Thursday, 6 August 2015

Ringers Report - July 2015

Ringers Report - July

Kieran Lawrence, 19 - Whitburn CP, Durham
July 1st saw the start to my 2 month storm-petrel ringing season, ringing each night at Whitburn CP, Durham with help from NGB Daniel McGibbon and ex-NGB Tom Middleton. By the end of the month we had amassed a respectable 126 new birds and 3 controls, 1 of which having been caught at Eyemouth the precious year but yet to find out about the other 2! During this time an NGB trip was organised giving around a dozen NGBs the chance to experience these amazing seabirds up close, all of which who were ringers being able to ring one themselves.
The grounds of the National Trust Souter Lighthouse contain a Wildlife Garden with a feeding station. This along with the erection of around 100 nest boxes have seen a boom in the population of Tree Sparrow. We were therefore able to put up a single 20' net next to the feeding station every so often. Tree Sparrows, as you might expect, made up most of the catch, along with multiple Blue Tits, Great Tits, Goldfinch and Greenfinch.

However my stand out bird of the month, by far, came in shape of a Leach's Petrel trapped and ringed on the night of the 29th at 11:30pm, just 1 hour into Tom's first 'stormie' session! I've seen multiple Leach's, including one in the hand at Whitburn in 2013, and even had the privilege of ringing 3 myself on Fair Isle during 2013 but to catch one myself , during my own project, on patch was just amazing. It certainly got me in a sweat and Tom even thought I was going to have a heart attack!
Roll on August!

Sophie Barrell - South-west Lancashire

I haven’t been ringing recently due to moving for work but had some excellent opportunities to ring some great birds this summer. Firstly, my trainer found this young tawny owl at the side of the road who had fledged a week too early, which I was lucky enough to ring. It was placed back up in a tree near where it was found.

We’ve also been ringing kestrel chicks; one nest with five chicks and another with three. Unfortunately many of the previously occupied kestrel and barn owl boxes were taken over by Jackdaws and Stock Doves this year. Barn Owls in particular are having a very late breeding season. However in one of the boxes we checked (with a cherry picker!) we managed to catch 2 fully grown adults which was a treat to ring.

We’ve also been concentrating on our RAS on Blackcaps and Swallows, and I believe the re-trap rates are quite high so far.  

 Amy Robjohns - Titchfield Haven, Hampshire

Ringing at Titchfield Haven got off to a slow start in July, with totals struggling to reach 50 birds – a sign that the migration is delayed. What’s more, only one grasshopper warbler was trapped and ringed over the month, which is unusual. Unusually for me, I only managed to attend one ringing session in July, but the personal highlight for me were two Bearded Tits; a species I’d not ringed at Titchfield Haven before.

Josie Hewitt, 17 - Skomer Island, Wales

Josie is currently on another Welsh island at the moment. She had previously travelled to Skomer island which is off the Pembrokeshire coast for a week of ringing,  I can safely say that Josie had an amazing time and ringed so many adorable birds! These were mainly young birds and the species being plenty of gulls, Razorbills, Manx Shearwater and of course the cutest of all.. Puffin!

Dan Rouse, 18 - West Glamorgan

After proving my worth by fixing all the nets, I have been approved to ring on one of the group's CES sites. This proved to be an amazing opportunity for me when two juv Kingfishers flew into one of the nets! Yes, okay we are in the wooded area of the reserve but these two were lucky to fly into our net, myself and another member of the group had one each and they were just the most amazing birds to see up close.

I was kindly invited to go ringing with one of the group's A ringers to his site. This area is known for getting regular Green Woodpeckers and Spotted Flycatchers and those were the birds we were hoping for that morning. Being a very windy day the swallows were flying very low to the ground but still managing to avoid every net, but after checking the "hide" a few weeks before, we knew there was at least a Swallow chick that we could ring. Myself and my trainer made our way up the hide to check the nest and found not one, but two Swallow chicks sitting in their nest. We quickly ringed the little ones and popped them back in since the adult was diving in and out of the hide clearly not happy with us.