Monday, 14 May 2018

13/05 Thatcham Marsh LNR CES 02

Location: Thatcham Marsh LNR CES visit 02
Session: 13-May-2018 05:30 to 10:30hrs
Headlines: Capture similar to 2017’s visit 02 but as for visit 01, fewer birds captured in the additional scrub nets. Three Reed Buntings is unusual as they usually become net shy before the start of the CES; these individuals were new birds though. We had a reasonable arrival of Reed Warblers and a few Sedge Warblers also. The capture of these core species did not match last years equivalent visit so hopefully many more are due. A total of 33 from the standard nets is a little above the average of 32 for this visit; range 15-2016 52-2011.
Weather: Bright sunny, some cloud early, clearing later, warm, calm.
Present: JL, IW, JHW, DL, GB
Nets: 252metres, a reed bed ride of 108M + 90M (CES standard nets) and additional nets in scrub, one 36M ride and one 18M ride all up from 06:10 to 10:10 hrs
Lure (none):
Capture (New/Recapture)
39(22/17) CES 2018.02
46(24/22) CES 2017.02 (date 13-May)
Species
New
Rtp
BLABI
1

BLACA
2

BULLF
1

CETWA
1
4
DUNNO
1

GRETI
1
1
LOTTI

1
REEBU
3

REEWA
7
9
SEDWA
3
2
WREN
2

Species
New
Rtp
BLABI

2
BLUTI

3
BULLF

2
CHIFF
2

DUNNO

1
GOLDC

1
GRETI
1

REEWA
13
8
ROBIN
1

SEDWA
6
4
WREN
1
1
Last 12 totals for visit 02
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
26
36
36
30
52
39
30
36
26
15
38
33
Recaptures: (17) most are recent except:
Cetti’s Warbler one ringed 2014 and another 2017
Great Tit ringed 2015
Long-tailed Tit ringed 2017
Reed Warbler one ringed 2015, two ringed 2016 and two ringed 2017.

Sightings 48 Species: Ian’s list. Greylag Geese noisily flying about, a big acceptor high over caused a bit of a stir but we decided it was just a big female Sparrowhawk. Swifts were busily flying about also a few House Martins and Sand Martins but no Swallows, otherwise much as expected.

07/05 Nest Box Checking

I did another round of nest box checking week commencing 07-May-2018. On Tuesday checked the Peaked Hill/Aldernbridge Gully boxes at Greenham Common (32 boxes) Thursday checked boxes at the Bagnor Estate (37 Boxes) and Snelsmore Common (61 boxes); total 130 boxes and 92 occupied. Most had sitting birds, two at least had chicks and I ringed the Nuthatches (6 chicks at FS stage) at Snelsmore Common on Saturday. On my last visit to box A05 at Mount Hill I found a dead Blue Tit trampled into the nest debris. It had been ringed at the Bagnor Feeder October 2017. I was not sure of the ID of the eggs but thought the eggs were Great Tit, sure enough on this visit there was a sitting Great Tit. Either the Blue Tit was caught and killed by the Great Tit pair when investigating the box or the Great Tit pair had usurped the box and killed the original occupant. At the same box while only a three steps up the ladder, a young Badger wandered by; unusual to see one out and about three or four hours after dawn.
Looks like peak hatching for many of my boxes will be week commencing 14-May so the week after I should be busy pullus ringing.
Species
Occupied
BLUTI
55
COATI
1
GRETI
29
NUTHA
7

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

06/05 Thatcham Marsh LNR CES 2018.01


Location: Thatcham Marsh LNR
Session: 06-May-2018 05:30 to 10:30hrs
Headlines: A really nice day, perhaps to bright. It appeared to very quiet acrocephalus-wise on the reed bed, it proved even quieter in the scrub. We captured a few Reed Warblers at a steady rate for most of the morning, Sedge Warbler are relatively scarce so far this year particularly when compared to last year’s visit one capture, when it look like we picked up passage birds on their way north. Comparison with last year’s visit one CES is perhaps a little iffy as the season started a week later. The capture of 25(excluding one from additional nets) was down on the average of 31. In 2017 there were 28 captured in the standard nets so not much difference really. Range for visit one is 7 in 1998 to 63 in 2004.
Weather: Bright, sunny, clear, warm, calm
Present: JL, IW, DL, JHW, JPM
Nets: 234metres 198M standard nets reed bed ride and 24metres additional net Scrub ride up from 06:00 to 10:00hrs
Lure (none):
Capture (New/Recapture)
26(14/12) CES 2018.01
34(19/15) CES 2017.01 (30-Apr)
Species
New
Rtp
BLABI
1

CETWA

3
DUNNO

1
GRSWO

1
LOTTI
2
1
REEWA
7
5
SEDWA
4

WREN

1
Species
New
Rtp
BLABI

1
BLACA
1

CETWA

2
CHIFF

2
DUNNO
1
1
GRAWA
1

GRETI

1
LOTTI

3
REEWA
2
2
ROBIN
1
1
SEDWA
11
2
Recaptures:  (12) recent except:
CETWA ringed 24-Sep-2017
DUNNO ringed 18-Sep-2016
GRSWO ringed 01-May-2015
REEWA 04-Jun-2016, 03-Jul-2016, 27-Aug-2016

Sightings 47 Species: Ian’s list, a small flock of House Martins flying about and some Herring Gulls moving west probably the best birds. The Water Rails were quiet apart from one that buzzed the end of one of the nets. Most of the “common” summer migrants are in now except, hopefully, for more Reed and Sedge Warblers. For this site, scarce migrants we have yet to detect are: Lesser Whitethroat and Grasshopper Warbler.

04/05 Greenham Common

A visit to the Western Enclosure, Greenham Common on the 04-May-2018 with the usual 48metres of nets in three rides up from 07:45 to 10:30 produced six birds. Captures are low this time of year as we don't use lures and so are reliant on birds wandering from scrubby heath into the enclosure. With plenty of Linnet about this is the time of year when we are most likely to capture one or two. The recaptured Greenfinch had been ringed here as a 1st summer 05-Nov-2017. There is no 2017 equivalent visit
06(05/01)
Species
New
Rtp
GARWA
 1

GOLDF
 1

GREFI
 1
1
LINNE
 1

WHITE
 1

Species 38 Sightings: A pair of Red-legged Partridge have taken up residence on the heath, Cuckoo are relatively scarce on the heath in recent years, so it was good to hear and see one. There may have been three male Stonechats but not sure as the birds were quite mobile. The Dartford Warblers seen earlier in the year here seem to have been moved on or worse by the cold snaps in early spring.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

03-May Nest Box Checking

After a week in the sunny Med, this week I checked 124 nest boxes; 92 were occupied. Many with eggs, some may have been miss-identified species-wise, after a while Blue Tit and Great Tit eggs look the same despite the size and shape difference.
Monday I checked the boxes at Peaked Hill/Aldernbridge Gully. Tuesday I first did my Clapton Breeding Bird Survey from about 06:30hrs and  then checked the Snelmore Common and Winterbourne Holt Boxes. Wednesday it rained again! Today, Thursday 3rd May, I did the Winterbourne Woods BBS and then checked the Bagnor Estate boxes.
I had intended to visit the Sand Martin bank as the water keeper says that no martins have been seen there yet which is a bit of a concern. There have been some quite big movement of them through Lower Farm GP over the last week or so. I didn't get to the bank as on the way my front brakes began to fall apart so I got the car to Motech, Ampere Road as quick as I could. Arrived just before 12:00hrs and they were very busy but put the Xtrail on the lift when I shown them some bits of disk pad that had fallen off. A full set of front pads, two new disc and a new caliper to replace a seized one was needed. I feared a weekend without transport. Fortunately they said they would repair it that day. A phone call two hours later confirmed it was ready to collect. Two and half hours from taking it in without an appointment to being repaired, good service or what; £451.04 hurt a bit, most of it was for parts though.
A Coal Tit is unusual for us, we have only had a couple before in over thirty years of nest boxing. It looks like Blue Tit may be out of sync again this year as most have incomplete clutches so they are at least two weeks from hatching if they begin sitting today and most trees are already breaking into leaf. Most Great Tits are sitting as are Nuthatch so they should chicks in time for the caterpillar harvest in two or three weeks time. It could go pear shaped for all if we get more heavy rain at the wrong time. It is a pretty good occupation this year. The Greenham Common occupation is a bit light but I think there are more natural nest hole opportunities there than at the other sites.
Species
Bagnor Estate
Snelsmore Common
 Greenham Common
Grand Total
Blue Tit
17
34
10
61
Coal Tit
1
1
Great Tit
8
11
4
23
Nuthatch
1
5
1
7
Grand Total
26
49
16
92
Not Occupied
11
8
14