This weekend was the date for the first BTO WeBS count of 2019. Luke and I had two hours down at Linacre this morning recording the following birds: Mallard (67), Tufted Duck (28), Mandarin Duck (12), Moorhen (15), Coot (5), Cormorant (1), Grey Wagtail (1), Grey Heron (1), Black-headed Gull (c.35) and best of all.... Whooper Swan (a herd of 8 that flew low over the top reservoir, but, unfortunately, didn't land). This was the first Linacre record since March 2017, and a nice way to get a "year tick" too! Luke managed this photo as they flew through the mist.
Other birds seen/heard around the site included Siskin (year tick), Magpie, Green Woodpecker (heard twice and seen once), Kestrel (1), Redwing (loads!!) and Mistle Thrush (1).
On Sunday I went down to Derby to see if I could find my first ringed Black-headed Gull of 2019. I started at Derby River Gardens, where there were approximately 100 - 150 gulls on the river. Although they came in to the bread, I couldn't spot any birds wearing rings. After about an hour, I moved on to Alvaston Park to try my luck there. When I arrived there were 200+ birds, mostly feeding on the grass. I started to feed the 50+ birds that were on the lake, and, after the best part of an hour, spotted one bird wearing a yellow darvic ring, WN30, a new bird! I was also able to spot Museum Praha on the metal ring, showing it was ringed in the Czech Republic - a new country for me!!
WN30 (Museum Praha), ES49142
A quick check on the internet (cr-birding.org) confirmed that it was a Czech-ringed bird, the first Czech bird I've found. Details were sent off, and the bird had been ringed on 9th June 2017, as a pullus, near Pistin, 1185km away. Result!!
This weekend I've managed to add 3 new species to the "year list". The first new species, Waxwing, was added yesterday, when I popped across to Sheffield (Cemetery Avenue), to see a flock of approximately 25 birds.
The next two species, Ring-necked Parakeet (2) and Stock Dove, were both added this morning on a gull ring reading trip to Alvaston Park, Derby (more on that in another post!).
Year List update:
99 – Waxwing
100 – Ring-necked Parakeet
101 – Stock Dove
I was down at Linacre on Saturday morning for the first ringing session of 2019 with 5 members of Sorby Breck Ringing Group. As we set up the usual nets, we had a very nice surprise with a hunting Barn Owl, my first ever record on site! What a great way to start the new year. We also had several Tawny Owls calling in the surrounding woods, and a fly over Sparrowhawk.
The ringing session was also a good start to the year with 43 birds ringed, including Woodpigeon, the first since 2016 and Jay, only 1 ringed in 2018 (new/retrap): Woodpigeon 1/0, Robin 3/1, Goldcrest 3/0, Long-tailed Tit 19/1, Coal Tit 0/2, Blue Tit 6/4, Great Tit 0/1, Nuthatch 0/1 and Jay 1/0.
Jay (5, born last year)
In the afternoon I was out at Clumber Park for a family walk, and picked up 2 more "year ticks"; Common Buzzard and Goosander (7; 4 females and 3 males), along with a darvic ringed Mute Swan (104Y), a female with an un-ringed male bird and 3 juveniles (born in 2018).
104Y (back bird) and family
Year List update:
94 – Tawny Owl
95 – Barn Owl
96 – Sparrowhawk
97 - Common Buzzard
On Friday, Luke and I spent a full day birding and "year listing" in Norfolk. We started off in Wells-Next-the Sea where we managed to pick up a lot of waders, Red Kite, Marsh and Hen Harrier, Guillemot and Dark-bellied Brent Geese (58 to 75). We then drove down to Holkham NNR and St Anne's Drive where we managed to locate (with help from other birders), Snow Bunting, Shorelark and Great White Egret (numbers 76 to 82). Our final two locations were RSPB Titchwell Chiffchaff, Caspian Gull and numbers 83 to 92, and Thornham Harbour for Twite (93).
On Thursday 3rd I popped across to Rother Valley CP to see if I could catch up with a female Smew that had been reported on the Nature Reserve Lake. I got lucky and managed to see it straight away. As you can see from the "year list" below, there were several other species present in the area.
The Pheasant and Treecreeper were recorded layer in the day on the Monsal Trail.
On Wednesday, Luke and I had our first visit of the year to Linacre. We walked around the middle and top reservoirs recording the following waterbirds: Mallard (79), Tufted Duck (11), Mandarin Duck (6), Moorhen (15), Coot (4), Kingfisher (1), Black-headed Gull (76), Little Grebe (1) and Grey Wagtail (2).
We also added another few species to the "year list". Greenfinch was recorded in the garden.