Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Where do I start!

Well, there’s been long distance twitching,

There’s been doorstep twitching,

There’s been pulli ringing,

Though some a bit big to ring!

I’d better back track. The first shot is of ’the’ Cream coloured Courser which of course isn’t a type of car (that jokes been done to death). I say ‘the’ as by now any respectable birder and many readers of this blog would have heard about this bird which was present in Herefordshire for a few days a week or so ago. The twitch was a rather epic one and thanks to Brett for putting his ace driving skills to good use. We got there with just a glimmer of sun left but the long journey was worth it! My photo’s don’t do it justice so you’ll just have to trust me when I say it was a real stunner! This shot shows how close the bird was to Wales.

A rather atmospheric shot of Brett taking in the stunning Herefordshire countryside which was all around us.

The ‘doorstep’ twitch concerned a Great Reed Warbler which sang at Radipole for a few days and the rather loud croaky song was audible from my bedroom window! Not bad eh?

Recent ringing has been largely restricted to pulli (chicks). Plenty of tit pulli plus a few Pied Wagtail and Blackbirds which is the rather ugly looking chick in the above photo. The other is a Great Tit which has almost certainly fledged by now.

I promise not neglect my blog for so long ever again!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Post BBQ blogging

Completely exhausted after a day out ringing on the Lulworth army ranges but what better way to perk yourself up than a few pints of cider (good stuff not that canned rubbish with the bow and arrow on it) and a BBQ in the garden. So I’m now stuffed and slightly drunk but that won’t stop me blogging! Today’s visit to the ranges was mainly to catch up with more Dartford Warblers to continue our RAS study but we also bagged a new species for me!  A Stonechat!

Obviously not the first I’ve ever seen but the first I have ringed. It was a 3J (a recently fledged bird) and was one of several out and about exploring their new and exciting world, well I guess its all very exciting for them with it being new and all... Also, found a Pied Wagtail nest with 5 eggs, plus watched a few pairs of Woodlark collecting food which is a sure sign they have chicks and the first tit pulli got ringed. The first of many given the good uptake of the nest boxes this year.
A visit to the ranges last night got a few more Dartfords colour ringed and we also got our first Nightjar of the season. Fingers crossed for the some decent weather over the next couple of weeks to allow for a bit more Nightjaring.

Monday, 7 May 2012

You'll really like this one.

I’ve let a few days go by without blogging for which I am sincerely sorry.  To make up for this here’s the premier of a sequel to the farting teal video posted a month or two ago. If you have no or only a slight sense of humour it’s probably not worth watching…

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Purple Patch

Clouds hill continued to produce the goods yesterday morning when a Hoopoe appeared as I got to the site. It was still dark and if it hadn’t have flown I wouldn’t have been able to see what it was! Got a record shot but had to use the flash and manual focus.

Thankfully later I managed another shot which at least allows you to appreciate how great Hoopoes are!

Whilst ringing another rarity popped up, this time a Serin. To be honest I can’t say I saw it as such (well, a black dot) but heard it calling as I went over.  A Serin was also reported from Abbotsbury beach but not sure if that was before or after my encounter. The ringing wasn’t especially busy but Whitethroats and Blackcaps kept me busy for an hour or two at first light but it quickly quietened down.

This morning’s efforts were put on hold for a few hours because of the rain but it proved rather quiet with very few grounded migrants about. Hirundines were still on the move in decent number with most sticking around and feeding along the fleet.  A few Spotted Flycatchers provided a bit of quality as did a Cuckoo which was singing first thing. The highlight in the nets was this Garden Warbler which is my first (and well overdue!) of the spring.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Got Wood??

A bit of a personal question but I almost did (notice I said almost!!!) when I saw this little beauty in the net yesterday morning.

This Wood Warbler was a new species for me at Clouds hill and the first I’ve ringed. This species is one that is quite common back in Wales (if you know where to look) and is often found in similar habitat to this species.

A Redstart which I also trapped and ringed yesterday.  As you’ve probably guessed, it was a good day yesterday though would have been ten times better if I managed to get up earlier. I didn’t start ringing until 10am which was a result of a crap night’s sleep, rubbish forecast and switching my alarm off. The nets came back down at about 11:30 after the sun came out but 25 new birds and a few retraps was a good result for just short session.  As well as the birds caught there were plenty of other migrants about including a male Whinchat, a few more Redstarts, a single Spotted Flycatcher and a flyby Short-eared Owl.

Can’t resist posting another pic of the Wood Warbler. Ain’t he a beauty!