30 Days Wild - Day 29

 30 Days Wild - Day 29 ~ 29th June 2015 ~

I had a fairly wild day today: I spent a wonderful few hours this morning exploring my patch with my mum and our dog, then instead of sitting inside at home I sat outside in the garden and spotted some cool species and this evening I took our dog for a walk round our local meadow which is always a nice way to round off the day.

On patch the highlights were definitely hearing a male Nightjar churring which totally confused me at first considering they're normally crepuscular creatures. But I wasn't mistaken because it churred on 3 occasions and I then flushed it when I went to investigate. I think I'll be back soon to see if there's a nest nearby or if it's even still in that area. I also saw (and heard) loads of Sylvia warblers, namely Dartfords and Whitethroats, but plenty of skulking Blackcaps and Garden Warblers too. In addition to this there were plenty of Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers around obviously with nests hidden away nearby. Other species that I saw on my wanderings included my first Marbled White of the year, Silver-washed Fritillary (I think), Silver-studded Blue and a large dragonfly that flew past me way too quick for me to identify it.

In our garden, though it's not very big, on a sunny and warm day it is lovely to just sit with your eyes closed for a while and listen. I heard loads of House Martins and watched their aerobatic acrobats for a long time too as they wheeled around in the air above me. I also heard a Buzzard calling somewhere in the distance, heard lots of bees buzzing and saw a few butterflies as well.

Here are some photos from today with a little description for each:

Panorama of 'West End' which is one of my favourite parts of my patch.
Saw some juvenile Dartford Warblers here so that's another pair
I didn't know about - they seem to have had a good year!
Burnet moth
Silver-studded Blue butterfly
(Plebejus argus)
A feather I found but I'm not sure what it's from - Pheasant I think.
Foxglove Pug
(Eupithecia pulchellata)
on the wall by our front door.
Hawthorn Shieldbug
(Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale)
on our back door.

30 Days Wild - Day 28

 30 Days Wild - Day 28 ~ 28th June 2015 ~

This morning I was up early to go ringing and was picked up at 5.15 to get on site for 5.30. We set all the usual nets and got a table set up at our base, ready to receive the local RSPB Wildlife Explorers Group for a bird ringing demonstration.

They arrived at about 7.00 by which time we had already caught and processed 4 birds - 1 Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita), 1 Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes), 1 Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) and a Robin (Erithacus rubecula) and we had two birds from our previous round left to ring. 1 was a very special bird indeed and as far as I'm aware it's the first for the site too!! It was a Nuthatch (Sitta europaea). Nuthatch are stunning birds but sadly not one I've encountered very often over the last few years, given that this bird is only the 3rd Nuthatch I've ever ringed!

Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)
Juvenile Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
We continued to catch a reasonable number of birds, mainly juveniles, until the RSPB group departed at around 9.30. I always enjoy doing ringing demonstrations, especially when there's lot of kids in the audience because you never know, one of those young people might be completely inspired by what they've seen and go on to be the next Jane Goodall or David Attenborough!!

Whitethroat (Sylvia communis)

After the group left, we caught quite a few more birds, including a lovely Song Thrush and a Jay.

Jay (Garrulus glandularis)
Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)

We ended the morning getting absolutely drenched once we'd packed up all the kit and were heading back to the car at about midday.

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

Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) - 10
Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) - 5
Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) - 9
Dunnock (Prunella modularis) - 5 (2)
Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin) - 1
Jay (Garrulus glandarius) - 1
Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) - 1
Robin (Erithacus rubecula) - 5
Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) - 1
Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) - 4 (1)
Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) - 2 (1)

Total: 44 (4)

Some other pictures from this morning:

Cinnabar Moth caterpillar feeding on Ragwort
Ringlet butterfly (Aphantopus hyperantus)
Bee species (I'm rubbish at bees so any help
with identification is much appreciated)

30 Days Wild - Day 26

 30 Days Wild - Day 26 ~ 26th June 2015 ~

Today I made the most of the beautiful weather and sat in the garden for a while which was lovely. I also saw a moth on the wall by our front door which is, so I've been told, a micro moth going by the latin name of Endotrichia flammealis. I didn't get a very good photo, but here it is:

Endotrichia flammealis

30 Days Wild - Day 25

 30 Days Wild - Day 25 ~ 25th June 2015 ~

This morning I went on a lovely walk with my mum and our dog. The sun was shining and there were loads of birds around, especially juvenile birds - they were chirping from every bush or bit of scrub around!!

30 Days Wild - Day 23

 30 Days Wild - Day 23 ~ 23rd June 2015 ~

The weather was really nice today so I have been able to open the net in my garden. The feeders haven't been busy but I managed to catch 2 Goldfinch (1 new and 1 re-trap), a juvenile Blue Tit, 2 juvenile Starlings, a young Magpie and a Robin which was in full on moult and looked a right state!!

Here are some pictures: 

Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) 
Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Magpie (Pica pica)

30 Days Wild - Day 22

 30 Days Wild - Day 22 ~ 22nd June 2015 ~

Some pictures from my walk this evening and a moth from my dad's greenhouse:

Swallow-tailed Moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria)

30 Days Wild - Day 20

 30 Days Wild - Day 20 ~ 20th June 2015 ~

I had a great day today as I spent pretty much all day (bar a 20-25minute power nap) doing bird ringing.

This morning I attended the 5th CES (Constant Effort Site) session of the year at Wraysbury GP. It was really nice to be back as I haven't been to Wraysbury since (I think) August last year so it was really good to catch up with those of the group who were there; great company and a good laugh as always! We also caught some lovely birds, with 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Reed Buntings, 2 Sedge Warblers and a young Goldcrest being my personal highlights. In total we ringed 44 new birds and processed 12 recaptures.

Here are some photos from Wraysbury:

Juvenile (3JJ) Goldcrest (Regulus regulus)
The track down to our ringing base
Some Woodlice
Adult (4) Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Labyrinth spider's funnel shaped-web
Dog-rose (Rosa canina)

This afternoon I went out with some nesters and ringers to do some pulli ringing. The two guys I went out with are both really knowledgable about nest finding and I'm very lucky to live in an area where there are some really, really cool species to ring as well.

Today we colour ringed two more broods of Woodlark (4 and 3 young in the two broods) as well as metal ringing a brood of 5 Stonechat, a brood of 4 Tree Pipits and much to my excitement I also got to ring 2 broods of Nightjar (each brood had 2 nestlings)!!

Although it is a real privilege to handle and ring all species of bird, I was particularly excited about the prospect of ringing Nightjar chicks because not only are they an extremely secretive species, but they are also my favourite UK species of bird!!

It was an awesome afternoon/evening and feel extremely lucky to have had this opportunity so if you're reading this, thank you very much guys for continuing to invite me and allow me to gain this incredible experience, it is very much appreciated!!!

All ringing was done under the appropriate licenses and carried out in accordance with BTO guidelines.

Here are some photos of the Nightjars (adult and pulli):

Adult Nightjar keeping watch while we ringed the chicks.
Adult Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus)
Juvenile Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus)
Juvenile Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus) close up
So well camouflaged!!
Adult male Nightjar sat on two nestlings - you can just
about see a young one's head beneath the adult
Juvenile Nightjars (Caprimulgus europaeus)
I don't like having pictures taken of myself, but I couldn't
stop grinning after ringing the Nightjars!