Monday, 18 April 2016

Linacre Ringing and Nestboxes- 17th April 2016

The temperature yesterday morning was minus 1 when I arrived at Linacre for a ringing session with 3 other members of Sorby Breck Ringing Group. Thankfully, the sun was already of its way up, and the skies were clear, so the frost soon cleared and the temperature rose to 8 degrees.

We put 3 nets up, 2 around the feeders and 1in amongst the Willows, and soon had the first birds of the day, including a male Chiffchaff, and a male Blackcap. The Blackcap was the first record for Linacre in 2016, and both species were the first to be ringed at Linacre in 2016. The Chiffchaff was a retrap, having been ringed last May at Linacre. It wasn't recorded again last year, so who knows whether it stayed around or whether it moved on. Hopefully, we, or someone else, will re trap it again this summer, so that we've an idea where it goes. We caught another 3 Chiffchaffs (all un ringed), later in the session.



We carried on ringing a few birds at a time over the next 3 hours, and ended with 24 of the following species (new/retrap): Bullfinch (0/2), Chaffinch (1/1), Blue Tit (2/2), Great Tit (1/4), Coal Tit (0/1), Chiffchaff (1/3), Blackcap (1/0), Blackbird 0/1, Song Thrush (1/0), Nuthatch (1/0), Dunnock (0/1) and Robin (1/0).

Stewart and I also went and checked the 6 "owl" nestboxes that we have around the site. No owl nests were found this year, although a Tawny Owl flew out from a nearby tree as we walked to one box. One of the boxes contained a clutch of 13 Mandarin Duck eggs, the Little Owl box was unused, and the 4 other boxes were either empty or contained Grey Squirrels! We'll check the boxes again in a few weeks time, just in case any more get used by the Mandarins, and also to try to catch the bird whose eggs we found. It'll be interesting to see if she's one of the 2 bird that we ringed last year (see here), or whether she'd a new bird.

After the ringing session  I went to try and re find a Common Sandpiper that my nephew had found earlier in the day. We dropped lucky, finding the bird on the bottom reservoir. I was particularly pleased as this was the first Linacre record since 2013. The Shag was also still present.

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