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Ringing near Gifford, Winter 2017-18

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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 19:03   #26
delia todd
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Originally Posted by citrinella View Post
Thanks Delia,

Pity we only have a fraction of the birds of ~10 years ago.

Mike.

Mmmm.... any idea what's changed, or gone wrong Mike?

I know I struggle to see Greenfinches round here now and Yellowhammers can be a bit patchy too.
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Old Friday 19th January 2018, 17:15   #27
citrinella
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Whoosh netting at rape bait station, site 1, 17.1.18

Goldfinch new 1
retrap 15
Greenfinch new 2
retrap
Linnet new 26
retrap 30
TOTAL new 29
retrap 45


Also seen/heard
Greylag geese
Buzzard
Kestrel
Wren
Dunnock
Chaffinch
Reed bunting

Mainly forgetting corvids, gulls, non-natives, pigeons and tits.

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
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Old Friday 19th January 2018, 17:39   #28
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Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
Mmmm.... any idea what's changed, or gone wrong Mike?

I know I struggle to see Greenfinches round here now and Yellowhammers can be a bit patchy too.
Hi Delia,

I suspect poor breeding is one of the most important factors. I used to see loads of good sized family parties of lark and yellowhamer as I walked through crops in late summer. Now these parties are small. The parties are also few but that does not of itself say anything about breeding.

So why ? I notice far fewer invertebrates than we used to get, massively fewer than in the 1970s when everyone's kitchen needed flypaper in summer. So, far less chick food. In the last 15 years or so I have been establishing flower areas to try to reverse this. I thought this was working, with masses of beasties in them, loads of bumblebees. In 2015 we hardly had a bee and beasties seemed to have collapsed in numbers - but the swallows did really well so some things must have been OK.

Another factor might well be extreme rainfall during the breeding season. It seems to be quite common now to get really wet cold weather extending over a day. This year we had it twice in June - ~80mm rain in c.36 hours at the beginning of the month and ~100mm in c.36 hours at the end. Only one or two swallow nests had fledged by the end of June. Every nest failed, even the ones that were at egg stage, same for house martins and (first nest for several years) spotted flycatcher. What chance the birds nesting in the open ? I don't monitor them really as I don't have time to find them. This should have been the peak of the breeding season. The bad weather covered a large area, farmers in Ayrshire were complaining they had their worst June ever with over 180mm of rain (we had 227). So the effects would not just be local. Certainly this is my worst ever winter catching linnet, we have hardly caught any yellowhammer either, and the poor numbers might well tie in with this weather as they both breed relatively late. You may have noticed that I have had a very good winter for goldfinch and almost all of them are first year birds, so apparently not all species suffered the same.

I did find three early yellowhammer nests. Two certainly were predated (possibly stoat or weasel), one might have fledged. I am against predator control but it is easy for those in favour to whip up emotions against predators. Indeed, barn owl started predating swallow nests in a major way here in 2016 when small rodents seemed to disappear more or less completely. Though we have the rodents back, the barn owl know where there are easy pickings which doesn't help the swallows. More ammunition for the anti-predator brigade I suppose, but the problem arose not because of too many owls, but due to too few rodents. Oh, it also affected rats, so I suspect something like a virus but have no evidence. Who knows if it was driven by something humans had done.

Mike.
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Old Sunday 21st January 2018, 13:45   #29
citrinella
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Whoosh netting at rape bait station, site 1, 20.1.18

Goldfinch new 5
retrap 27
Linnet new 13
retrap 23


Also seen/heard
Pink-footed geese
Buzzard
Tawny owl

Mainly forgetting corvids, gulls, non-natives, pigeons and tits.

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
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Old Sunday 28th January 2018, 11:06   #30
citrinella
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Mist netting at Site 2 north, 26.1.18.

Blackbird new 3
retrap
Chaffinch new 1
retrap
Dunnock new 2
retrap 7
Great tit new 2
retrap 2
Reed bunting new 2
retrap
Robin new
retrap 2
Treecreeper new 1
retrap
Tree sparrow new 20
retrap 3
Wren new 1
retrap
TOTAL new 32
retrap 14



Also seen/heard :
Buzzard
Tawny owl
Magpie
Greater spotted woodpecker
Nuthatch
Goldfinch

Mainly forgetting corvids, gulls, non-natives, pigeons and tits.

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
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Old Monday 29th January 2018, 19:18   #31
citrinella
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Whoosh netting at rape bait station, site 1, 29.1.18

Goldfinch new 1
retrap 18
Linnet new 37
retrap 28


Also seen/heard
Greylag geese
Mallard
Buzzard

Mainly forgetting corvids, gulls, non-natives, pigeons and tits.

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
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Old Monday 5th February 2018, 15:44   #32
citrinella
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Mist netting at Site 2, 4.1.18.
This was at our upper site.

Blackbird new 1
retrap
Blue tit new 1
retrap
Chaffinch new 1
retrap
Reed bunting new 4
retrap
Robin new 1
retrap 1
Tree sparrow new 13
retrap 11
Wren new 1
retrap
Yellowhammer new 6
retrap 1
TOTAL new 28
retrap 13



Also seen/heard :
Pink footed geese
Buzzard
Tawny owl
Stock dove
Greater spotted woodpecker
Nuthatch
Dunnock
Fieldfare
Brambling
Greenfinch
Bullfinch
Linnet

Mainly forgetting corvids, gulls, non-natives, pigeons and tits.

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
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Old Monday 5th February 2018, 15:53   #33
citrinella
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Whoosh netting at rape bait station, site 1, 5.2.18

Goldfinch new
retrap 4
Linnet new 49
retrap 39


Also seen/heard
Greylag geese
Buzzard
Grey partridge
Fieldfare

Two pairs of grey partridge appear to be paired up.

Mainly forgetting corvids, gulls, non-natives, pigeons and tits.

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 15:05   #34
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Oops, date on last report should be 5.2.18.
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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 15:05   #35
citrinella
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Whoosh netting at rape bait station, site 1, 12.2.18

Goldfinch new 1
retrap 2
Linnet new 58
retrap 32


Also seen/heard
Greylag geese
Buzzard
Grey partridge
Skylark
Chaffinch
Brambling
Reed bunting

Mainly forgetting corvids, gulls, non-natives, pigeons and tits.

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 15:26   #36
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Oops, date on last report should be 5.2.18.
Hi Mike, edited your post to correct the date.

.... and many thanks for the info you gave in response to my question.

Sorry to have been so long about it, but I save the post and have been reading it a few times.

You really have had a poor time of it lately, and I'm therefore not surprised that I've seen so few Greenfinch and 'hammers.

Very sad.
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Old Wednesday 14th February 2018, 19:58   #37
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Thanks Delia,

Maybe you also saw this
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=356430
Another possible contributor ?

Mike.
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Old Wednesday 14th February 2018, 20:10   #38
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Indeed I did see that originally Mike... well at least your initial post. And very sad reading I found it too.

It will all go to explain why I've found it so difficult to see Spotted Flycatchers these last few years.
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Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 11:09   #39
citrinella
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Indeed I did see that originally Mike... well at least your initial post. And very sad reading I found it too.

It will all go to explain why I've found it so difficult to see Spotted Flycatchers these last few years.
Had my first brood of Spotted Flycatchers for years in the usual tree hole in 2017. They were swamped just before fledging in all the rain at the end of June. I'll have a box up over the hole in time for this year, but I guess it may be a long time before they try again, at least robins usually use it first.

Mike.
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Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 11:51   #40
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Oh that was sad. Hopefully they'll take to your nest box.

I did see a juvenile a couple of years ago. It was on a walk right at the edge of town here. I'd meant to go up last year to see if I could see adults there, but spent that period recovering from a hospital visit. Maybe I'll get up there this year instead.
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Old Tuesday 20th February 2018, 15:00   #41
citrinella
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Mist netting at Site 1, 17.2.18.

Chaffinch new 6
retrap 1
Goldcrest new
retrap 2
Robin new
retrap 2
Tree sparrow new 6
retrap 1
Yellowhammer new 11
retrap
TOTAL new 23
retrap 6


Also seen/heard :
Greylag geese
Grey partridge
Golden plover 23
Collared dove
Greater spotted woodpecker
Skylark
Wren
Dunnock
Blackbird
Fieldfare
Brambling
Greenfinch
Bullfinch

Mainly forgetting corvids, gulls, non-natives, pigeons and tits.

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
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Old Friday 23rd February 2018, 15:25   #42
citrinella
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Whoosh netting at rape bait station, site 1, 21.2.18

Linnet new 26
retrap 19


Also seen/heard
Greylag geese
Buzzard
Grey partridge
Skylark
Chaffinch
Goldfinch
Reed bunting

Mainly forgetting corvids, gulls, non-natives, pigeons and tits.

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
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Old Friday 23rd February 2018, 15:28   #43
citrinella
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Mist netting at secondary feed station, Site 1, 22.2.18.

Blackbird new 1
retrap 1
Blue tit new 1
retrap
Chaffinch new 45
retrap 8
Dunnock new 1
retrap 2
Fieldfare new 2
retrap
Greenfinch new 5
retrap 1
Tree sparrow new 1
retrap
Yellowhammer new 1
retrap 3
TOTALS new 57
retrap 15

c.100 fieldfare were feeding in neighbouring improved grassland

Also seen/heard :
Greylag geese
Pink footed geese
Buzzard
Tawny owl
Greater spotted woodpecker (drumming)
Skylark
Wren
Robin
Song thrush
Mistle thrush
Bullfinch
Goldfinch
Linnet

Mainly forgetting corvids, gulls, non-natives, pigeons and tits.

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
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Old Monday 26th February 2018, 19:14   #44
citrinella
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Whoosh netting at rape bait station, site 1, 26.2.18

Linnet new 14
retrap 26


Also seen/heard
Greylag geese
Mallard
Buzzard
Grey partridge
Skylark
Dunnock

Mainly forgetting corvids, gulls, non-natives, pigeons and tits.

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
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Old Wednesday 28th February 2018, 13:12   #45
citrinella
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Mist netting at Site 2 north, 25.2.18.

Blackbird new
retrap 1
Blackcap new
retrap
Blue tit new 1
retrap
Chaffinch new 2
retrap
Dunnock new
retrap 6
Great tit new
retrap 2
Long tailed tit new 1
retrap
Robin new 1
retrap 3
Tree sparrow new 1
retrap
TOTAL new 6
retrap 12


Also seen/heard :
Buzzard
Sparrowhawk
Grey partridge (at some distance south)
Tawny owl
Stock dove
Greater spotted woodpecker
Nuthatch
Wren
House sparrow
Goldfinch

Mainly forgetting corvids, gulls, non-natives, pigeons and tits.

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
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Old Friday 2nd March 2018, 11:05   #46
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Linnet flock has left, despite me clearing the feed station every morning so they can access feed. Wind has been filling it in during the day and I guess they haven't been able to keep access to feed open. 200+ there on Tuesday, one yesterday didn't stay.

At the secondary feed station here (site 1) there have been loads of birds. I guess the feeders won't be empty yet, but I can't get there to top them up, the road in is 1-1.5m deep.

Main feed station is deep in snow, but accessible, so I topped up this morning. I had a new species there today - a stankie, presumably from the pond just across the road where I see four regularly.

Mike.
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Old Friday 2nd March 2018, 13:04   #47
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Linnet flock has left, despite me clearing the feed station every morning so they can access feed. Wind has been filling it in during the day and I guess they haven't been able to keep access to feed open. 200+ there on Tuesday, one yesterday didn't stay.

At the secondary feed station here (site 1) there have been loads of birds. I guess the feeders won't be empty yet, but I can't get there to top them up, the road in is 1-1.5m deep.

Main feed station is deep in snow, but accessible, so I topped up this morning. I had a new species there today - a stankie, presumably from the pond just across the road where I see four regularly.

Mike.
Mike

Whats a Stankie?
Moorhen or coot.

Glad we've only got about 2/3 cm here in sunny reading.

Keep safe.

Alan
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Old Saturday 3rd March 2018, 15:20   #48
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Mike

Whats a Stankie?
Moorhen or coot.

Glad we've only got about 2/3 cm here in sunny reading.

Keep safe.

Alan
Hi Alan,

A moorhen. Coot are rare here (but on a neighbour's loch).

I couldn't say how much snow we have had - I'd guess between 0.3 and 0.5m but that could be an overestimate. We have had the usual problem - it has been blowing so the roads have been filled up to 1.5m and more in many places. Certainly not ringing conditions.

I have been digging out a public road into the neighbouring farm this afternoon (with a telescopic loader) and came across a dead unringed blackbird. As it was in good condition I suspect it had roosted in a bad spot and snow had buried it in the night.

Loads of birds at the main feed station and at my garden feeding. Tried to get to my remote feeding station this afternoon by tractor but not possible.

Mike.
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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 07:43   #49
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Thanks Mike.

Hope things have improved by now!.
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Old Saturday 10th March 2018, 11:07   #50
citrinella
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Mist netting at Site 2, 8.3.18.
This was at our upper site.

Blackbird new 1
retrap
Blue tit new 2
retrap 1
Brambling new 1
retrap
Coal tit new 1
retrap
Dunnock new 3
retrap 3
Reed bunting new 9
retrap 1
Tree sparrow new 3
retrap 4
Yellowhammer new 22
retrap 2
TOTAL new 42
retrap 11

Extra feeding effort by the farmer in recent years is really paying off. Yellowhammer catches here have lifted significantly.

Also seen/heard :
Pink footed geese 21
Buzzard
Sparrowhawk
Tawny owl
Greater spotted woodpecker
Jay
Skylark
Robin
Mistle thrush
Song thrush
Fieldfare
Chaffinch
Goldfinch

Mainly forgetting corvids, gulls, non-natives, pigeons and tits.

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
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