Friday, 29 April 2011

Herons at WCP.

Our annual visit to the heronry at WCP resulted in 2 young herons being rung. There seem to be fewer nests than in past years and they are less concentrated. Some nests are also too high for us to reach. While at Watermead we saw 5 Swifts and heard Garden and Grasshopper warblers. Thanks again to Dale for his time and effort in helping us reach the islands.

We recently checked 2 Barn and 3 Tawny Owl boxes at Charnwood lodge. Unfortunately we did not find any owls. However, in one Tawny box we found a recently dead female Mandarin. It seemed to have a broken neck but no other obvious damage. I can only presume that perhaps a Tawny owl landed in the box unaware of the occupant and in its shock killed the duck. A pity for this Mandarin , but at least some evidence that owl boxes are potential nest sites for a range of species.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

'Greenland' Wheatear

After a couple of missed opportunities one of the 'traditional' ploughed and rolled fields held a couple of Wheatear today. This first year male was quickly enticed and on biometrics was found to be yet another 'Greenland' bird which is now to be expected in the third week in April.

A paper written by Tim Collins and NH for the next LROS report will demonstrate that most Wheatears moving through the Midlands from this time in to May are likely to be of this race. Tim has had over 20 at his site in Rutland this week and I have found 10 or so in fields round Whetstone & Blaby in the last three days (but most in places where I don't unfortunately have permission to ring).

Friday, 22 April 2011

Warbler Fes!


Female Whitethroat.

Male Whitethroat.

Sedge Warbler.

Willow Warbler.

Seven species of warbler were caught at WCP on the 21st. 5 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat, 5 Reed Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffs, and a retrap Cetti,s .

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Equals the record!

An early spring session ringing at the reed bed resulted in 2 Chiffs, 5 Blackcaps, 1 Willow Warbler and this very early Reed Warbler. It was a returning bird that I had rung as an adult in June 2010. When I checked the earliest arrival dates it equalled the earliest ever. I had not heard any Reed Warblers singing, but I hear that they were singing at Cossington the next day.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

'Til the rain came

This morning was used as a net ride tidying session in the wood and we had the joys of a few Chiffchaff and the odd newly arrived Blackcap serenading us. So afterwards we put a net up and tried our luck, moving the net around the area we caught 4 Chiff and a male Blackcap, this being our first for the year. We also saw 4 Buzzard, Peregrine, Raven, Siskin and Redpoll flying over, and the sunshine brought out the butterflies with Peacock and Comma the most common; not a bad few hours before the rain came and spoilt it all. But things can only get better.