Monday, 6 April 2015

Linacre Ringing and the first egg of 2015

Hot on the heels of Saturday's ringing session, I was out at Linacre Reservoirs again on Sunday, with 4 other members of the Sorby Breck Ringing Group for another ringing session, and a first check of the owl nestboxes. The ringing session was quiet, but the nestbox check produced our first egg of the year.

First up the ringing. We set up 4 nets this session, 2 around the feeding station, and a further 2 around the site. The ringing was quite quiet, as is to be expected at this time of year, as the birds disperse, and get on with business of mating, but we still managed to catch 3 new Chiffchaffs (our first to be ringed here this year), and another 24 birds of 8 other species (Nuthatch, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Song Thrush, Goldcrest, Robin, Great-spotted Woodpecker and Blue, Great, Long-tailed and Coal Tit).

After 3 hours ringing, we decided to go and check the 4 "owl boxes" that we have on site. The first box we checked contained our first egg of 2015!
Mandarin Duck egg?

We think it's a Mandarin Duck egg, so we'll keep an eye on this box and hope for more eggs over the next few weeks. The second box contained a female Mandarin Duck, but, as yet, no eggs; another one to watch! The last 2 boxes were empty, so again, we'll keep an eye to see if anything moves in.

Aside from the ringing and nestbox checking, we also managed to spot a few spring flowers (Cowslip, Coltsfoot, Lesser Celandine and a new one for me, Sweet Violet (see here for details of this plant).

Sweet Violet

We also managed a few other birds, including my first 2015 Linacre record of Tawny Owl, with 2 "twit-twooing" by the Rangers' Base when we arrived at 6am, a fly-over Sparrowhawk and a single Little Owl in the "breeding tree". Now I just need to get some more summer visitors- a Swallow or Willow Warbler would be nice!

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