Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Linacre Update

It's been quite a while since I blogged about Linacre, so here's a quick update, including the first ringing session of 2020, March's WeBS count and the first returning summer migrant.

As you will recall, the weather in February was horrendous, with every weekend bring high winds and rain, so our first ringing session of the year didn't take place until the 7th March. It was a quiet session with just 15 birds ringed (new/retrap): Long-tailed Tit 3/0, Blue Tit 9/0, Great Tit 0/1 and Coal Tit 1/0.

The WeBS walk in March (14th) produced the following birds: Mallard (39), Tufted Duck (17), Mandarin Duck (9), Grey Wagtail (1), Cormorant (1), Lesser Black-backed Gull (3 over), Black-headed Gull (16), Moorhen (9), Coot (8), Canada Goose (2), Great-crested Grebe (1 breeding plumaged bird) and Little Grebe (2).

I had another visit on 21st March and heard my first summer migrant of the year, Chiffchaff. In total there were 4 singing around the site. Also present on site were: Goosander (1 redhead), Great-crested Grebe (3 breeding plumaged birds), Mallard (57), Mandarin Duck (19), Coot (15), Moorhen (11), Cormorant (1), Canada Goose (2), Grey Wagtail (3) and, best of all, a super herd of 45 Whooper Swans flying over in a North westerly (Icelandic!) direction.

As I write this post, the whole of Great Britain (and most of the world!!) has gone into lockdown to combat the Corona virus, so I can't be sure when I'll get to visit Linacre again. Instead, I'll post sightings from my garden and local area. Stay safe everyone!!

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Norwegian Common Gull

On Sunday (15th) I went across to Rufford and Clumber Park again to see which, if any, gulls were still present.

Rufford drew a complete blank for ringed gulls. In fact, there were only 11 Black-headed Gulls there, so it looks as if the winter "gulling" sessions are over until July/August when the first wintering birds should return.

Clumber still held Black-headed and Common Gulls. There were approximately 100 Black-headed Gulls present, including 237A, a regular bird that I've seen at both Rufford and Clumber since November 2019. It's a 1st winter/2nd calendar year bird, born in 2019, and ringed at Sherwood Center Parcs on 20th November 2019.


There were a minimum of 10 Common Gulls on the lake, including at darvic ringed bird (JH229), a 1st winter/2nd calendar year bird that was ringed, as a pullus, on 13th July 2019, in Nesna harbour, Nordland, Norway, 1614km away!

Common Gull JH229

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Rufford and Clumber Gulls - 7th March 2020

I had a pop over to Rufford and Clumber Park yesterday to check for wintering Black-headed Gulls before they set off back to their breeding grounds.

My first stop, Rufford CP, was pretty quiet, with  approximately 50 gulls still present, including 208A, an adult bird ringed at Sherwood Center Parcs on 2nd January 2020 and first seen by me, at Rufford on 2nd February 2020. As the photo shows, the bird's hood is developing nicely.


At Clumber there were a lot more Black-headed Gulls still present (200+), along with c.20 Common Gulls.

2 ringed gulls were seen; namely 237A ( a regular bird, born in 2019, first ringed at Center Parcs in November 2019 and seen at Rufford in December 2019, January 2020 and February 2020, before its first sighting at Clumber on 22nd February 2020, and again on 7th March 2020), and 256A - new bird for me. 256A was born in 2019, and was ringed on 29th January 2020 in Warsop. This sighting was the first since ringing.



Sunday, 23 February 2020

Nottinghamshire Gulls

This week I had a couple of visits looking for wintering Black-headed Gulls.

The first trip was to Rufford Country Park on Wednesday, where there were approximately 100  gulls including several familiar birds: V77K, a Danish -ringed bird born in 2015, British-ringed EL87245, 243A (ringed at Sherwood Center Parcs, in December 2019), 246A, ringed by me at Center Parcs on 21st December 2019 (see here), and my first sighting since and 259A, also ringed at Center Parcs, this time on 1st February 2020, and also the first sighting away from that site.

246A at Rufford CP

My second trip was around Clumber Park on Saturday, where there were 300+ gulls around the main lake. The majority were Black-headed, but there were also a dozen or so Common Gulls. Whilst there I managed to see 5 darvic-ringed Black-headed Gulls: 217A, 237A, 246A (again!) and 2 new ones for me, 257A (ringed at Center Parcs on 1st February 2020) and 2ASN, a second winter bird, that had been ringed, as a chick, at Rutland Water in June 2019.



Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Year List Update

It's been quite a while since I last updated the blog, so here's a post about the bird species I've seen since then.

The first new species for the year are Red-legged and Grey Partridges, which were seen near Rufford and at Apperknowle.

The next bird, a Black-throated Thrush, was a 1st winter bird that has been present in Grimsby for several weeks, and is the second time I've seen since this species in Britain, the first being way back in 1997! Here's a heavily cropped record shot.

Black-throated Thrush

The two owl species, Little and Tawny, were both added within 24 hours of each other! The Little Owl was seen perched in a tree in Apperknowle, whilst the Tawny Owl was heard calling (male and female) from the bedroom.

The last three species were added today in Keithley, West Yorkshire. The Waxwings (15 in total) were seen feeding on a Rowan tree, whilst the Iceland Gull, a juvenile/1st winter bird, and the Oystercatchers (2), were on Redcar Tarn, on the outskirts of Keighley.


Iceland Gull

Year List update:
84 – Red-legged Partridge
85 – Grey Partridge
86 – Black-throated Thrush
87 – Little Owl
88 – Tawny Owl
89 – Waxwing
90 – Iceland Gull
91 – Oystercatcher

Sunday, 2 February 2020

2N78 again

Last April I saw an adult Black-headed Gull in Bakewell with the darvic ring 2N78 (see here). I didn't see it again last year, but yesterday, whilst in Bakewell, it reappeared in almost exactly the same spot!.


As you can see, it's just beginning to develop its black hood, ready for the breeding season. As far as I know, it hasn't been reported anywhere else since ringing in December 2018, but it does seem that Bakewell is a regular wintering spot.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Gulls Again!

I had a short visit to Rufford CP this afternoon and saw 3 darviced Black-headed Gulls and 1 metal ringed bird.

The 3 darvic ringed birds were 237A (ringed as a 1st winter bird, at Center Parcs on 20th November 2019), V77K ( the 5 year old, Danish ringed bird) and 252A ( a 1st winter/2nd calendar year bird, ringed at Center Parcs on 18th January 2020.




The metal ringed bird, 6456073,was the Swedish ringed bird I first saw at Rufford on 2nd January 2020. It was ringed, as a pullus, on 1st June 2019, 950km away in southern Sweden.