Sunday, 30 May 2010

Nest Record Scheme Course

A couple of weeks ago Chris and I spent an enjoyable weekend at The Nunnery in Thetford on a Nest Recording Course run by the NRS of the BTO. The weekend started on the Friday evening with the usual welcomes and an excellent presentation by Carl Barimore (NRS Organiser). This was followed by an delicious meal at the Black Horse, which gave the course participants time to meet and exchange experiences. The following day started at 7.00 meeting in the Nunnery car park, we then ventured to the Nunnery Nature Reserve to try and find nest of species like Linnet, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and others. After a break for breakfast we went into Thetford Forest to find woodland birds' nests. Most of the day was spent in the field nest finding.

The following day (Sunday) followed a similar pattern. We were soon fully au fait with such devilish techniques as 'tapping off' and 'watching back'.

All in all as a team we managed to find 21 nests that had not been found previously which, I believe, is a record for the courses that have been running since 2008.

For anyone that is interested in Nest Recording then one of the BTO organised courses is a must. Not only does it introduce you to new ways of finding nests, but it also introduces you to other like minded people that it would be nice to keep in touch with.

Special thanks must be given to Dave Leech, Carl Barimore, Lee Barber and Mike Toms for making the course such a success.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Snake in the grass

An absolutely beautiful morning at Watermead started with 4 Grass Snakes warming up in a traditional spot and it just got better. We ringed 32 birds of 11 species including this lovely male Bullfinch.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Warblers at Watermead.

An early start at the Watermead reed bed was rewarded with 6 species of warbler today. Two Sedge and three Reed Warblers were caught along with 2 Willow, 2 Whitethroat, 1 Garden Warbler and a Blackcap. A very young recently fledged Robin was also caught.
On Thursday evening a final attempt at Heron ringing resulted in 5 pullus being rung. It does not seem to have been a good year for the Heron colony with most nests only having 2 young. Better news was the 2 Tawny Owl chicks rung at Thornton.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Warblers a plenty

We had our first session on Sunday at our 'Summer' site and was greeted with plenty of birdsong from Chiffs, Blackcap, Willow Warblers and Garden Warblers. So our expectations were high. Over the few short hours we were there 17 new birds were ringed, and one retrap from November last year. As an added bonus we also found a Willow Warbler nest with 7 eggs in it, maybe belonging to the female we caught. This will be visited again in due course, as we also take part in the Nest Recording Scheme. Totals are
Robin 2
Blackcap 1 male
Garden Warbler 5, (3 females Bp 1,2)
Willow Warbler 6 (5 males, 1 female BP3)
Chiffchaff 1
Long tailed Tit 2 (1)