Tuesday 21 November 2023

21/11 Bagnor Feeder

Location: Bagnor Common Feeder, Winter CES 2023/24.02
Session: 21/11/2023  07:45 to 11:20hrs
A busy start to the morning with 29 birds in the first nets round, mostly Blue Tits including some pulli from both the Mount Hill and Snelsmore Common nest boxes. After the  next round of 17 the following three rounds were single figure. Not much variety, I though having to feed sunflower hearts (thanks Putin) might bring in some finches. It was dark dank miserable weather with some fine rain in the later part of the session. Having some trouble with the BTO portal can’t get it to filter by date at the moment.
Schedule of key species (New and Re-trap) for visit 2 at this Constant Effort Site feeder.
Present: JL,IW
Weather: overcast, calm, occasional drizzle, cool.
Nets: 12M of nets, 6M each side of the feeders up from 08:00 to 11:00hrs.
Lures: Feeders with Peanuts, Sunflower Hearts, Niger, Fat Balls.


Blue Tit                ringed: 05/02/2023 (Snelsmore Fdr), 09/11/2022, 07/11/2023x7,
pulli ringed: 25/05/2021 nest box CP25, 14/05/2022 nest box WH08, 23/05/2023 nest box C05,
Great Tt              ringed: 05/11/2023, 23/05/2023 nest box D08

Sighting: Probably missed a few as we were busy ringing for the early part of the session, included a flock of about 8+ ducks that snuck by before we could ID them; I thought they might be Wigeon but couldn’t be sure. No Robins about!, if they were there they kept very quiet. One flock of 15+ Siskin, plus others flying about. 

Monday 20 November 2023

19/11 Snelsmore Common

Location: Snelsmore Common Feeder, Winter CES 2023/24.02
Session: 19/11/2023  07:45 to 11:20hrs
Notes: I have been concerned that fewer birds than normal are coming to this feeder, but a look back at previous years for key species shows there were similar unusual drops in number for visit 2 in 2016 and 2017 also 2012 and 2013. For 2017 it might be that the feeder was adjusted during the preceding week to allow the removal of an unsafe tree, however for the other years mentioned visit 2 also had comparatively low numbers so it is more likely due to post breeding survival of adults as there is a considerable drop in re-traps for these years. Great Tit also showed a poor fledging from nearby nest boxes spring 2023.
It was quite a busy session though.

Schedule of key species (New and Re-trap) for visit 2 at this Constant Effort Site feeder. 

Present: JL,IW.IQ,DL,LC
Weather: overcast, breezy, few spot rain early, cold.
Nets: 12M of nets, 6M each side of the feeders up from 08:00 to 11:00hrs.
Lures: Feeders with Fat Balls, Black Sunflower Seed/Sunflower Hearts mix Peanuts.

Blue Tit     pulli ringed: 20/05/2023 nest box WH13, 24/05/2023 nest box CP03, 
                                      02/06/2023 nest box CP20.
Great Tt    ringed: 05/11/2023

Sighting: The site bird-wise was quiet, though we might have missed a few species, didn’t pick up the Ravens for instance that are usually recorded here.

Friday 17 November 2023

17/11 Greenham Common

Location: Greenham Common Western Enclosure (wk46)
Session: 17/11/2023 07:45 to 10:55hrs
Notes: Intended to do the second visit of the winter CES at the Bagnor Feeder until I checked the visit date and found the second visit period starts from the 18th Nov. As the weather forecast was good, we did another session at Greenham Common. November here is very hit and miss not only weather-wise but birds crossing and out on the heath are few. However as can be seen below we have pick up some late migrants and scarce species in the past including:

Blackcap 3-2016, 2-2018, 2-2020,4-2021 and 1 so far in 2023.

Chiffchaff 2-2018, 7-2021, 1,2022 and 1 so far in 2023.

Common (Mealy) Redpoll 1-2013.

Dartford Warbler 1-2013, 1-2017.

Fieldfare 1-2021

Firecrest 1-2021, 1-2022

Goldcrest 149 Nov total from 2012 to 2023.

Green Woodpecker 1-2015, 1-2016.

Lesser Redpoll 4-2012, 2-2013, 2-2016.

Meadow Pipit 1-2018, 1-2019

Redwing 3-2013,1-2014,6-2016, 6-2017, 2-2018, 2-2022

Sparrowhawk 1-2016

Total for 2012 to 2023 in November is 386 ringed of 27 species.  

The Fieldfare, Redwing, Goldcrest and Redpoll are incoming winter migrants

Present: JL,IW.

Weather: sunny, bright, breezy, cold.

Nets: 48metres 3 Rides, 18M, 18M and 12M up from 08:00 to 10:30hrs.

Lures: (BC-CC-GC-FC), (YB-FC-GC-RE),(LR-MP-BL), (FF-RE), intermittently.

Sightings: Woodpigeons flying south in three or four substantial flocks in addition to a few flying about. A couple of Redwing flocks also south-ish, some reacted to the audio, perching in nearby trees briefly. We have two different Redwing songs playing one is Latvian, not sure of the origin of other one. They are very different from one another, also there are several regional Redwing songs, so it is possible that some flock don’t hear their song/calls. The Gadwall flew north at the same time as the Mallard flew around, probably both groups were disturbed from the nearby St Gabriel’s lakes.

Wednesday 15 November 2023

15/11 Greenham Common

Location: Greenham Common Western Enclosure (wk46)
Session: 15/11/2023 07:45 to 10:55hrs
Notes: Once we get to November and week 45 plus, the weather becomes more of a factor. Week 45 (last week) has been a good period when we often get some interesting species. Unfortunately, the weather was just too unstable to be able to ring here. The one reasonable day was Friday 7th, and the Bagnor Feeder took priority as part of the Constant Effort Scheme. Expectations were low for today as it was quite breezy, so it was good to get a Blackcap and a Chiffchaff. One of the latter was probably in the net earlier in the session but got out before we got to it or could ID it for sure. The other species including Goldcrest are more usual fare this time of year. It is unusual to have a lone Long-tailed tit, they are usually in groups, was the only one seen though, just turned up in the net.
Present: JL,IW,IQ
Weather: sunny, bright, breezy, cold.
Nets: 48metres 3 Rides, 18M, 18M and 12M up from 08:00 to 10:30hrs.
Lures: (BC-CC-GC-FC), (YB-FC-GC-RE),(LR-MP-BL), (FF-RE), intermittently.

Recaptures: (00)

Sightings: Not much activity today, a couple of Fieldfare flocks of 12 and 30+ flew west-ish and a few Redwing flew about, neither species reacted to the audio lures. One of the Buzzards was bright rusty brown on the top and had a light underside, so we scrutinised it closely but decided it to be just a Buzzard; probably fooled by the low sun.

Sunday 12 November 2023

12/11 Haysom's Feeder

 We cancelled today's ringing session, which would have been at the Greenham Estovers Feeder, due to the weather forecast being for rain. The were some very light rain pulses through this morning occasionally but not that much so decided to put a 6M net up in the Garden. We've had good numbers of Goldfinches coming each day, including a flock of 17 regularly attending. They are consuming two 400mm long standard feeders of sunflower hearts every two days. 
One of today's Coal Tits, 1st year male (size and brightness of plumage) 
Biometric at the top of the range and quite a heavy looking bill for this species 

I haven't ring much in the garden since 2017 as the birds have stopped coming in the numbers that they once did. Our house once on the edge of the residential is now in the midst of it, so I presume there are plenty of alternative feeders available. On the odd occasion I do put a nets up around five (usually Goldfinch) is the maximum if any in sometimes four hours of nets up. So, todays capture of 11 in two hours of nets up is an improvement. I knew that two Nuthatch occasinally visited, male and female, and thought that there was just one Coal Tit. Today I ringed three of the latter and a male Nuthatch as well as the expected Goldfinch, seven ringed. Typically the flock of 17 that has been coming every day for the last couple of weeks hasn't turned up so far today! (JL)