Monday, 28 February 2011
On the first net round, I was amazed to find a Redwing in the net! This was a superb bird and one of my favourites that I have ringed. I think this is mainly because I rarely get to scrutinise this species at close quarters to really appreciate them. This bird was an adult.
20 Birds in total - 6 Long-tailed Tit (3 recap), 3 Goldfinch (1 recap) 2 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Great Tit, 2 Blue Tit, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Redwing
Sunday, 27 February 2011
Adding a lovely amount of colour to the morning was this beautiful male Siskin, which was a first for the garden so Michael and Mary were keen to scrutinise this little gem
Above - juvenile Lesser Redpoll (left) and juvenile Mealy Redpoll (right)
myself having just extracted this wonderful juvenile female Lesser Redpoll...the very bright plumage really stood out on the feeders, so we were surprised to find it was a juvenile female
Throughout the day we caught 21 birds -
New - 6 Lesser Redpoll, 4 Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Starling, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Siskin
Recap - 6 Lesser Repoll, Common (Mealy) Redpoll
Chris, Ciaran and Kane with Great Spot Ciaran and Kane with a Lesser Redpoll and Siskin
A superb morning with great thanks to Michael and Mary for their hospitality and warm cups of tea. During the morning I rung 6 species, all of which being 'ticks' for me, which was excellent. A male sparrowhawk landed in the net at one point which would have been 'mine' if it had stayed in but sadly escaped looking a little confused.
Saturday, 26 February 2011
We were up early heading to Astley Moss in Greater Manchester with Steve Christmas targeting Yellowhammer and Tree Sparrow. When we arrived, it was raining with a light breeze which wasn't very inviting, but it soon stopped which meant we could continue with a lovely morning's ringing!
This was the 2nd personal target species to have been caught in the last two weekends. It was a superb bird and if it's possible, I think I like them even more!
After the 3 nets we erected became quiet, we decided to check out a flock of c40 Waxwing in Westhoughton which were feeding on berries next to the doctor's surgery. It was reasonably windy and the tree was rather public, so we decided we couldn't attempt to catch them...which was a shame.
Kane and Ciaran taking a dip
Saturday, 19 February 2011
Friday, 18 February 2011
Last weekend I turned 19, so being a student, you can imagine I spent more time in bed 'recovering' than I did in the field birding. I have however had an exciting time from my kitchen window in the form of a male Siskin. This was part of a group of 4 Siskins visiting my sunflower hearts on Tuesday morning.
I made the trip back to Preston on Tuesday as I was going to watch Doncaster Rovers vs Ipswich Town. Any football fans reading this, and anyone in the know that I am a Doncaster fan will agree that I could probably have chosen a much better game to go and watch losing 6-0 at home!
I had to be back in Bangor by Wednesday evening so I was desperate to get out in Preston on wednesday morning. I made a very brief stop at Preston Docks where the Iceland Gull was showing distantly.
The reason this post is called 'The calm before the storm?' is because I am out ringing this weekend with SCAN and with 3-4 rarities in the country at the moment (Rufous Turtle Dove, Slaty-backed Gull, Northern Harrier and 2 Penduline Tits), there could well be an increase in exciting posting before the end of next week... watch this space!
Thursday, 10 February 2011
I was going to head down to Bangor harbour again to try and clinch the last four digits of the Dutch ringed bird, but decided mid-morning to attempt to photograph 3 Snow Buntings that had been present in Llandudno for a while now. This would add a certainly level of beauty to my blog, and also enable me to photograph a bird I have previously found quite tricky.
I arrived at West Shore at c1230 and left at 15.30 which gave me ample time to locate and photograph the birds, but not a sniff! Not even a distant call to give me hope...oh well, at least I gave it a go on a lovely day instead of being stuck in my bedroom.
There was a certain amount of consilation in the form of 2 Raven that were incredibly feeding on a dead fox that was for some reason on the beach! This is one of the few times I have ever seen Raven on the ground, and certainly the first time I have been able to get so close to such a beast of a bird. Sadly, I had put my camera away by the time a Carrion Crow joined in being completely dwarfed by the Raven (like a Carrion Crow and a Blackbird!)
I had a quick check of the gulls on the small lake at the north of West Shore to check for rings to no avail. I did however note several colour ringed Mute Swans reading ABSS, ABST and ABSV. These being so close together, I assume they were ringed on site. I did however see a metal ringed Mute Swan reading W25368, which I will send off as this may be a 'visitor'
Tuesday, 8 February 2011
Moving round to the harbour wall, we were able to view roosting waders where we saw at least 10 ringed Redshank, which we assumed had been ringed by SCAN (maybe the juvenile we ringed on Saturday was in there?) as well as a very approachable Rock Pipit. Whilst sitting along the harbour wall, we noticed 3 large 'disks' along the tide edge. Closer inspection revealed that they were infact Barrel Jellyfish. These were huge organisms with a bell diameter of at least 40cm. This is apparently the largest true jellyfish in British Waters, and is seemingly harmless.