Monday, 25 February 2013

Blackbirds - 25th February 2013

Matt and I met at 04.15 this morning and caught 4 Blackbirds at various sites around Bangor

AH - The first bird was an adult male caught within 10 seconds of the net being up by Aldi carpark
AI - The second bird took a bit of effort on upper Farrar Road but eventually the male landed in the 2nd pocket
AJ - As with the first bird, this adult male was in the net within 15 seconds of putting the net up right in front of Memorial Building!
AK - This was the first, and currently only, female Blackbird that we've caught so far. She was seen fighting off a male in University Gardens and flew straight into our net and is now sporting a lovely orange darvic.

A quick wander round Bangor has revealed a lot of unringed birds, but between Matt and I, we have now seen 4 ringed birds in the field and they are very easy to notice, but take a little bit of practice to be able to read the rings. Hopefully, other observers will have enough patience to give ring-reading a go.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Ringing Ringed Plover at Rhos! - 23rd February 2013

Matt and I woke up early this morning and were set up by 4.20am near Bangor Police Station. We caught two Blackbirds this morning which are now sporting bright shiny colour-rings.
At 6.45, I was picked up at ASDA in Bangor and we headed off to Rhos-on-sea where we had set 2 nets for Turnstone. They weren't exactly playing ball and we eventually fired the net on 6 Ringed Plover including the above adult (probably male) which was rather stunning indeed! This is a new species for me in the UK in terms of ringing, so I was pretty happy! I also managed to see my first 2013 Purple Sandpiper and catch up with some ringing friends I haven't seen for a long time!

An enjoyable, albeit cold, morning.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Fflint Twite...a few more snaps!

I couldn't resist a few more photos from Tuesday's trip to Flint Castle, so hope you enjoy.
 Sunrise on the Dee
 The frustration of up to 7 Twite sat on the shelf strings of the nets evading capture!
 The flock was very obliging indeed sometimes coming as close as 20 feet in the food-rich marshy edge.

Bangor Blackbird Project - 21st February 2013

In conjunction with BTO Wales, I have started a colour-ringing project on Blackbirds in the grounds of the University and anywhere between. This is to monitor the longevity of the birds, to see if breeding birds are resident or summer migrants, as well an being able to territory map the singing males. We fit an orange darvic ring on the left leg with 2 black digits e.g. AA, A3. This morning we headed out at 04.45 as males were already feeding and attempted to catch a few. Around Bangor, we saw many, but we only managed to catch 3. I say 'only', but I was really pleased with the catch and it's going to be very exciting to wander around the university campus and see colour-ringed Blackbirds!
 AA - Nice adult male that flew straight into the net as we walked away from setting! Hopefully he'll do well as he's our flagship!

 AC - This 2cy male had a superb orange bill that I don't think I've seen in the hand before.
At the last site we tried, we caught a Redwing and a Chaffinch, but the Blackbirds were having none of it!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

More Twite in Flint! - 19th February 2013

This morning, Matt, Ros and I ventured to Flint on the train at dawn to attempt to catch more of the accumulated Twite flock.
It took a while for the flock to come into view as they were further up the marsh towards Chester for the start and eventually we caught the first bird, which happened to be a Goldfinch! This wasn't the target, but it was new for Ros and the first Goldfinch to be ringed with my rings.
After this we managed to catch a single juvenile female Twite, a single adult male Twite and then a 2 bird catch of an adult female and juvenile male Twite.
A really successful morning and Twite are fast becoming one of my favourite birds. They are just superb little things with an enchanting call.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Bangor Mountain - 17th February 2013

Another short session up Bangor Mountain yesterday morning saw 2 Wren being caught along with 1 Blue Tit, 2 Robin, 2 Dunnock, a Coal Tit and a Great Tit.

Birds starting to move overhead, so should hopefully catch some migrant finches etc soon.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Afternoon on Bangor Mountain - 16th February 2013

 22nd Coal Tit ringed with my C-permit.
I spent an afternoon on Bangor Mountain today taking advantage of the Spring sun and the rare lack of strong wind in North Wales! It feels like forever since I got out ringing by myself.

It wasn't an outstanding catch, but 2 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Coal Tit, 2 Dunnock and a Great Tit made for a nice relaxing afternoon in the sun.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Llinos y Mynydd Twite! - 15th February 2013

 Colour-ringed Twite
Flint Castle
With Twite now on the move back to breeding habitat, birds are moving along the Welsh Coast from the Dee, so we went to Flint today where there was a superb flock of c40 Twite gathered on the high tide. It was great to see the birds so well as it's a bird I rarely see and certainly rarely see well. We managed to see 4 colour-ringed birds including: Orange above Metal, White above Yellow, which was a bird that isn't from the known Welsh population which was great.
The highlight was of course catching and ringing a lovely 1st winter bird that was duly colour-ringed. A new species for me in the hand, and a taste of the near-future as I will be taking over the N.Wales project for a Post-grad degree.

A really enjoyable day thanks to Kelvin and Matt.