Monday, 31 May 2010


202 birds processed in May of 19 species - so far this year its 483 of 28 species.

32 nests have been visited and pulli rung, top of the list are blue and great tits, then swallow and pied wagtail followed by blackbird, stock dove and collard dove. Well done to Steve and his students who have sorted the tit nest boxes and done some sterling work on the college estate. Still watching robin, swallows and great tits.

The first robin juvenile this morning in the Martinstown mist nets was most welcome.

As was this handsome whitethroat

Monday, 24 May 2010

What another nest box post!

The first ringing week end at the College on Saturday with 11 nests of pulli rung.
Its early days with another 2 trips at least to get the full picture but we think the cold weather has had an effect on those birds who laid their eggs early. 4 blue tit boxes had 5.25 chicks rung , 6 great tit boxes had 3.3 average chicks rung.

A second set of pied wagtails pulli 5/5 were rung.

2 swallows nests and around 8 more boxes to be rung next weekend As there are definitely more caterpillars around this week than last the fingers crossed that the averages will improve.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Pulli so far ...

In general it feels that pulli ringing is a little later this year compared to last.

2 nests of pied wagtail done - pretty much as last year (3) but no colour rings available so they were not used this year. We are watching one less nest at the moment though (4).

At work we have also done a chaffinch (4 chicks), collard dove (2) and a stock dove (1). Really pleased to get the collared doves as last year we missed them numerous times - went from too small to too big in days!

In the garden the 3 early blackbird chicks have fledged and are still around, a new nest site has been found by Mum and Dad.

We have had robins and dunnocks predated or desert. The sadness of the loss of a nest full of kestrel chicks was tempered by the fact they were probably eaten by barn owls who had laid 2 eggs!

Tit boxes start next weekend which is definitely later,we started the College boxes on the 14 May last year.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Returning migrants

I started ringing as a C ringer in May last year and now I am beginning to catch some of last years birds as they have returned. So far its been a couple of blackcaps - both males and 3 chiff chaffs. Exciting stuff!

The prize bird so far has been a swallow, first processed as a pulli at the College on the 24 May 2009 and then caught yesterday in the mist nets at the allotment in Martinstown. Its about 6 miles between the College and Martinstown but to go via South Africa is some journey. The swallows returned 2 or 3 days ago and we have been watching them hawk low over the dairy grazing fields as they feed up - not knowing one of them was a College bird establishing herself in Martinstown!