugal trip no doubt!). However as Neil Diamond departed, the die hards headed to the new site for a second scouting trip and some slight habitat management (where is Kevin 'Bloody' Grundy when you need him?).

Blue Tit - 4 (2)
Great Tit - 1 (1)
Greenfinch - 8
Reed Bunting - 1
Coal Tit - 1
Treecreeper - 1
Redwing - 2
Song Thrush - 2
Blackbird - 6 (3)
Chaffinch - 2 (1)
Dunnock - 1

TOTAL: 30 (6)

First Redwing

An adult (EURING - 4) and a juvenile (EURING - 3) tail shot

With the anticipation of trying a new ringing site, the untold promise and adrenaline rush of the first net round, I was quite keen to get out this morning. The fact that I knew we would have to pack up early to make it back and then around to Ian's to watch the Goodison derby just added to the potential elation (or soul-crushing disappointment) of the day. Thankfully it was the former emotion rather than the latter that I experienced today!

Tineke-the-Trooper was on top form again today, two consecutive 5:30am starts, what more could a ringer ask for? A fried veggie-friendly breakfast? No, that is pushing it! With two nets and two sets of speakers, we had decent success, pulling in a few Reed Buntings and a solitary Linnet. Canela seemed to enjoy herself too!

Oh yeah, Everton won!

Reed Bunting - 6
Blue Tit - 4
Robin - 3
L.T.Tit - 2
Wren - 3
Blackbird - 1
Linnet - 1


Juvenile Linnet (EURING - 3)

A canabina and a carabina

During the week I'll pop back to Fulwood to put in a table and a feeder or two and possibly cut a ride or two to expand on the possiblities that the site may hold.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Moxey Goes It Alone and Upcoming Talk

I popped into CHET during a break in the showers on Sunday and the feeders had been emptied by the hoards of hungry titmice and so Moxey headed in for a session on his own today. It looks like he had a busy one!

Blue Tit - 39 (16)
Great Tit - 35 (13)
Coal Tit - 4 (5)
L.T. Tit - 2 (1)
Robin - 3
Goldcrest - 1
Blackbird - 1
Song Thrush - 1
Greenfinch - 1
Blackcap - 1
Dunnock - (1)
Chaffinch - 20 (4)

TOTAL: 108 (40)

Although heavy with titmice (I am wary of just using the term 'tits') todays session has thrown up a few interesting points. All of the Chaffinches were ringed on the left leg (without checking the ring numbers, they are likely to be birds ringed by Ian in Thornton) and one of the retrap Great Tits was ringed as a pullis (ringed with a 'B' ring). The Blackcaps seem to be down to be a trickle now, but they we are still catching which is encouraging, we've ringed over 100 this year now.

Moxey didn't come up with any photo's from the session, so I've put a few photos taken from my presentation 'Setting Up A Bird Observatory in Canada' that I will be delivering to the Bangor Bird Club in Wales tomorrow. The meeting will be held at the Brambell Building (postcode LL57 2UW) and starts at 7:30 prompt.

Blue-winged Teal

Northern Saw-whet Owl