Friday, 13 April 2018

Firecrest, Water Pipit and Fieldfare standout in March 2018

Not a month to venture out ringing and there were only 6 sessions held apart from gardens.

Recent March totals have varied between 33 and 276 so the total of 102 new birds was not too bad.

Not without interest, however, with Woolley Firs attracting two more Firecrests. Top species were Blue Tit on 38 and Great Tit on 18 but then there was a five-way tie for third, with Robin, Blackbird, Chiffchaff, Siskin and Lesser Redpoll all on 5.

A sighting of one of the colour-ringed Water Pipits from Stanwellmoor came from Staines Moor and there was a remarkable retrap of a Fieldfare – after four years – at Iver Heath.

Miserable weather is though on bird ringing - February 2018

In a testing month for birds and ringers, nearly all activity was around feeders or milder days. 161 birds of 21 species were ringed, which is actually similar to several recent years although if weight were a criterion it was extremely good with Sparrowhawk, 5 Parakeets, Jay and 2 Magpie providing the bulk.

Top species was Blue Tit at 61, with Great Tit on 43 and Coal Tit a surprise third on 7. A Firecrest was a good record at Woolley Firs and we received details of a Blackcap control from Gibraltar and a Portuguese-ringed Chiffchaff at Minet.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Water Pipits mark the start of 2018

Despite the best efforts of the weather, January gave 186 new birds of 21 species which compares well with the last three years’ totals.

Water Pipit (D & C Lamsdell)
Three Water Pipits from Stanwellmoor were the highlight; the only other one for the group was in 2012. As is usual at this time of the year, tits predominated with 44 Blue, 36 Lotti and 34 Great topping the table but with 3 Meadow Pipit, 5 Redwing, 10 Goldcrest and 7 Lesser Redpoll in support.

We received records from France/Belgium of three birds we ringed last year: a Sedge Warbler in Seine-Maritime, France (five days after it was ringed in Bedfont); a Chiffchaff in Ouessant, Finistere, France and a Lesser Redpoll in Ethe, Luxembourg.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

December 2017 - The Redwing and Fieldfare month

260 birds were reported ringed in December, the highest for the month since 2014. Thrushes featured strongly with four species in double figures and Redwing at 55 coming in at top species and captures at six sites.

Fieldfare was second at 33, just edging out Blue Tit on 32. Eleven Chiffchaff and a Blackcap were ringed and there were nice controls of a Meadow Pipit, and Lesser Redpoll from both east and west coasts in Black Park.

Fieldfare (Eleanor Page)

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

November 2017 - the season starts with Goldcrests, Firecrests & Redwing

November totals vary depending on weather conditions and the numbers of redpoll and Meadow Pipits visiting. Neither species were abundant this month but the total of 226 new birds is very close to last year when half of the birds were redpoll.

Top species was Blue Tit (57) followed by Great Tit on 34. Goldcrest reached 29 and Redwing 22 but Meadow Pipit only gave 10 and Lesser Redpoll 9; four of which were in atypical habitat at Bedfont South Side.

There were single Blackcap and Chiffchaff but festive Robins only mustered 6 and 3 Firecrest brought colour to Stanwellmoor (2) and Woolley Firs (1).

Monday, 20 November 2017

October 2017 - Portuguese record for Chiffchaff

With a total of 604 new birds of 31 species, this month was around normal for October, yet only half that of 2016, when Lesser Redpoll were present in large numbers.

Lesser Redpoll were still top species this month, with 149 at Chobham and Black Park, followed by Goldcrest at 117, well distributed across all main sites.

Chiffchaff (41) were mostly at Tythebarns early in the month and Meadow Pipit (36) and Redwing (12) reflected the changing seasons. Species of note were 2 Stonechat at Stanwellmoor, 2 Yellowhammer at Woolley Firs and 3 Mute Swan at Bedfont.

Recoveries reported include a Chiffchaff from Faro, Portugal (1,716km from us) and Lesser Redpoll from 2016 passing through Landguard Point, Suffolk in 2017.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

September 2017 numbers were a little higher to last season

This September's total of 964 new birds of 33 species is slightly higher than 2016 (946) and the totals for each species are pretty close, with the main variations being Meadow Pipit 38 (was 2), Reed Warbler 6 (was 15), Willow Warbler 2 (was 17), Dunnock 27 (was 44), Robin 19 (was 34) and Goldcrest 17 (was 5).

Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and the Yellow Wagtail were unusual records.