Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Linacre WeBS and Nestboxes - 20th February 2018

I was down at Linacre this morning, with 2 jobs to do. The first job was to replace a few of the nestboxes that had been damaged by Grey Squirrels last year, just in time for the BTO's National Nestbox Week. In total 6 boxes were replaced, and a few others were picked up off the floor!! Thanks to Chesterfield RSPB Group for providing the boxes. It'll be another couple of months before the first nests will be built, and I can begin to new Nest Record Cards for the BTO's Nest Record Scheme, so I'll report back then.

New nestbox

The second job was this months WeBS count. Numbers were average for the time of year: Mallard 51, Tufted Duck 27, Coot 5, Moorhen 6, Great-crested Grebe 4; 2 pairs, 1 on the top reservoir and 1 on the middle reservoir, Little Grebe 1 breeding plumaged bird, Mandarin Duck 2, Black-headed Gull 18 and Cormorant 6.


The temperature today was 10 degrees and it was quite sunny, so several of the woodland birds were singing, including 1 Mistle Thrush, 1 Song Thrush, Nuthatch, Coal and Great Tit, Robin and Dunnock. A drumming Great-spotted Woodpecker was heard, as was a "yaffling" Green Woodpecker.

The Snowdrops were looking very nice in the woods by the top car park too.


Sunday, 18 February 2018

Canada Goose AAAH

At the start of February (10th to be exact) I spotted a colour ringed Canada Goose swimming on the River Wye in Bakewell. The colour ring was AAAH (white writing on a red ring), and, after a quick internet search, I found out that it had been ringed in NW England. I sent off an email and heard back today that the bird in question had been ringed, as an adult female, in Bowness-on-Windermere on 2nd July 2013 (see link here).  The next sighting of this bird was in Bakewell on 29th September 2014, and it was then reported in Rowsley on 26th December 2015 and in Bakewell on 8th August 2017, 14th January 2018, 10th February (my sighting), and again by me, yesterday (17th February). The bird seemed settled in a small group of approximately 10 birds, so it might well hang around.

AAAH on 10th Feb 2018

AAAH on 17th Feb 2018

Kestrel - new species at Linacre

I was down at Linacre this morning for the second ringing session of the year. We started off well with a great catch of 14 Long-tailed Tits ( 8 new and 6 retraps), but then things got quite quiet, until the last net round when we found a new species in the net - a Kestrel!! We often see a Kestrel flying and hunting around the site whilst we are ringing, so today's catch was a very nice surprise.


Other birds ringed today were (new/retrap): Robin 3/0, Blue Tit 6/3, Great Tit 1/3, Nuthatch 2/0, Chaffinch 1/0 and Bullfinch 1/0.

Other birds seen around the ringing site were: Sparrowhawk (1 female), Common Buzzard (1), Great-spotted Woodpecker (4), Green Woodpecker (1 seen and heard), Mistle Thrush (4; 2 pairs, including 1 singing bird), Siskin (1 over), Cormorant (1 over) and Tawny Owl (1 heard calling at 6:45am).

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Blue Tit Longevity Records... nearly.

Last week I received details of 2 interesting  Blue Tits that we (Sorby Breck Ringing Group) had ringed at the Derbyshire Wildlife's Trust Avenue Washlands Reserve.

The first bird was first caught in March 2010 as a 5, i.e. it had been born in 2009. It was then re trapped in February 2011 and then "disappeared" for the next 6 years, before being re caught on 5th February 2017. If it's still alive, it will be in its 9th year by now.

The second bird was first caught in October 2012 and aged as a 3, i.e. born that year. It was caught again once in 2012, 4 times in 2013, once in 2015 and then, most recently, on 4th February 2018. This last retrap means that this bird has now entered its 6th year.

According to BTO website (see here), the longevity record for Blue Tit is currently 10 years 3 months and 10 days from ringing, so hopefully these 2 birds might become  contenders for "record breakers" in the next few years.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Linacre - 3rd February 2018

Luke and I had a couple of hours out at Holmebrook Valley CP and Linacre this morning. Despite persistent drizzle, and a little bit of sleety snow, we had a good walk.

First up Holmebrook Valley. We arrived at just after 7:30am and saw: Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Grey Heron, Mute Swan and Kingfisher.

Linacre records were: Mallard (60), Mandarin Duck (17), Tufted Duck (15), Coot (8), Moorhen (10), Great-crested Grebe (2), Little Grebe (1) and Black-headed Gull (29). Great-spotted Woodpecker was heard, as were Song Thrush (singing), Bullfinch and Green Woodpecker (calling).

Black-headed Gulls 

In the afternoon Jayne and I drove across to Sheffield to see 3 Waxwings. we got brief views through the rain!!


Year List update:
72 – Marsh Tit
73 – Goldeneye
74 – Song Thrush
75 – Green Woodpecker
76 – Waxwing

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Linacre WeBs - January 2018

Luke and I were down at Linacre this morning to carry out the first BTO WeBS walk of 2018. We walked around all 3 reservoirs and recorded the following waterbirds: Mallard 55, Tufted Duck 24, Mandarin Duck 25, Moorhen 11, Coot 3, Great-crested Grebe 1, in full breeding plumage, Black-headed Gull 28, Cormorant 4 and Grey Wagtail 2.

Other birds seen and heard this morning were: Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed Tit, Treecreeper (2), Great-spotted Woodpecker, Mistle Thrush (2), Common Buzzard ( 1 being mobbed by a Crow) and Robin. Here's a photo Luke took of one of the very confiding birds.


Grey Wagtail was an addition to the "year list", as was Lesser Redpoll, which was 1 of 4 seen on the feeders at home.

Lesser Redpoll

Year List update:
70 - Grey Wagtail
71 - Lesser Redpoll

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Year List Update - 21st January 2018

It's been a while since I updated the Year List, and it's moved on quite a bit, so here goes. Numbers 47 to 50 were seen at Derbyshire Wildlife's Avenue Washlands reserve during a ringing session. Numbers 52 to 55 were seen during a walk around The Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Numbers 56 and 57 were recorded in my garden, whilst numbers 58 to 67 were seen last weekend at Carsington Water. The Goldcrest was seen yesterday during the ringing session at Linacre, and the Tawny Owl was heard in the early hours of this morning from my bed!!

47 – Little Owl
48 – Reed Bunting
49 – Yellowhammer
50 – Mistle Thrush
51 – Kingfisher
52 – Pochard
53 – Shoveler
54 – Canada Goose
55 – Teal
56 – Sparrowhawk
57 – Siskin
58 – Gadwall
59 – Wigeon
60 – Common Gull
61 – Great Northern Diver
62 - Pheasant
63 - Willow Tit
64 – Lapwing
65 – Snipe
66 – Fieldfare
67 – Treecreeper
68 - Goldcrest
69 – Tawny Owl