Friday, 15 June 2018

Constant Effort Sites Scheme 2018 kicks off May

And so another CES and pulli season starts, with 355 new birds ringed of which 123 were fully grown and 232 pulli.

Despite the cold weather lasting until the start of the month, both Tythebarns and Woolley Firs reported that Blue and Great Tits were on time, and with good survival at ringing dates. For migrants, over 60 warblers were ringed with Garden Warbler top at 19 but Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat and Chiffchaff below expectations. High water levels hindered operations at Stanwellmoor.

Sparrowhawk (Wraysbury) and Jackdaw (Tythebarns) were unusual and the only Reed Bunting was at Bedfont.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Spanish Swallow from 2013 finally reveals its story - April 2018

In contrast to the warm, dry April 2017, this month was cold and very wet, delaying spring
migrants and plant growth. Given that, and the loss of Chobham for spring ringing, the month's total of 204 of 26 species compares well with the 234 of 35 species of last year.

Wraysbury provided the bulk of the captures with a session on 21st coinciding with good numbers of warblers both caught and recorded. Bedfont on 22nd, after a night of heavy rain, had a very thin time.

Blackcap came in as top species on 69 followed by Chiffchaff on 22; altogether 9 species of warbler were ringed.

An important role for bird ringing is tracking migration. While the miles covered by birds can be truly astounding sometimes the human element can be less than impressive in recording these feats. A Swallow, captured at Stanwellmoor, back in 2013, has finally had its ringing record returned to us: it was ringed in Zaragoza, Spain in the autumn if 2010.

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).