Monday, 31 May 2010

Turtle Power

Over the past few weeks we’ve had the soft purr and occasional glimpse of Turtle Dove down our ringing site. Finally, we were lucky enough to catch one of a pair and with it being such a rare opportunity to ring this bird we drew straws - I had luck there too.

14 New birds and (13) retraps – Wood Pigeon 1, Turtle Dove 1, Chiffchaff 1, Willow Warbler 1 (1), Dunnock 2 (2), Sedge Warbler 2 (4), Goldfinch 1, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Chaffinch 2 (1), Whitethroat 2 (2), Yellowhammer (1), Reed Bunting (1), Grasshopper Warbler (1)

Turtle Dove - Ringed on 25/5/2010

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Cheeky Chaffinches

Whilst up in Scotland Munro bagging I found myself, on an afternoon packed with heavy showers, parked in the top end of Glenesk that’s situated in the Cairngorms National Park.

Now I’ve often seen birds hop around in the hope of the odd crumb or two but this is the first time I’ve been actively harassed to feed them. Shortly after I parked up a flock of around ten Chaffinch descended onto my car – Eyeing me up from my wing mirror and tapping on the windscreen whilst sitting on my wipers. Winding the window down didn’t bother them (it became just another perch!) and neither did me getting out of the car to reward their persistence with a treat from my car boot. Incidentally, one female Chaffinch was ringed but didn’t quite come close enough for me to read the number.


Saturday, 15 May 2010

Long-eared Owl Chicks

Yesterday, we had good views of Long-eared Owls hunting at dusk. Whilst heading back to the car we heard their chicks calling so we followed their calls to a rough position but by now it was too dark to pinpoint their exact location. Today we returned and after a short search and some tree climbing we were rewarded.

Long-eared Owl - Ringed on 15/5/2010

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Barn Owl Boxes (Day 3)

An early start to check five boxes and a number of old trees before work today. While there were no Barn Owls, two previously ringed Mandarin that have nested in the same spots for several years got their yearly check-up – Do you think they expect us?

Female Mandarin

Monday, 3 May 2010

Barn Owl Boxes (Day 2)

A local volunteer project to attract Barn Owls to the countryside around Thorner is showing good results – 2 of their 4 boxes containing Barn Owls today. The first gave some local children the opportunity to see a Barn Owl close up for the first time as Andy put a ring on the bird. Another box contained two Barn Owls sat on a clutch of 3 eggs – both these Owls had been ringed previously.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Barn Owl Boxes

A small group of us joined Andy today checking Barn Owl boxes in countryside to the north and west of Leeds - 6 Barn Owls in total with 3 being ringed for the first time. There were also 3 clutches of eggs so fingers crossed there will be plenty of chicks to ring in just over a months time.

We also ringed 2 Stock Dove chicks and re-caught a Kestrel ringed by Andy in a previous year.

So far it’s looking like it could be a good year for Barn and Tawny Owls.

Barn Owl – Ringed on 2/5/2010

Kestrel – Ringed in a previous year