Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Quality not Quantity!

I would just like to apologise for the complete lack of posting lately, mainly due to a mass concentrated effort on my 3rd Year Honours Project at Bangor University.

Now that our winter ringing has finished and all our Woodcock have moved off to Scandinavia - I would like to inform you all that I managed to catch 10 Woodcock this winter and all were new birds! My 10th Woodcock was lamped at my site at Glanwydden Lane along with a very welcome Woodpigeon later on that night. So, even though I began lamping at the very end of winter I did manage to lamp 14 birds including 10 Woodcock, 1 Jackdaw, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Meadow Pipt and 1 Shelduck. I really can't wait until next winter to see what I can catch..

Spring migrants are already turning up in good numbers so last week I headed over to the Great Orme in Llandudno with Rob Sandham, where a few hours spring trapping produced a stunning Male Stonechat and a Male Wheatear. Absolutely stunning birds and both were new species as I had never had the chance of seeing them in the hand before; again very useful for getting to grips for the ageing criteria for these species.

I am currently in Dumfries and Galloway on a week's holiday so posting will resume around 4th April when I begin trapping and lamping again.

Scottish ringing so far consists of a spring trapped 6 Male Great Tit yesterday afternoon.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Flippin Mipit!

Photographed by Rob Sandham

As were now into Mid March; my trapping season has finally come to an end. The only ringing I am concentrating on at the moment is lamping. So far this winter, after a bad start, I have successfully lamped 12 birds in North Wales. A change of lamp from a Nitech product to a Cluson, has made this possible and for anyone thinking of taking lamping up as an extra ringing technique; the Cluson CB2 Lamp is the one to buy and I can highly recommend it!

Last night I headed over to Glanwydden Lane with Rob Sandham and after an hour so; 8 Woodcock were seen but all flew due to the calm conditions during the night. The night improved when I flushed a small passerine from the short grassy field and knowing that it was either a Skylark or a Meadow Pipit, I persevered after it. I managed to bring it down twice but each time the bird landed it somehow seemed to elude the torch beam and took off before I could locate it on the deck. After a 3rd go the bird flew up and over the hedge and away into a stubble field, never to be seen again I thought!

A short search at the edge of the field and the bird flew up from my feet and I managed to tempt it back down quickly and netted it. This was a new bird for me as I have never ring this species in the UK and to have lamped it myself made the experience even better.

Photographed by Rob Sandham

Just 1 Woodcock caught last night, a gorgeous adult bird with white tipped primary coverts and lovely fresh and rounded primary tips.

My lamping total now stands at 9 Woodcock, 1 Shelduck, 1 Jackdaw and 1 Meadow Pipit. Fantastic!

A quick look at Pentremawr Lake in Abergele proved tricky as I missed 2 Coot, 1 Moorhen and 1 Little Grebe.

I will be back out there tomorrow night for these birds so check back then to see how the night went on..

Monday, 12 March 2012

Nest Box Checking in Atherton!

This weekend I travelled over to Atherton to give Kane a help in hand putting up 40 Nest boxes in Atherton Woods, ready for the forthcoming breeding season.

Throughout the weekend, Zac and Ciaran joined in to help, with Sunday seeing us putting up 10 metal plated nest boxes as part of Zac's dissertation project.

Ringing carried out during the weekend including catching 2 Tawny Owls in nest boxes; a bird in Atherton Woods and the Female in Kane's garden.

More ringing to follow this week in North Wales so check back soon to see what I've been catching..

Thursday, 8 March 2012

More Woodcock!

Photographed by Alex Jones

The blog has been rather quite lately so I thought I would catch up on the ringing front. There isn't much to report on really apart from a single lamping session. Venturing out on 1st March proved another productive session with another 2 Woodcock caught. I have now successfully lamped 8 Woodcock, 1 Shelduck and 1 Jackdaw. Here's to the next 10 birds!!

Around 8 birds were seen during the night but most were rather flighty, so tricky to get close to..

More interestingly, a trip out to Glanwydden Lane last night on the full moon proved very educational. A grand total of 18 Woodcock and 1 Snipe were seen in my main field so I am really looking forward to getting out on the new moon period around 14th March. Who knows it could be a very busy night!

Hope this keeps you interested for now until I am next out ringing...