Friday, 19 July 2013

Whooshed Jay

I am starting to feel more confident in the use of the Whoosh net now I am catching a few birds. It is a good method for larger birds which there is little chance of catching in a Mist Net. I had several Blackbirds coming to the feed but decided not to catch them and wait to see what would happen if I left the net undisturbed for a longer period and was rewarded with a lovely Jay. Unlike a Mist Net you have to sit and watch the Whoosh Net waiting for a bird to come onto the feed and then trigger the net. The waiting can be long so patience is required.

The bird had very long primaries at 194 mm and the 5th Tail feather 40mm down from the tip was 29mm wide and the bright blue GC suggested it was an adult male.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Ffynnon Gro Whoosh Netting

Yesterday I mentioned that a couple of Crows had shown interest in the feed I had put out but would not go into the trapping area of the net. Well at 7.30pm this evening two Crows wandered in and I managed to trap them both. One was a 5M and the other a 6F. Crow is a new ringing tick for me so I was very pleased.

In addition to the Crows I also caught another 2 Blackbirds

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Ffynnon Gro - Whoooooooosh

I had a play around with my new Whoosh Net this morning as well as a 20ft mist net. A successful result for the Whoosh Net after tweaking the poles and release pins, catching 4 x Blackbird and 1 x Song Thrush. A Jay and 2 crows had a look but never entered the catching area. I have left the net in position and I am feeding it everyday to see if this will improve their confidence.

Total birds caught

Whoosh Net.
4 x Blackbird and 1 x Songthrush

Mist Net.
1 x Siskin, 2 x Great Tit, 2 x Robin and 4 x House Sparrow.The Siskin was this years bird in Juvenile moult

Monday, 15 July 2013

CES 8 - WWT Llanelli

Cedwyn ands I went to do CES 8 today helped by Ben and Hugh.
CES 8 on the 20th July last year produced 8 Birds of which 6 were juveniles. Today we caught 15 birds of which 13 were juveniles. It was nice to see more juveniles coming to the nets but the higher numbers compared with last year are still a cause for concern.

Total birds caught were:
Dunnock x 2, Blackcap x 1, Robin x 3, Wren x 4, Blue Tit x 1, Great Tit x 3 and Bullfinch x1.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Eilean Nan Ron

I have just returned from ringing with four friends after spending 3 nights camping on the uninhabited island of Eilean Nan Ron. The last people to live on the island were evacuated in December 1938 because life for the inhabitants of the Gaelic speaking community on the one mile long island had become just to difficult. All that is left now are the stone built houses and cottages that have fallen into decay and ruin. Nan Ron is just to the east of the mouth of Tongue bay on the very north coast of Scotland. We stayed the first night in a Tongue hotel before getting on the small boat to take us over to the island the next morning. Nan Ron is famous for its population of Storm Petrels which were of course our primary target. Great Skua pulli was another possibility as well.

The timing plan for our visit coincided with no moon, so, night time mist netting for Stormies would be at its darkest. Also at this time of year the nights are very short and there is only a short window of darkness to catch them. We had 3hrs and the sun was starting to rise again.

We had three nights ringing and by far the first night produced the most birds with a total of 337. Out of these I was lucky enough to process 169 of these 95 new birds and 74 retraps.

The total for night two and three were about 200 birds so I was extracting from the nets whilst other people were ringing. All good experience.

During the day we looked for Bonxie pulli, there were none anywhere to be seen after walking miles around the island after them. All we did find was one Bonxie nest which is a scrape or hollow in the ground lined with plant material. If the nest is in heather they will bring grass into the nest to line it from elsewhere.
I did find a Greater Black Backed Gull pulli whilst setting up for night two Stormies but Dave only took the A2 rings with us. I went back the next morning but could not find it again.

During the days we ringed 2 adult Shags, 2 Shag pulli, and caught 2 Fulmar retraps. Finally the above starling from one of the derelict buildings which was a 4M.

Total confirmed birds for our visit were:

New birds Rock Pipit 1, Shag 4, Stormie 323

Retraps Fulmar 2, Stormie 135

Controls Stormie 22

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Ffynnon Gro

I was awake quite early this morning, so I decided to put up my 20ft net. The Sparrows have had a good breeding season this year and the net was placed directly in their flight path to the garden feeders. Watching them over the last few weeks I established there must have been in the region of 50 birds, many of them being this years juveniles and I was hopeful I would catch a few.

After 2.5hrs I had processed 40 birds - 29 House Sparrow, 1 Robin, 4 Dunnock, 4 Chaffinch and 2 Great Tit. The nice part about this was 33 birds were in fact juveniles, 25 of them being House Sparrow.

After last years poor breeding season because of the awful weather conditions it was nice to see at least one species in my area doing reasonably well.