Friday, 30 March 2012

If you went down to the woods today...

... you'd have seen us catching just two of these:

CJ increased his NUTHA total by 100% with this chappie

Wilko with Mrs NUTHA; her husband left her in the
net. No not Wilko's husband. Honestly you people.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Warblers 0, Waders 37

Spurred on by reports of fellow ringers catching Chiffchaffs we headed to the Bay hoping to find the bushes adorned with Phylloscopus warblers. What we of course got was a painfully slow morning. How slow? After several blank rounds we got excited over three retrap LOTTI’s… But all was not lost as we did pick up another snipe.

With British Summertime now here we thought we’d throw caution and expectation to the wind. So on Sunday CJ, Facey, Billy Whiz, Ti and Pliers Morris* attempted another wader catch. It seemed very quiet, with the 300 redshank flying away from the catch site not boding well for the evening ahead. Four mallard provided some entertainment but refused to be caught. The god’s of ringing smiled however, and by the time we’d packed up we’d secured the details of 36 redshank; among them another colour ringed bird and another retrap/control.

*The legend of Wayne “Pliers” Morris is one that will be recounted until the end of time. Some will say the pliers were defective. Others that Pliers Morris had, in a moment of madness, summoned the strength of 1000 redshank. All those of us that were there can say is that when he picked up the pliers they had two handles; when he put them down they had one…. He made an excellent scribe.  

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Thursday is Gallery Day

Six man hours went into this Snipe, so it got a good looking-at

Our fourth Chiffy of the year

And here are the very early Robins, two days later

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Wet Feet

Wellies proved to be inadequate for this morning's rather successful Dipper catch at Taf Fechan Reserve. Before we'd finished putting up the net we'd caught our first Dipper (new) and before we had time to ring it, we'd caught a new Grey Wagtail and three more Dippers; these were all retraps but caught all at once! 

Later we re-caught RT56123 who we caught last year in the same place. Back then she was a wee slip of a girl undergoing post-juv moult and was Gillian Dinsmore's first ever Dipper. Now she is sporting a brood patch and possibly on eggs; the Dipper, not Gillian.

Vaughn and Rob from the Wildlife Trust brought along some trail cameras which recorded some interesting behavioural differences in the Dipper Gang...

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Pulizer Prize...

... for the first pulli ringed this year goes to me. A well-feathered clutch of four near the bank of the Taff, one of the easiest robin nests I've ever found - one of the proud parents as good as led me straight to it, none of the usual reticence about this one.

The French Connection Continues

While out in Senegal we managed to catch up with lots of migrants that didn't reside in reedbeds. Among these were several colour-ringed Spoonbills and an Avocet. Well the first of our sightings is back:

Spoonbill Oa/OYB (aka metal ring CA 70143) was ringed as nestling at Besné (Loire Atlantique, France) on 5/5/2010, France, by Loïc Marion.

This is not the first time that we've encountered one of Loïc's birds; a couple of years ago one of his colour-ringed Great White Egrets could be seen outside Facey's office for several weeks!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Grand Slam Ringing

Having barely recovered from the weekend's exuberances, CJ and Anthony spent a pleasant sunny Monday morning down at the Bay.  The BTO have asked us all to be careful what images we post, but I couldn't resist this picture showing Anthony being cruelly abused once again, this time by a pair of Magpies.

 Also ringed today was a Moorhen, which I believe may be only the third trapped at the Bay.

You looking at me?

Further evidence of the onset of Spring, other than the increasingly uncivilised earliness of sunrise, was provided by the first three Chiffchaffs of the year, and variety came in the form of our first Sparrowhawk for quite some time.

Odds and Sods

A combination of dodgy forecasts, Wales being Victorious in the 6 Nations, and Mother’s Day meant that not a great deal of ringing was done over the weekend (read none). But here are some odds and sods;

  • Two of the curlew we helped catch back in September 2011 have been sighted in Holland.
  • The office site now only has 10 ducklings. The 11th went missing on Friday. The authorities do not believe hoi sin sauce was involved.
  • Among the five nests a “crack” team found this lunchtime in the bushes surround the New Office Site were; 2 old SONTH nests, 1 old BLABI nest, 1 sitting female BLABI and a suspected COLDO nest.  GOLFI, ROBIN, and DUNNO nest remain to be located…
We really need to get out more.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Wednesday Poser

OK, here's a relatively easy one for you.  Species, age and sex please, and anything else you notice about it? Picture taken at the Cardiff Wetland Reserve area this month.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Waders in the Mist - Updated

Sunday night being still, dry, moonless and hightide-ish, an expedition to the shores of the Severn appeared to be in order. A crack team of three duly assembled, and spent a thoroughly entertaining evening processing 66 Redshank, a Dunlin and a Knot. Four of the Redshank were recoveries, three being colour ringed, probably at RGW a few years ago (we wait for details), the other being ringed by us in the bay back in January.

And it got very misty, by the way, so driving back to the road over the fields was quite interesting.


 The Redshank in the picture above was ringed at Rumney Great Wharf in March 2009. The other two colour ringed birds we caught were both ringed on the River Taff in October 1999.  BTO Birdfacts tells us that the typical lifespan is 4 years and the maximum recorded age a little over 20 years, so these two are well ahead of the game.

Quack Quack!

Below was the view that greeted one of the team on this otherwise dull and overcast Monday morning.  And yes many an "Awww!" was heard.

Mother Duck and 11 ducklings partaking of the quadrangle feeding
station at the new "office site" (more on the old site later)

Despite seeing Mother Duck flying in and out of the quadrangle, our man on the inside was a bit slow in tracking down the nest... one less nest record for 2012.

These will be entertaining to round up when big enough to contribute to the ringing scheme. But the question is, how many will survive?

Monday, 5 March 2012

Another Weekend Update

With the weather too wet and windy on Saturday and Sunday there's not a great deal to report, but at least CJ and Vaf got in a few hours down at the Bay on Friday morning. The emphasis was once again on Finches, with a good haul of new greenies and goldies, plus a few old ones.  Reed buntings were mostly retraps, including this chap who is probably at least six years old, but that's subject to verification.

The supporting cast comprised blackbirds, bluetits and long-tailed tits, plus a single robin.....
....unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos.