Sunday, 28 November 2010

Brrrrrrr it's Cold

With only a sprinkling of snow compared to other parts of the country we braved the cold to continue with our roost ringing. With 8 nets up we were kept busy all afternoon, not even having time to make a cuppa to warm ourselves up. We ended with 48 new birds and 30 retraps. Of the few tits we checked for fat some were carrying large amounts, up to 50ESP in some cases. Interestingly most of the Chaffinch caught were males with only 2 females among them.
Totals. Retraps in ( )

Chaffinch 20
Great Tit 11 (13)
Blue Tit 1 (7)
Long-tailed Tit (1)
Wren 4 (1)
Coal Tit 1 (4) with one from 2007
Robin (1)
Blackbird 3 (3) with one from 2007
Redwing 4
Song Thrush 1
Nuthatch 2

Monday, 22 November 2010

Male Cetti's.

The Watermead reed bed was a dank and misty place on Saturday morning as I set five nets, hoping perhaps to catch a Bearded Tit. Thinking positively was not having much affect as all I was catching were Blue and Long Tailed tits. Still, at least I was discovering what was in the reed bed and that Reedlings were not here yet. I live in hope. Then I was rewarded with this fine male Cetti's. I was able to sex it on size, it weighed 15.2 gms, females only reach 12.5 gms. Also the wing was 61 mm, which is at the extreme upper limit for a female. The female that I caught back in September had a wing of 58 and only weighed 12 gms. Having been ringing at Watermead for 12 years and never having caught a Cetti's, these captures are good evidence that they are increasing. All thanks to great management by Dale and his team.

Monday, 15 November 2010

More Lesser Redpolls.

Another 12 Lesser Redpoll were caught at Thornton at the weekend. This brings the autumn total to 35. Two adults were identified by their more rounded tail feathers. There was also a smart adult male with more extensive red on the breast feathers. Redpolls migrate to the south east at this time of year and there are many recoveries from Belgium. I have also recently had a control of a male Blackcap that I rung as an adult on the 22nd May 2004 at Thornton. It was retrapped in September at Dairsie, Fife, by the Tay Ringing group. It was an adult when I trapped it so it is at least 7 years old.