Saturday, 19 March 2011

A proper bird

Our first Chiffchaff of the year today.

39 New birds and (20) retraps - Yellowhammer 31 (5), Reed Bunting 3 (6), Chaffinch 2, Robin 1, Treesparrow 1, Chiffchaff 1, Dunnock (6), Goldfinch (2), Marsh Tit (1).

Sunday, 13 March 2011

A day of two halves

I was optimistic for more Yellowhammers at Bishop Monkton this morning. But, with it looking like rain when I got there only one net was opened - Ten minutes later it was shut again. Breakfast was had, the feeders were topped up and I was back home by nine.

1 New bird and (1) retrap – Yellowhammer 1, Reed Bunting (1).

The afternoon brought a dramatic change in the weather with some glorious sunshine. I joined Andy and others in Wharfedale to put a net up for the Fieldfare we’d seen coming into roost earlier in the week. A nice little catch was had but numbers were nowhere near what we were getting in the Autumn.

8 New birds – Lesser Redpoll 4, Fieldfare 2, Robin 1, Goldcrest 1.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Barn Owl check

After a tip-off of a Barn Owl regularly taking food into a derelict building, Andy and I decided to give the building a quick check. Just the one Barn Owl in the eaves when we got there but loads of pellets and potential nesting spots so we’ll be keeping a close eye on this place.

While we there we also gave a nearby successful box from last year a quick check. The female Barn Owl from last year was home and the squirrels had been busy stuffing the box with sticks over the winter so we removed these to give the Barn Owl enough space to breed.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Here comes the sun

What a change in the weather compared to Thursday – It felt very spring like today. Nets opened in front of the grain feeders and nets I’ve recently inherited inspected and repaired between net rounds.

23 New birds and (12) retraps – Yellowhammer 16(9), Reed Bunting 3(1), Dunnock 1(1), Great Tit 1, Long-tailed Tit 1, Blue Tit 1, Tree Sparrow (1).

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Hammer drill

It was a bitterly cold today. I opened the nets with Chris and three of his students - They came with the hope of ringing a few Yellowhammers and that’s what they got.

55 New birds and (20) retraps – Yellowhammer 40(5), Reed Bunting 2(5), Goldfinch 2(4), Chaffinch 3(1), Tree Sparrow 2(1), Great Tit 3, Blue Tit 2, Treecreeper 1, Dunnock (3), Song Thrush (1).

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Stop... Hammer time!

With my newly found ‘c’ permit freedom, I’ve been making the most of the glimpses of spring this week to net in front of corn feeders at Bishop Monkton and over in Wharfedale. We’re attracting a healthy number of Yellowhammers at Bishop Monkton with flocks into treble figures. We’re also sighting a Barn Owl every time we’re down there – On Thursday afternoon there were great views of it hunting for over 2 hours.

Once again, many thanks to all those who have given up their time to help me gain my ‘c’ permit – particularly Dave and Andy with whom I’ve clocked up over 100 ringing sessions so far.

24 New birds and (10) retraps – Yellowhammer 9(2), Reed Bunting 6(3), Goldfinch 3(2), Brambling 2, Blue Tit 2, Tree Sparrow 1(1), Great Tit 1, Dunnock (2).