Friday, 24 January 2020

Public invitation to see bird ringing

We'll be demonstrating bird ringing at BBOWT's Woolley Firs reserve on 15th February. See birds up close and join in the Q&A

Coal Tits (male, left & female)

Friday, 17 January 2020

December & 2019's a wrap - Red Kite added to list but poor year for Redpoll

In a month when weather and social pressures conspired against ringing, it is amazing that 8 sessions
were possible, especially as there was no activity at garden sites. 123 birds of 19 species were ringed with Blue Tit top at 62, Great Tit at 23 and Goldcrest at 11.

Good captures this month were Sparrowhawk, Meadow Pipit, Redwing, Cetti’s Warbler, Chiffchaff and 2 Yellowhammer.

New species for the group were 3 Red Kite and a Lesser black-backed Gull, whilst others, rarely ringed by the Group, were Little Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Nightingale, Redstart and Stonechat.

Blackcap were top species at 1513 followed by Blue Tit 672, Whitethroat 394 and Chiffchaff 390. But did we really only ring one Kingfisher, 3 Siskin and 7 Lesser Redpoll?

Monday, 16 December 2019

November - recoveries come in from France, Belgium, The Gambia and Devon!

With only Bedfont and Woolley Firs operating this month, the total of 269 compares well with recent

No surprises in top species with Blue Tit on 105, Great Tit on 46 and Long-tailed Tit at 25, but 9 Redwing and 6 Gt. Spotted Woodpecker added to the total. Single records of Sparrowhawk, Chiffchaff, Firecrest, Bullfinch and Yellowhammer added interest.

We had some interesting returns from birds we'd ringed arriving this month - such foreign records can take a time to work their way to the BTO.

A Common Tern, ringed at Bedfont in July turned up in The Gambia (4,500km SSE) this month.

A female Reed Warbler, breeding at Bedfont this summer, was caught in the Bay of Biscay (750km S) in August.

A male Blackcap ringed in Wraysbury last summer, turned up in Belgium (330km ESE) this August and a Chiffchaff, we ringed last September also appeared on the continent, near Calais, this October.

A Redwing, ringed at Stanwellmoor Gravel Pits in October turned up in Devon (214km WSE) this month too.

And two of our Blue Tit chicks from this year's broods, one each from Woolley Firs and Bedfont turned up at Queen Mary Reservoir on the same day this October.

Monday, 11 November 2019

October - The Goldcrests have arrived

Despite the unhelpful weather, a few sessions were possible on calmer days and the month total did reach 418.

October is always variable depending on Redpoll and Meadow Pipit flocks, so this is quite a healthy total.

A Stonechat at Stanwellmoor was the most unusual species. Goldcrest poured into all sites and tied for first place with Blue Tit at 74; Meadow Pipit followed on 56 with Long-tailed Tit on 35 and Redwing on 32.

Blackcap and Chiffchaff both managed 22 and there were small numbers of finch including four Lesser Redpoll.

Friday, 18 October 2019

September - high catches kick-off the month but weather stops the migration survey

A rather frustrating month with only Bedfont, Wraysbury and Tythebarns in operation and the weather being uncooperative after 22nd.

The sessions that were held were very productive with Wraysbury processing over 200 on each of two sessions and Bedfont 40-50, so the total of 737 would have been much higher with better weather.

Blackcap was top species at 397 (54% of the total) with Chiffchaff at 112 and Blue Tit trailing at 52. Noteworthy were 6 Lesser Whitethroat, 7 Whitethroat and 7 Willow Warblers; the only Sedge Warbler ringed, was at Bedfont.

Friday, 13 September 2019

August - Highest numbers since 2015

August gave a magnificent total of 1,513 new birds of 32 species; the highest since 1,590 in 2015.

The top four species now (and in 2015) were 628 Blackcap (417), 208 Whitethroat (241), 150 Chiffchaff (123) and 123 Garden Warbler (179).

Among the less-frequent warblers were 21 Willow Warbler (33), 18 Lesser Whitethroat (22) and 4 Sedge Warbler (22). This follows the national trend for Willow Warblers where numbers are falling in the south of England; whereas the fall in Sedge Warbler, while may be impacted by habitat degradation, requires further study to understand.

Highlights this month were 4 Tree Pipit (Stanwellmoor and Wraysbury) and a Redstart at Wraysbury.

Recoveries included a Common Tern we colour-ringed at Bedfont Lakes in July 2016, sighted, this month, at 138km northwards at Rutland Water.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

July - Nightingale returns to Wraysbury

Nightingale (Chris & Denise Lamsdell)
The July total of 855 is the highest since 2011 and 33 species gave a good spread, including our first Nightingale for 4 years (Wraysbury) and a welcome 18 Common Tern pulli.

Blackcap was top species with 267 with Whitethroat some way behind at 105 and Blue Tit on 85. But among the 546 new warblers there was only one Lesser Whitethroat (Bedfont) and one Willow Warbler (Wraysbury).

Other less-frequently ringed species this month were a Sand Martin (Stanwellmoor), 15 Swallow, a Jackdaw, 19 Starling and 7 House Sparrow.