Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Limeys at Cropston.

Thanks to the efforts of Jim Graham and Steve Lister we have so far recorded five returning adults that were colour ringed in 2014. These are U01, U08, U23, U26 and U36. Steve also managed to read two metal rings of birds we rung in 2013, before we started colour ringing.
We have also recorded eight of this years juveniles, which are codes U70, U71, U73, U74, U80,U82, U84, and U86.
It would be great to receive records from other sites, so please check for Lime colour rings on any Common Terns.
Observations to Andy Smith at

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Limeys Return.

 Jim Graham alerted me to the Common Terns that are now regularly feeding at Cropston Reservoir.
 The terns rest on the railings and this allows the colour rings to be read.
 It was great to hear that Jim had seen two of the terns that we colour ringed in 2014. He reported seeing U01, amazingly the first Comte that we colour ringed at WCP on 11/06/2014, and U36 rung on the 23/06/2014.

 Today I managed to record another returning adult, U23
 and also three of this years juveniles, U73, U74 and U80.

 There was also this adult, with 2 plain yellow rings on the left leg. I am awaiting information on what scheme this bird belongs to.
We would welcome any information on our Limeys from Cropston or any locations. Email the details to

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Belgium Visitor!

 Amongst the 12 Reed Warblers caught at WCP was this Belgium rung bird.
 It is just possible to pick out BRU and SSELS on this rather worn and misshapen ring. It will be interesting to find out if this individual has bred previously in Belgium, or was rung on passage.

Common Terns Colour ringed.

 The rafts at WCP have again been successful, with 19 young terns rung last week.
 Each bird received a metal ring on the right leg and a lime green colour ring on the left leg.
 The codes for this years graduates are in black and  run from U67 to U86. ( U83 broke)
 Hopefully, some of these individuals will return to breed at WCP in  two years time.
Again, thanks to Dale Osborne for all his support.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Leaving the best until last !!

Had another excellent ringing session this morning in one of our reedbed sites.

The weather looked doubtful with the forecast on Friday night changing with the hour. But we decided it was worth the risk. Nets were open at first light and we managed a couple of net rounds before a heavy downpour. We had to close up for an hour until the rain passed - at usually the most productive time of the morning.

We still managed to catch plenty of birds, especially reed warblers. The great majority were males with the females, presumably, still of eggs or keeping young warm after the storm. 

Taking down the nets after a 7 hour stint produced a great end to the day. An adult male kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), while not uncommon it is always nice to catch such a handsome bird.

Kingfisher (A atthis) © Nigel Judson
Elsewhere, some members of the group have been busy nest recording. We have a long term study of a tree sparrow (Passer montanus) colony, where I have been ringing nearly 20 years. The first brood has already fledged and the second clutches of eggs are now being laid. The poor spring weather has meant that the first egg date estimates for the first brood are calculated at around 10 days later than the mean, so hopefully they will make up time. Three broods is not uncommon at this long established colony.
 Tree Sparrow (P. montanus) pullus © Nigel Judson


Sunday, 15 May 2016

Does anyone know D787769

This year we are trialing a CES site with a view to going live in 2017. It's something I've been wanting to do for sometime and we now have enough ringers that are interested and able to commit the time.

Yesterdays trial was a great success with a couple of highlights. The ring number above (D787769) was a control Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scripaceus) age 4. If anyone recognizes the ring number, please let me know. The recapture data will be submitted to the BTO in the usual way.

Another highlight was the first Cetti's Warbler (Cettia cetti) to be caught on the reserve, an adult male. It will be nice to catch a juvenile later in the year to prove breeding.

Cetti's Warbler,
© Nigel Judson

  The more common birds often bring up most surprises. Yesterday we caught two Treecreepers (Certhia familiaris) one with a brood patch, not only the first that we had caught on the reserve but the volunteer warden had only seen one on the reserve in the previous 20 years.

It was also nice to catch the first juvenile of the year. Not surprisingly a Robin.

Here are the totals, New/Retrap :-

Blackbird             0/1
Blackcap             2/0
Blue Tit                1/2
Cetti's Warbler     1/0
Chiffchaff              5/1
Great Tit               5/0
Long tailed Tit       4/0
Reed Bunting         5/0
Reed Warbler        5/2
Robin                    1/0
Sedge Warbler      3/0
Song Thrush          2/0
Treecreeper          2/0
Willow Warbler     1/0
Wren                     1/1

We also the checked the progress of a Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) colony. This year all the nest boxes are occupied except for two, that have been taken over by Bumble bees. The nests are at the hatching stage and I will ring the chicks when large enough. Each box will have two broods, sometimes three, in the season. At the end of the season all the data gathered will be submitted to the Nest Record Scheme of the BTO. At the same site swallows usually nest in the garage, this year we have three nests occupied with eggs in. 

Looks like a bumper year in Charnwood.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

A day on the reserve

Today a couple of us went to a local ringing site for the first ringing session of the year on the reserve. After a chilly start at first light the sun came through for a very pleasant morning. Catches are low this time of year before the juveniles are around, so 29 birds of 13 species was good.

Female Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla    
Four species of migrant warbler were caught including Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Blackcap and a retrap Garden Warbler originally ringed in 2013. The final bird of the day was a male Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major