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Ringing near Gifford, Winter 16-17 (1 Viewer)

citrinella

Well-known member
Our winter mist netting programme for farmland birds has started again.

At the feed station at Site 1 we have adjusted the protocol in response to a change in feed provision. Previously all provided food took the form of artificial feed mainly from feeders along a farm track. Now a strip of wild bird cover including cereals and brassicas will be maintained along one side of the track outside a good hedge. Feeding on the track will continue and nets will be placed next to the feeders. Nets will also be placed between the wild bird cover and the hedge, and we will have to "guesstimate" where best to put them for each session as the strip of wild bird cover is many times the length of the 36m or so of nets we will be using.

At Site 2 we are also adjusting or protocol slightly. Here there are two main feeding areas, both with wild bird cover and pheasant feeders. Wild bird cover is a variable producer of seed, so some years the area we have used has been good, some years not so good. We also suspect that our activities may have influenced which area was used by the birds. Changing area to meet the needs of the moment is the obvious course, but this would lead to inconsistency of effort and we do not have a presence on site, so would not know where the birds are feeding. To try to overcome these issues we intend to alternate between feeding areas.

Mist netting at Site 1, 16.10.16.

Blackbird new 4
retrap
Chaffinch new 1
retrap
Chiffchaff new 1
retrap
Coal tit new 1
retrap
Dunnock new 3
retrap
Goldcrest new 1
retrap
Goldfinch new 1
retrap
Redwing new 5
retrap
Robin new 3
retrap 2
Song Thrush new 1
retrap
Tree sparrow new 18
retrap
Wren new 1
retrap
Yellowhammer new 3
retrap
TOTAL new 43
retrap 2

We used a redwing tape and saw c.40 flying over more than once.

Also seen/heard :
Mallard
Greylag geese
Pink footed geese
Golden plover
Buzzard
Tawny owl
Skylark including flock of c.30
Meadow pipit
Fieldfare
Long-tailed tit
Brambling
Redpoll
Bullfinch

Having robin, skylark and wren singing at this time of year is no surprise but we also heard chiffchaff which have been singing late this autumn, while hearing a yellowhammer singing this late is unknown here.

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

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
 

citrinella

Well-known member
Whoosh netting at rape bait station, site 1, 26/10.16

Goldfinch new 5
retrap 1
Linnet new 11

Flock of 100+ finches present, mainly Linnet (Goldfinch are far easier to catch) but mainly feeding in nearby wild bird cover which contains far too much brassica this year.

Also seen/heard
Greylag geese
Mallard
Grey partridge 5, close to feed (rape), but no interest shown
Buzzard
Skylark
Meadow pipit

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

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
 

citrinella

Well-known member
Protocol at Site 2 has also changed slightly this winter. We have used four different sub-sites over the years, two of which have not attracted any number of birds. When we have been at one or other of the ohers and numbers have been low, we have often been told by the farmer that the birds are all at the other sub-site, tempting us to switch. Accordingly, to increase consistency in our methodology we will alternate between these two sub-sites this winter. We intend to visit site 2 approximately every 4 weeks, so there will be approximate 8 weeks between a visit to a particular sub-site. Our first visit occurred on Saturday.

Mist netting at Site 2, 29/10/16.

Blackbird new 3
retrap
Blue tit new 3
retrap
Chaffinch new 1
retrap
Goldcrest new 1
retrap
Great tit new 1
retrap
Long tailed tit new 5
retrap
Robin new 4
retrap 1
Tree sparrow new 18
retrap 1
Wren new 2
retrap
TOTAL new 38
retrap 2


Also seen/heard :
Buzzard
Sparrowhawk
Tawny owl
Skylark
Jay
Dunnock
Mistle thrush
Fieldfare
~40 Redwing (not attracted sufficiently well by tape lure)
Brambling
Siskin
Goldfinch
7 Crossbill
Yellowhammer

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

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
 

citrinella

Well-known member
Whoosh netting at rape bait station, site 1, 2.11.16

Linnet new 7
retrap 1

This from a flock of about 200 at times, and some days I have seen about 300. Catching is not easy this year with these caught using a tape lure, and as a visiting ringer told me - its my fault, largely. There is loads of food away from the catching area and the birds spent much of the time in nearby wild bird cover. Today (3rd) I don't think they have fed at the bait at all, but have been in wheat that is after rape about 500m away.

We have another problem with a kestrel. Normally these do not bother the linnet flock, and the finches are tolerant of the kestrel. However, on the afternoon of the day before (31st) we saw a kestrel swoop at the linnets on the bait, and while catching the kestrel came several times and disturbed the linnets, which were obviously very wary of it. I guess that vole numbers are still very low (as we believe they have been all summer).

Also seen/heard
Greylag geese
Pink footed geese
Mallard
Grey partridge
Buzzard
Kestrel
Tawny owl
Skylark
Meadow pipit
Blackbird
Chaffinch
Greenfinch

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

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
 
Last edited:

citrinella

Well-known member
Mist netting at Site 1, 13.11.16.

Blackbird new 3
retrap
Blue tit new 1
retrap 1
Chaffinch new 9
retrap
Dunnock new 8
retrap 1
Goldcrest new 3
retrap
Goldfinch new 1
retrap
Greenfinch new 1
retrap
Redwing new 2
retrap
Robin new 2
retrap 3
Tree sparrow new 13
retrap 1
Wren new 3
retrap
Yellowhammer new 9
retrap
TOTAL new 55
retrap 6

We used a redwing tape.

Also seen/heard :
Mallard
Greylag geese
Pink footed geese
Golden plover
Buzzard
Tawny owl
Barn owl
Skylark
Fieldfare
Brambling
Redpoll
7 Linnet

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

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
 
Last edited:

citrinella

Well-known member
Whoosh netting at rape bait station, site 1, 15.11.16

Goldfinch new 4
retrap 2
Linnet new 37
retrap 2

Visited last week too, but disturbance by kestrel made catching impossible.

Also seen/heard
Greylag geese
Pink footed geese
Mallard
Buzzard
Kestrel (distant)
Skylark
Pied wagtail
Meadow pipit
Blackbird
Fieldfare

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

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
 

citrinella

Well-known member
Mist netting at Site 2, 27/11/16.

Blackbird new 3
retrap
Blackcap new 1
retrap
Blue tit new 20
retrap
Chaffinch new 1
retrap 1
Dunnock new 9
retrap 2
Goldcrest new 1
retrap
Great tit new 1
retrap 1
Reed bunting new 1
retrap
Robin new 3
retrap 2
Tree sparrow new 2
retrap
Wren new 1
retrap 1
TOTAL new 43
retrap 7



Also seen/heard :
Heron
Pink-footed geese
Buzzard
Tawny owl
Greater spotted woodpecker
Nuthatch
Fieldfare
Siskin
Goldfinch
Bullfinch
Crossbill
7 Yellowhammer

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

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
 

citrinella

Well-known member
Mist netting at secondary grain bait station, site 1, 5.12.16

Blackbird new 10
retrap 1
Blue tit new 1
retrap
Chaffinch new 5
retrap 1
Dunnock new 5
retrap
Fieldfare new 1
retrap
Great tit new 2
retrap
Robin new
retrap 1
Tree sparrow new 2
retrap
TOTALS new 26
retrap 3


We hope to stick with mist netting here this winter.

Also seen/heard
Greylag geese
Pink-footed geese
Mallard
Buzzard
Golden plover
Tawny owl
Greater spotted woodpecker
Jay
Wren
Greenfinch
Goldfinch
Linnet

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

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
 

citrinella

Well-known member
Whoosh netting at rape bait station, site 1, 6.12.16

Linnet new 54
retrap 5

There has been a three week gap between visits due to back spasms.

Also seen/heard
Buzzard
Skylark
Fieldfare

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

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
 

citrinella

Well-known member
Whoosh netting at rape bait station, site 1, 15.12.16

Goldfinch new 1
retrap 1
Linnet new 26
retrap 11


Also seen/heard
Buzzard
Kestrel
Fieldfare
Chaffinch


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

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
 

citrinella

Well-known member
Mist netting at Site 1, 20.12.16.

Blackbird new 2
retrap
Chaffinch new 1
retrap 2
Dunnock new 2
retrap 3
Goldcrest new 1
retrap 2
Great tit new 8
retrap
Linnet new 1
retrap
Long tailed tit new 12
retrap
Robin new 2
retrap 1
Tree sparrow new 2
retrap
Yellowhammer new 1
retrap
TOTAL new 32
retrap 8


Also seen/heard :
Greylag geese
Golden plover
Buzzard
Grey partridge
Tawny owl
Skylark
Fieldfare
Redwing
Brambling
Greenfinch
Reed bunting

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

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
 

citrinella

Well-known member
Whoosh netting at rape bait station, site 1, 27.12.16

Goldfinch new
retrap 2
Linnet new 35
retrap 13


Also seen/heard
Greylag geese
Buzzard
Chaffinch


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

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
 

citrinella

Well-known member
Mist netting at Site 2, 29/12/16.

Blackbird new 3
retrap
Reed bunting new 4
retrap
Tree sparrow new 3
retrap
Yellowhammer new 7
retrap
TOTAL new 17
retrap 0


Also seen/heard :
Greylag geese
Mallard
Buzzard
Sparrowhawk
Tawny owl
Starling 20-30
Jay
Dunnock
Robin
Mistle thrush
Fieldfare
Redwing
Chaffinch
Brambling
Bullfinch
Siskin
Goldfinch

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

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Thanks for your interesting reports through the year Mike - sorry I don't always manage to respond but I do read them.

I hope you and your family have a very happy New Year when it comes.
 

citrinella

Well-known member
Mist netting at secondary grain bait station, site 1, 7.1.16

Blackbird new
retrap 1
Chaffinch new 1
retrap
Dunnock new 1
retrap 2
Great tit new 1
retrap
Robin new
retrap 1
TOTALS new 3
retrap 4

This site has a large area of wild bird cover as well as feeders. The wild bird cover was stripped completely by the beginning of December by roe deer. Very few birds are using the feeders, unless that changes we will not try to catch here again this winter, though feeding will be maintained.

Also seen/heard
Greylag geese
Mallard
Buzzard
Golden plover
Tawny owl
Greater spotted woodpecker
Wren
Yellowhammer

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

We have also had an abortive attempt to whoosh net linnets this week. There were probably 300 linnets on the wires over the catching site for a few minutes, and 50 again a couple of hours later. However, only two goldfinch came down to feed and then they all went away to feed in nearby wild bird cover which is very good this year, full of brassicas. I looked more closely on departure and there are still huge numbers of unopened pods, inside one there were only a few seeds, and they were still green. I don't know if they will ripen eventually but this suggests they might provide food for a long time yet.

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
 
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citrinella

Well-known member
Whoosh netting at rape bait station, site 1, 12.1.17

Linnet new 11
retrap 14

After setting up early this morning birds were, once again, feeding in wild bird cover and not coming near the bait. I came away and from late morning was able to see birds going down to the bait, so went out after lunch and was able to take a catch.

Interesting that so many of the retraps were ringed in previous winters - one 4 winters ago, two 3 winters ago, three 2 winters ago and three last winter.

Also seen/heard
Greylag geese
Buzzard
Wren
Blackbird
Fieldfare
Goldfinch

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

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
 
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citrinella

Well-known member
We operate a walk-in trap and on the 18th ringed 7 new grey partridge.

Mist netting at Site 1, 16.1.17.

Blue tit new 1
retrap
Chaffinch new 5
retrap
Dunnock new 2
retrap 3
Goldcrest new
retrap 1
Robin new 1
retrap 1
Wren new 1
retrap
TOTAL new 10
retrap 5

One of those mornings - a large flock of tree sparrow came, saw us and went down the hill a bit and ... waited.

Also seen/heard :
Greylag geese
60 Pink-footed geese
Golden plover
Buzzard
Barn owl
Tawny owl
Skylark
Blackbird
Fieldfare
Mistle thrush
Tree sparrow
Brambling
Bullfinch
Goldfinch
Yellowhammer

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

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
 

citrinella

Well-known member
Whoosh netting at rape bait station, site 1, 21.1.17

Goldfinch new 11
retrap 2
Linnet new 55
retrap 7

Last Friday (13th) we estimated the finch flock at c.500. On Saturday (14th) the flock was split in two with one half estimated at 300 and the other part perhaps larger, but significantly more difficult to assess. Both those days were frosty. Cold again today and c.250 came to the wires over the bait, but flocks spread over the wild bird cover looked to total much more. As always this winter most of the feeding was in the wild bird cover but when vegetation was icy birds did come to the feed and we had good catches.

Also seen/heard
Greylag geese
Buzzard
2 Grey partridge
Kestrel
Fieldfare
Chaffinch

These grey partridge have been seen as a two for some weeks now, at the start a bit early to have paired up perhaps. I suspect they came from a covey of 5 only, quickly down to 4 and maybe there have been further losses leaving 2.

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

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
 

citrinella

Well-known member
Doing a bit of catching up.
Whoosh netting at rape bait station, site 1, 23.1.17

Goldfinch new
retrap 2
Linnet new 43
retrap 33


Also seen/heard
Pink footed geese
Buzzard
Grey partridge
9 Fieldfare

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

Many thanks to all concerned, Mike.
 

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