Monday, 28 July 2014

Ringing 27/07/14

Managed a couple of hours ringing in before work, which resulted in the first bird being trapped was this cracking Treecreeper, a first for me.

juv Treecreeper

Four Chiffchaff's also processed today alongside three Great spots (two retraps) and good numbers of the regular species.


male great spot

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Ringing 20/07/14

My fingers are just recovering from extracting my first Great spotted woodpecker from the miss net this morning!! They certainly let you know there not happy at being caught, and i now have holes on my hands big enough for there new nest site... ;-)

juv great spot

Other species caught today were both juvenile Rook and Jackdaw, single juv Bullfinch, Blackbirds,Robins,Dunnocks, both good numbers of Blue & Great tits and a cracking male Blackcap.

juv bullfinch


Saturday, 12 July 2014

Rainham RSPB 12/7/14

A quick walk around early doors produced 2 juv Beardies by the dragonfly pool, one with a tail, one without, one sporting more black on the mantle than the other, very odd!

A female was seen not to far away gathering food, so assuming another brood.

The 1st summer male Marsh Harrier sporting a damaged leg (pegleg) seems to be cracking on with it, lets hope it will mend itself or it may struggle to get through the winter.


Both adult Barn Owls were out hunting till just before 7am, though this was probably only due to the lack of sun this morning.


A Greenshank through and both Wood & Green sands on Purfleet scrape suggest autumn is well underway.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Red & Rosey

Saw only my second adult Rose-coloured Starling today in Lowestoft, having seen my first not to far away in Diss in Norwich back in the early 90's I think?

The normal plumage we come across in the UK are normally the drab juveniles so it was nice to catch up with a smart adult type bird.

Having arrived on site at about 8am we didn't wait to long before the bird appeared and showed very well for over half an hour, and not another birder in sight!

Myself and Monkey then headed up to Winterton north dunes where we located the female Red-backed Shrike from the previous day, though this was not as confiding as the starling, but still very nice to see and worth getting the soaking for!

The only disappointing sighting was one of the local Kestrel predating one of the newly hatched Little tern chicks from the beach, lets hope this wont be a regular occurrence??

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Babby Boom

Its looking like a bumper year for breeding birds this year with the current fine weather, after a very mild winter it seems like every where you look there are juvenile birds about, and lets hope theres at least another brood to come with most species before the summers out.

Grey Wagtail & Grey Heron are just two of the species that have done well along my local urban stream.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Short - toed eagle 15/6/14

After missing this bird last weekend down at the New Forest,  I was chomping at the bit to have another go, and with the bird relocating just an hours drive from home on Sunday (fathers day) it was an opportunity not to be sniffed at.

After receiving the usual ''best dad in the world'' card and cooking the Sunday lunch, I done what every normal good father does on fathers day and desserts his family in search of a rare bird!!

Good job I have an understanding relationship with my Wife and Son that sees me selfishly sod off when needs must!

Arriving down at Ashdown forest some one hour and fifteen minutes later (6pm), curtesy of my sat-nav taking me through every possible country lane through Kent and west Sussex, I duly arrived as many a birder were making there way back to the car park fully satisfied of there views of this Mediterranean mega
.  It looked like I was gonna be out of luck as the bird had flown some distance up the valley.

Luckily the Bradnums were on hand to save the day and led me to where the bird was last seen to land, but with no joy we split up along the valley and just as I was about to disappear into a dip a passing jogger (my hero!) calls out to me to look up behind me, and there was the SHORT-TOED EAGLE looking down on me before heading off down the valley.  BOOOOOM

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Ringing Kestrel's

Was lucky enough to be involved in ringing a Kestrel brood yesterday.  After the morning early mist net session we popped along to a local farm where they have been breeding over the last decade.

With both the parents nowhere to be seen, it was perfect timing for us to process these birds and it was amazing to see how docile these young birds were, and amazing birds to see so close up.

All three birds in good shape, probably 2.5 weeks old, but unlike larger raptors which can be sexed on size, Kestrels are pretty much the same size in both sexes so can not be aged until very much later.

Jcb - every ringer should have one.