Saturday, 4 May 2013

Little Owl ringed

It was a little too windy to set the nets this morning, so instead we had a lay in and met up at Linacre at 9.30am with the intention of checking the progress of the Little Owl and Mandarin nests. In the end it turned out to be a very good decision with a new ringing tick for me (thanks everyone!) and good news on the Mandarins.

First up the ringing tick. We went across to the Little Owl nest and managed to ring the female bird.

Little Owl
We also noticed that she had 2 eggs in the nest, so we updated the record card for the BTO's Nest Record Scheme. According to my superb nest recording book (see here), the average clutch size is between 3-5 eggs, so she may well lay at least 1 more egg.  Owls usually start incubating as soon as they lay their first egg, and the young hatch asynchronously. The youngest chick can then become food for the older chick/s if other food is scarce. Hopefully this won't happen with this nest, but we'll leave her now and, if all goes to plan, i.e. the weather stays good and the nest isn't predated, we'll go back and ring the chick/s later in the year.
After ringing the Little Owl, we went across to the Mandarin nests and were very pleased to see that both boxes contained incubating females. Again, more information for the Nest Record Scheme.
Mandarin Duck
One last sighting from Linacre was the male Whitethroat, that I found on Thursday. He was still on site singing and displaying beautifully. Hopefully he'll attract a mate soon.
In the afternoon I went out to Chatsworth with Jayne. We had a lovely walk from the Carlton Lees car park and saw 3 Redstarts, including 2 males, which were fighting over a female bird. Whilst there we also recorded the first Garden Warbler of the year, a Treecreeper, a singing Willow Warbler, several Swallows, a pair of Pied Wagtails, Chaffinches, Goldfinch and lots of chirruping House Sparrows.

Year List update:
121 - Garden Warbler

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