C Permit Upgrade

C Permit ~ 23rd October 2014 ~ 

Last Thursday I was issued my C Permit for bird ringing by the British Trust for Ornithology. This allows me to ring with the use of mist nets independently, without any supervision.

It has taken me 3 years of weekly dawn starts to get to this point but I couldn't have done it without the support and encouragement of my parents who have done the chauffeuring for most sessions!

I also couldn't have done it without my trainer, of course, and so I am very grateful that he decided to take me on when he did,  as I know he was concerned at the time about taking on a 13 year old trainee due to reliability, determination and interest!

Anyway, yesterday I was kitted out with rings and was lent a 9m net and accompanying poles so that I could get started in my garden. When I got home at about 15.00 I decided to put the net up for a while to see how I got on. It took me quite a while to sort out the guy ropes but I got there in the end and the net went up without a hitch. Fast forward 25 minutes and I'm bombing it out the back door in my socks to make sure that the Great Spotted Woodpecker doesn't get out! What a way to kick off being a C ringer. As well as the Great Spot, there was also a Goldfinch - another lovely species!

I decided to open up the net up this morning as well and caught 7 Blue Tits, 1 Goldfinch and 1 Robin. It is furled now as the wind picked up a bit too much but if it dies down, I may open it again later.

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) 

Lastly, I just wanted to thank everyone else who has helped me with my ringing so far - there are far too many to name individually, but you know who you are!

NGB Bardsey Bird Observatory Trip

Bardsey Bird & Field Observatory ~ 27th - 4th October 2014 ~ 

A few weeks ago I spent a week on Bardsey Island at the Bardsey Bird Observatory with 4 other Next Generation Birders (Matt Bruce, Liam Curson, James Garside and Susan Jones, as well as NGB island resident, Ben Porter). The aim of the week was to learn about the roles of the Obs staff, gain experience in island life, help with surveying and ringing and contribute to their bird records through birding the island each day.

It was a fantastic experience, everyone got on really well, we saw some lovely birds and I can't wait to return in the future!

Here are 'a few' photos from our amazing week:

Barred Warbler (Sylvia nisoria) that we re-trapped. 
It weighed 32.0g!
James couldn't stop grinning when he got to release it.
Matt doing a spot of seawatching before a day of birding.
One of many cute seal pups from around the island.
Manx Shearwater chick just prior to being ringed. 
Matt taking the wing measurement of a young Manx Shearwater.
Manxie chick being weighed.
Hoopoe (Upupa epops). What stunning birds! My photo
really doesn't do it justice...
Linnet (Carduelis cannabina).
Merlin (Falco columbaris).
James with a Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus). 
Matt with a Moorhen.
Painted Lady butterfly.
Some scenery. 
One of the many sheep present on the island.
Plant sp that we came across as we climbed the mountain. 
Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca).
Firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla).
L->R: Firecrest, Yellow-browed Warbler & Goldcrest. 
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) 
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus).
One of the many moths from the trap.
Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis).
Panorama with the lighthouse on the left, Solfach beach in the
middle and the mountain on the right.
Rock Pipit (Anthus petrosus).
Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis). 
Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus).
Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca).
Little Owl (Athene noctua).
The view from the top of the Obs garden towards the lighthouse.
What happens when you get bored on Bardsey...
The view from Solfach of Ty Capel, Cristin and Ty Pellaf.

On the way home and after we dropped James off at the station, Matt, Susan, Liam and I headed to Morfa Madrhyn for the Grey Phalarope. After some confusion with where the bird was supposed to be, we headed back to where we started and saw a small crowd gathering. We joined them and right there in front of us was the bird! It was very confiding and the light was superb at times which allowed for some fantastic photographic opportunities! My 2nd (now of 3) Grey Phalaropes this year that have showed ludicrously well!

Grey Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius).
Grey Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius).

Many thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it! It was an amazing trip and I'd like to thank all the Islanders for making our stay at the Obs so enjoyable, with a special thanks to Steve for being so enthusiastic and encouraging! Another special mention must go to Connor for his incredible cookies and fudge - they were delicious and I think we all spent a small fortune on them over the week. Thanks also to the male voice choir & Steve and Emma for the wonderful food - I think we would have run out of food completely had we not had those two extremely filling meals! 

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