A record of my adventures of birds and bird ringing

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

The problem with term..

9am lectures 6 days a week do not a good ringer make.

Saturday lectures are looking like they might be abandonded in favour of some gull/wader ringing, but this still doesnt leave me much time to catch on my own site - and there's some very attractive fieldfares flying around!

Monday, 4 January 2010

A dreadfully late update on ringing over the past 2 months

WWRG special sanderling catch

On 5th November we took a small catch of mixed waders, mainly sanderling. We looked at the retraps caught and selected 6 which were present over a previous winter, and to these birds we added a geolocater. The geolocater contains a light sensor, which records time of sunrise and sunset, allowing us to calculate the birds position when we (hopefully) recatch them and download the data next year. They sit on a small harness around the birds back and are practically invisible in the field. These will enable us to see if such a set up works well on small waders, and hence if they can be employed on Spoon-billed Sandpipers in the near future. We were filmed by Countryfile and a radio crew (for 'World on the Move').


In late November I went out to Pitsea rubbish tip with North Thames Gull Group, to catch some gulls. Despite the trip being off, and on, and on, and off with the weather, we made a reasonable catch of mixed gulls. The large proportion of which proceeded to bite and scratch the team members!

Highlights include one of the tip workers, who came over to look at the gulls and the ringing process, offering his knuckles to one of the Herring Gulls. I dont think he'll be doing that again soon.

BTO Conference

Was fantastic, saw lots of people I knew and had heard about but never actually met. Learnt a bit about birds and failed miserably at the 'bird bums wot I have known' round of the quiz!

Ringing in college

Reasonably successful, earlier on in term I had a few mornings with over 10 birds, including several Redwing. Later on the going was tougher - a morning with 1 blue tit being the low point.

Ringing at Roudsea

Part of the reason for me going home over Christmas was that my trainer (Jim) was definately going to be home and we could actaully do some ringing together! We went out to his pet site, Roudsea Woods, where he has a RAS on Marsh tits and Great tits, and caught a lot of retraps. Everything was hungry and the feeder was really busy, which meant that we caught around 35 birds. I took my boyfriend (who is a trainnee) along and he got to handle his first Marsh tit, but no woodpeckers appeared for him to extract..