There must be somebody out there who can help. We are still looking for a Treasurer who can replace Bo when he moves out of the area. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The promise of a more settled day tempted two of us out and it was worth is in quality if not quantity. There were only seven new birds but the first of these was the third Water Rail of the autumn (and the fourth for the year ). Interestingly they have all been males based on biometrics. The final bird of the seven was a tristis Chiffchaff. This conveniently flew into the net with a standard Chiffchaff providing good comparisons.
Three retrap House Sparrows played an interesting game of 'whats the chance?' The metal rings ended 44, 66 and 88 and the colour rings were also in sequence ending V,X and Z.
The breeze continued to limit what could be done. There are still new birds appearing-this time four Blackbirds and singles of Fieldfare, Redwing, Chiffchaff, Long-tailed Tit and Chaffinch. Are these Chiffchaffs still heading south, arriving here from the continent or just circulating? We are certainly not retrapping them at present.
Although the breeze freshened it was still possible to do some ringing. There were only nine new birds but it was an interesting mix - three Fieldfares, two Blackbirds and singles of Redwing, Chiffchaff, House Sparrow and Chaffinch.
The forecast was for a gentle breeze, mild, with sunny intervals. In the end it was a bit more breezy and overcast but definitely mild. It was good to get back out and complete another National Winter Project visit.
We caught 12 new and 17 retrap birds. New thrushes continue to appear with three Blackbirds, two Song Thrushes and two Redwings. The trickle of new Chiffchaffs continues with two more ringed. The other new birds were singles of Robin, Blue Tit and House Sparrow. A probable indication of the mild weather was there were no finches at all.
Some more of the movements notified recently; The Blackbird, with a Danish ring, we caught on October 31st had been ringed the previous March, on the 23rd, at Christianso which is 1021 km ENE. Not all our Lesser Redpolls are heading south. One we ringed on October 11th was caught at Chobham on November 11th. This is 140km west from here.
The rain was much lighter than yesterdays downpours but still no good for ringing. Another batch of movements have been notified to us. This includes two birds ringed here and hunted in France. The first was a Song Thrush ringed here in October 2021 as it headed south which sadly got hunted 742 days later 886Km south in Cruy, France on October 22nd. The second was a Lapwing, probably one of the last pulli we ringed around here, ringed by us in July 2019 and hunted at Quesny-sur-Deule on October 3rd.
Before we get all high and mighty about other peoples hunting habits we should remember the number of Woodcock coming here for the winter which are shot and not ignore the number of birds of prey which mysteriously 'disappear' each year in the UK.
Wet and very windy and so no ringing but checking of the feeders gave a House Sparrow female which had been ringed in autumn 2018. Being at least five years old it is the oldest sparrow, so far, in the project.
We certainly need some rainless days. Today was calm and mild. Although there were only 16 new birds this did include another Water Rail, a Chiffchaff and six Redwings. The other new ones were a Great Spotted Woodpecker, two Blackbirds, a Song Thrush, two House Sparrows and two Chaffinches.
At last another calm start. Of course this meant there was a frost but it melted quickly if in the sun. The water level continues to rise, reaching top of wellie height in one or two places. Fourteen new birds were caught - a Robin, seven Blackbirds, two Chiffchaffs (with another flying into and out of the net), two Chaffinches and three Goldfinches.
A cold, murky day but despite the breeze being fresher than forecast it was busy ringing-wise. Sixty birds were caught of which 17 were new, as this was a winter project session the retraps of particular use. There were two highlights - a Water Rail in the Heligoland and a Firecrest from the Haven. The other new birds were four Blackbirds, two Redwing, four Blue Tits, a Great Tit and two each of House Sparrow and Chaffinch.
The local tits are making full use of the feeders with 15 retrap Blue Tits and 10 retrap Great Tits. We made sure we were all closed up by 11:15 to give the birds chance to feed.
We have resumed the colour ringing of Blackbirds as part of a national study into virus loads. Please watch out for, and try and read, colour ringed birds.