Sunday, 2 May 2021

01/05 Thatcham Marsh LNR

 Location: Thatcham Marsh LNR CES 1 of 12
Session: 01/05/2021, 06:00 to 11:00hrs
Notes: The first CES session since 2019.  Due to covid restrictions we were unable to do any ringing on the LNR in 2020 as by the time we could, in July, the net rides were overgrown and could not be cleared as birds were still nesting. At today session we “controlled” a Sedge Warbler that had been ringed in France. It will be interesting to see where and when though it could be sometimes before we know as the French schemes have a reputation for being slow to respond with ringing details. Also, a Garden Warbler, the first ringed this year. Good enjoyable session.
Present: JL,DL,JHW,IW
Weather: Sunny, light breeze, cold.
Nets: 256metres in 3 rides of 198M, 30M, 28M up from 06:30 to 10:00hrs
Lures: None
Capture (New/Recapture)                                          Corresponding CES visit1 (05/05/2019)
42(27/15) 14 Species                                                   36(21/15) 10 Species


Blue Tit                     ringed 09/09/2018, 25/04/2021x2

Cetti’s Warbler          ringed 05/05/2019, 11/04/2021

Chiffchaff                  ringed 18/08/2019, 25/04/2021

Great Tit                   ringed 18/04/2021

Long-tailed Tit          ringed 18/04/2021

Reed Warbler           ringed 17/06/2018

Sedge Warbler         ringed 25/04/2021x2 plus a French ringed (details eventually)

Wren                        ringed 14/07/2019

Sightings 38 species: Some first of the year for most of us included Swift and Garden Warbler, no Willow Warblers today! Hirundine still scarce.

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

2021 Nest Box Checking

We did the first round of nest box visits week no 16 (19th to 25th April). 135 boxes checked included four that had fallen or were missing since visual/repair checks March/early April.

Unused: 30 boxes 
Unknown: 47 boxes with nests being built, varied from a few strands of fresh moss etc (code N1) to cup formed (N4) and nest lined (NL), some of the last covered but eggs yet to be laid    
Blue Tit: occupied 40 boxes with 1 to 10 eggs all covered and cold (still laying), none sitting yet.
Great Tit: occupied 8 boxes, with 1 to 5 eggs, surprisingly few compared to Blue Tit but hopefully will increase at the next check.
Nuthatch: 5 boxes includes nest building as the make up of the nest of dried leaves (mainly oak) is obvious.
Alien Species: Tree Bumble Bees occupied 1 box and maybe a second. In both cases birds were still building and may kick them out.

Comment: Occupation is variable so far but may change as species currently unknown (nest building) are confirmed. There appears to be little coordination of effort this year with nesting stages all over the place, even within species, from nests just starting to clutches almost complete. 

(JL with KEL)

Sunday, 25 April 2021

25/04 Thatcham Marsh LNR

Location: Thatcham Marsh LNR
Session: 25/04/2021, 06:30 to 11:00hrs
Notes: A significant drop in temperature and was uncomfortably cold. A few more Reed and Sedge Warblers in since the 18/04/2021 session and our first Whitethroat of the year. We finished earlier than intended because it got very windy as well as cold.
Present: JL,DL,JHW,IW
Weather: Sunny, breezy, cold.
Nets: 252metres in 3 rides of 198M, 36M, 18M up from 06:30 to 10:00hrs
Lures: None

Sightings 39 species: Of note a Cuckoo flying around the reed bed, just two swallows over and a Grey Wagtail. A few years ago, Collared Doves roosted in numbers in the scrub by the ringing station however a single bird in the same area was the first seen here for a while. 

Sunday, 18 April 2021

18/04 Thatcham Marsh LNR

Location: Thatcham Marsh LNR
Session: 18/04/2021, 07:30 to 11:00hrs
Notes: The second session of the year at Thatcham Marsh LNR. We expected a few more migrants than last week but it was quiet with few migrants heard or seen. Things were a bit subdued following the sad news that our good friend John Claridge(RJC) is no longer with us.
Present: JL,DL,JHW,IW
Weather: Sunny, calm, warm in the sun.
Nets: 234metres in 3 rides of 198m, 18m, 18m up from 08:00 to 11:00hrs
Lures :


Blue Tit                       ringed 11/04/2021x2

Cetti’s Warbler            ringed 11/04/2021

Great Tit                     ringed 03/09/2021

Wren                          ringed 07/07/2019

Sightings 35 species: No hirundine over this week. The only notable activity being four Buzzards displaying in thermals joined much higher up by two female Sparrowhawks and the first Common Tern for us flew over.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

14/04 Greenham Common

Location: Greenham Common Western Enclosure
Session: 11/04/2021, 07:30 to 11:00hrs
Notes: We do not often ring the Western Enclosure in spring, we do not expect to catch much for the effort. As we have few site options for ringing this year, we decided to give it ago. So far this spring we have made three visit and the numbers of 7, 7 and today just 3 bare out our expectations number-wise. However, on the first visit we ringed a Meadow Pipit, on the second a Woodlark and today a female Redstart, all species we do not often encounter particularly at this time of year, so perhaps worth the effort after all.
Just after you left again JC!
Present: JL,IW,JC
Weather: Sunny, SW breeze, cool
Nets: 48metres in 3 rides of 18m, 18m, 12m up from 08:00 to 10:45hrs
Lures :None

Female Redstart

Sightings 32 species: It was quiet for the time of year. Woodlarks and Stonechats seen carrying food and the male Dartford Warbler gave one encircling display around us and over the heath. Two Little Egrets flew south and just as we were leaving a couple of House Martins went west. The Redstart just turned up in the net, makes you wonder what else might have been lurking in the gorse.