Monday, 24 December 2012

Waiting for the frankincense and myrrh... - 24th December 2012

Arriving at my feeding station at dawn, I was expecting lots of birds to start of Christmas Eve but the place was devoid of birds! I gave it two hours of nothingness before giving up and heading back to my garden.
Even here the birds appeared to be lacking but eventually I spotted the above juvenile female Goldcrest in the 2nd shelf. A lovely bird to catch in my garden and a nice bird to get on Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas to all my blog readers!

Friday, 21 December 2012

New feeding station - 21st December 2012

1 of 5 Long-tailed Tit

I have very recently set up a feeding station in my local woods. This morning I decided I'd have a go at netting it for the first time.
It was surprisingly productive considering how new the station was and I caught 25 birds with the highlight being a group of 5 Long-tailed Tits

10 Great Tit
5 Long-tailed Tit
5 Blue Tit
4 Coal Tit
1 Robin

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

First ringing session as a C-permit holder! - 18th December 2012

My C-permit arrived through the door yesterday and I was eager to get out ASAP to have a go for myself. I erected a 30ft net in my garden for just after 1st light and caught a Dunnock before the net was even fully up!
The last bird of the session was a real surprise being a Treecreeper! This is actually a garden tick for me, let alone a great bird to ring on the first day of my permit! I am still in a slight bit of shock!

Totals weren't amazing, but a nice easy session to ease me in:
3 Blue Tit
3 Coal Tit
2 Dunnock
2 Blackbird (inc. 1 retrap from 2011)
1 Treecreeper

Monday, 17 December 2012

Gulls are like buses! - Preston Docks - 17th December 2012

1 of 20 Black-headed Gulls hand caught at Preston Docks
Kane, Gillian and I went down to Preston Docks today to have a go at hand catching a few gulls. When we arrived, the chip van that is usually always there, wasn't. As a result, the gulls were very hungry indeed and were incredibly easy to catch! It didn't take long at all before we suddenly had 6 in the car ready to be ringed. After the first 15, they became a little more nervous to approach us, so the final five took a bit of time, but to hand-catch 20 in just over 30 mins was superb!

We fitted a darvic ring on every bird and we have now reached 2F19. Hopefully we can get a few repeat days like this due to either cold weather, or a lack of food. They really did appreciate the food we gave them today.

I haven't ringed a UK Black-headed Gull since Ireland, back in January, so it was fantastic to get my hands on lots today. One of my favourite birds to catch without a doubt.

My permit has now arrived through the door, so I hope to get out as much as possible in the next week or so, whether that be ringing in the garden, or out grabbing.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

2 years of training have been worth it!

I began training to ring birds on January 29th 2011 with Steve Dodd as my trainer. Since then, I have ringed birds in Lancashire, Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Gwynedd, Conwy, Anglesey, Gtr Manchester, Cumbria and Powys as well as a 7 week trip to the Kvismaren Bird Obersatory in Southern Central Sweden.
In this time, I have handled 105 species including some of my favourite birds in the world (Willow Tit, Bluethroat and Dunlin) and processed an impressive 4500+ birds.
Today I received an email to say that my application for Full C ringing permit has been accepted! I have now sent off the money and should have my permit in the post before too long!

I have put a hell of a lot of effort into my ringing training over the past 2 years and it all seems worth it now I am able to do it by myself.

I would like to say a big thankyou to the people I ringed with and to the people whom have made it a thoroughly enjoyable experience: Steve Dodd, Kane Brides, Christopher Bridge, Craig Brookes, Ciaran Hatsell, Matthew Bruce, Gillian Dinsmore, Ian Lees, Kelvin Jones, Richard De Feu, Adrienne Stratford, Tony Cross, Rachel Taylor, Mark Breaks, Steve Christmas and the rest of the SCAN Wader ringing group.

Hopefully now I have a permit on the way, I will be able to blog a little more!