Wednesday 28 March 2012

Colyford Common and Stafford Marsh - 27/3/12

The summer-like weather continues, which makes for a lovely day out - just not if you're a bird ringer!

Weather: beautiful blue skies and unbroken sunshine, with a slight SE wind.

A bit of a breeze with bright sunshine is about as bad as it gets for mist netting. Sunlight reflects off mist nets which makes them a lot more visible to birds, but add to this the slight movement caused by even a gentle breeze, and they look about as obvious as a brick wall!

Another down side to this weather at this time of year is the numbers of migrants that make landfall. When there are light winds and a high pressure, migrating birds (i.e. warblers, thrushes, chats, etc) fly high and straight over the south coast of the UK. Only when there is cloud, ideally coupled with some light rain, do any numbers of migrating birds become grounded.

Still, 9 birds of 5 species were processed;

1 Song Thrush
3 Blackbird (2 retraps)
2 Dunnock (retraps)
2 Wren (retraps)
1 Great Tit (retrap)

A male Blackbird being ringed and measured - Stafford Marsh March '12 (c) Doug Rudge

The session leader totting up the final totals (it didn't take long!) - Stafford Marsh March '12 (c) Doug Rudge

Monday 26 March 2012

Cannon Netting on Seaton Marshes - 24/03/12

The last cannon net catch of the season. Although many of the wintering wildfowl have left the Axe Valley for their breeding grounds, good numbers of Shelduck remain - a species the Axe Estuary Ringing Group are studying. At least 80 were feeding on the lagoon on Seaton Marshes on the morning of the catch.

Weather: always a murky haze, but above that blue skies and unbroken sunshine. No wind.

Only one species today;

23 Shelduck (19 retraps)

Although a high number of retraps, the new birds prove Shelduck are still arriving on the Axe Estuary (to breed?). Hopefully over time the colour-ringing program will show more about movements of Shelduck.

The Team - Stafford Marsh March '12 (c) Mike Tyler

Thursday 8 March 2012

Colyford Common and Stafford Marsh - 6/3/12

Another session based from the Fields Studies Centre on Stafford Marsh. Although the weather made it very pleasant to be out in, it was far from ideal for mist netting.

Weather: a glorious day with unbroken sunshine, although a NW wind began to pick up from mid morning. Visibility excellent.

21 birds of 10 species were trapped and processed;

1 Mallard
1 Kingfisher
5 Blackbird (2 retrap)
1 Song Thrush
2 Robin (1 retrap)
3 Dunnock (2 retrap)
3 Wren (2 retrap)
1 Great Tit
1 Blue Tit
2 Greenfinch (1 retrap)
1 Bullfinch

The Kingsfisher trapped and ringed was the 53rd ringed by the Group.

'Check out my orange underwings' - Stafford Marsh March '12 (c) Doug Rudge

At one point it got so quiet that some mist net repairing proved a good idea.

How to repair a mist net by Neil and Adrian - Stafford Marsh March '12 (c) Doug Rudge