A record of my adventures of birds and bird ringing

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Blackbirds hatched!

A check on the nest yesterday evening revealed that 3 of the 4 eggs had in fact hatched!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

The Chifchaff now wears a ring...

His singing sounds so much better to my ears!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

The Chiffchaff and the Black Pheasant

Sounds a little like a fairy tale, doesnt it?!

Well, the black pheasant decided to amble past our living room window yesterday when I was working, and me and a friend watched it for about 5 seconds before simultaneously scrambling for our cameras. Unfortunately by the time we'd got them and turned them on, the pheasant had vanished.

There has been a Chiffchaff singing in the orchard for a few days now (well, I suppose it could be a few different ones moving through). It woke me up this morning, bright and early, so I've just put up a net in the hope that I can catch it (funny though, that I've been hearing it all day but now I've got a net up I cant hear it at all!).

Time for a net round!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Todays nest attempts and a picture of the nest from last time

Having heard the Tawnys call at one another for over a week now (and having scrutinised the Schedule 1 list to make absolutely sure they weren't on there) I thought I'd go and see if there was in fact anything nesting in the Tawny owl box in the orchard.

View of the box from below

Inside the box

As you can see, there isnt anything in there at the moment. They could be using a hole in a tree somewhere nearby (we have lots of old half rotten trees around), or I guess they could just have not started nesting yet!

And here, as promised, is the picture of the nest which I found a few days ago. Is anyone able to confirm the species?

In other news there is a dead pigeon (no ring) right next to the dead pheasant. Something has developed a taste for them! I only hope it doesnt eat the rather spectacular black pheasant (who evades my camera at every move).

Friday, 9 April 2010

Finding nests

I went out for a thorougly damp nest finding session with Vince (one of the Cambridge nesters) about a week ago. The weather was thoroughly miserable - cold, rainy, windy, you name it - and we didnt find many nests (one, in fact).

We did see two Grebes performing the first few stages of courtship (where one of them mimics the other) which was lovely to watch, and saw them fishing. And there was a Coot which swam all the way across the lake to disappear into the reeds with a short, slimy, weed-covered stick.

More recently I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and go for a good nest search in college gardens. After getting VERY bramble scratched, I found an old Bullfinch nest, an old (what I assume is) Robin nest (it could have been Dunnock or some other small passerine, I dont really know), and, my most exciting find, a new and active Blackbird nest with four eggs!

At least, when I compared it to picture on the web it looked like a blackbird nest, but I have yet to see the blackbird on it. I'm leaving it alone for a few days so I dont disturb them too much, but I will observe from a distance now I know where it is.

Whilst searching I also found 2 predated bright blue eggs with speckles - I'm still not sure what species these are from (I REALLY need a nest/egg guide), and a freshly dead pheasant, from what looked like a fox. We also found half of its tail feathers on the other side of the orchard - looks like it may have been chased a fair bit!