Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Sneaky Swallows

A visit to the stables yesterday afternoon to do nest checks and ring a brood provided the perfect opportunity for a bit of impromptu adult catching for our swallow RAS; four old friends and three new recruits were caught.

V844707 (above) and V844721 were both ringed last year at the
 stables as nestlings and now are back to rear nestlings of their own.
Circle of  life people, the circle of life.
Nest checks revealed the whole spectrum of nestlingness from eggs to fully fledged young. At the moment about fifty young grace the various nests. Fingers crossed for plenty more.

If you don't think these are cute you are clearly dead inside.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Juvvie Blackcaps

We all know that juvenile Blackcaps have nice auburn heads like their mothers, but in fact there seems to be quite a lot of variation.  When you've spent the morning ringing ginger mingers like this one ...

... it can come as a bit of a surprise when you come across one like this ...

A recently fledged individual but it only has the extreme tips of its crown feathers fringed with brown, a more than usually decurved bill, and is generally more 'chunky'. This caused a certain amount of head-scratching at the time, but fortunately a wiser head was quickly on hand to restore order.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Goat Sucker

A quick sniff of the wind confirmed that the conditions were right. And so a motley band of muggles were assembled from the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW) and Ruperra Conservation Trust to see our local nightjar. Despite uttering "Pa! Call this wildlife" they were completely bowled over by the skill and expertise of the ringer in charge. They were also impressed by the nightjar territory display. The performance of the ringing assistant wasnt mentioned.

Camera work could be improved...
Two males and a female were seen along with several bats!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Kestrel Calamity

Its was gutting to hear the news that "our" kestrel nest was flooded out with all chicks lost in the most recent days of deluge. Absolutely gutting.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Swallow Season so far

Despite the rain and the near constant grey skies it is in fact summer; no honestly it is. Its June. Summer of course means we get stuck in to the swallows at the stables. After a little delay, thanks to the weather, the breeding season has gotten underway with a bang.

Earlier this week Facey and the Holster headed to the stables to induct three broods into the Ringing Scheme. The Holster did a sterling job of scribing (considering Facey's anality when it comes to his notebook) and climbing ladders; not falling off once or doing any crossings out. She can come again.
The first brood to be ringed in 2012 is already down a sibling; tough season ahead?

A quick turn round the rest of the nests revealed a lot like these!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Bridging the gap between man and kestrel

Apart from the odd Sparrowhawk, we don't do many BoP's. So ringing a brood of kestrel chicks with Master Roo (aka ASBO Howells), was definitely the (bird related) highlight of the bank holiday.

The Kezzy family was nesting in a bridge, out of the reach of our ladder but who needs one of those when you have Monkey Man Griffiths to call on?

MMG extracting the kestrels; mummy kestrel gave him a boo boo for his troubles

Mummy Kestrel being inducted into the ringing scheme.
 She sat back tight on her young afterwards; excellent mother indeed!

Yeah, we know the only word to describe this kes chick is "cute".

Before the Kestrels we did check a load of Master Roos nest boxes which contained tits, redstarts and pied flycatchers eggs galore.

Go on, have a guess!

Master Roo having checked another box

Nestbox checking; its a grave affair.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Questionable Neighbours

It's amazing the undesirable characters that are attracted to Bird Ringing these days...

Mr Ratty the rat seems to be partial to a bit of apple

And Minky the mischievous mink is very fond of Little Grebe eggs, judging by the predated nest close by