CES Session 3

Ringing ~ 31st May 2014 ~ 

After setting up the nets yesterday evening, MC, TB and I still had to set our alarms extremely early this morning in order to be able to get to the ringing site and have all the nets unfurled by the time the sun began to rise and the CES session officially began - my alarm was set for 03.15!

The net rounds began slowly, producing only a few birds. However by about 06.00 the birds seemed to start moving around the site a bit more and this resulted in more birds being caught. The rounds only got better and better and after 09.00 we caught just over 20 birds in one round!

After CES had finished, we packed up all the nets and then went on a mission to try to catch and ring some Mute Swans. A lot of patience and some tactics were required but we did eventually manage to catch and ring a total of 3 Swans (an unexpected ringing tick for TB and I)!

My highlights from the session were all the young Blue Tits we caught, a male Great Spotted Woodpecker and of course the fun we had trying to entice the Swans towards us so we could catch them!

The totals for the morning are as follows (re-traps are in brackets):

Blue Tit - 8 (5)
Chiffchaff - 1
Dunnock - (1)
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1
Great Tit - 9
Mute Swan - 3
Reed Warbler - 4 (5)
Robin - 6 (3)
Song Thrush - 2
Wren - 2

Total number of birds caught = 50

Here are some photos from our ringing session:

3J(J) Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

3J(J) Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

6M Great Tit that had a brood patch at stage
5 (see below)

The 6M Great Tit above with its brood
patch - very interesting to see!

One of the Mute Swans, prior to release.

As always, thank you very much for reading, I hope you enjoyed it! Don't forget you can 
keep up to date with my activity on FacebookTwitter and my website here.

Garden Ringing

A spot of garden ringing ~ 28th May 2014 ~ 

After ringing at our CES site was called off due to an ever-worsening weather forecast, my trainer invited my mum and I round for a few hours ringing in his garden. Our targets for the afternoon were larger birds such as Ring-necked Parakeets, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie and Stock Dove. In order to try and catch some of these bigger species, we set the nets a lot higher than usual to try and catch them when they flew away from the feeding station.

Despite waiting a good couple of hours, we only caught one of our target species, a Magpie, but we did catch a couple of other birds including a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker and a juvenile Great Tit.

Magpie (Pica pica)

The totals of the afternoons efforts are as follows (re-traps are in brackets):

Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Dunnock 2
Robin 1
Great Tit 1
Magpie 1
Blue Tit (1)

So that's a total of 6 new birds and 1 re-trap.

As always, thank you very much for reading, I hope you enjoyed it! Don't forget you can 
keep up to date with my activity on FacebookTwitter and my website here.

CES Session 2

Ringing ~ 16th May 2014 ~ 

My GCSE exams started on Monday 12th May so I have been busy revising and generally stressing out, meaning that my birding and patching efforts have been greatly reduced! However, with almost half of my exams done in the first 4 days, I didn't have any exams on Friday (16th) and so I decided to make use of the day by going ringing, sleeping, doing some revision and patching.

Due to the fact that ringing was a CES visit, it meant that all the nets had to be open very early! I had to set my alarm for 03.15, though I think it will get earlier still as sunrise gets earlier throughout the coming weeks. MC and I arrived at the ringing site just before 04.00, donned our waders and had all the nets open by 04.50.

Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

The first net round produced very little and we hoped it did not foreshadow what the rest of the session would be like. Thankfully the birds started to wake up and the rest of the net rounds were much more productive, including a number of new and already ringed Reed Warblers.

Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)

My personal highlights of the session were the Jay, caught about halfway through the morning, as I'd never ringed one before, a Moorhen, the brood of 6 Blue Tits that we ringed once we'd finished the CES and all the newly fledged Robins we caught throughout the morning with their fluffy brown plumage and yellow-based bills.

A recently fledged Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

As always, thank you very much for reading and you can keep up to date with my activity on Facebook and Twitter and my website here.