• Welcome

    Please join us in welcoming our newest member of the team James Bellingham who is a C permit holder.

    Welcome to the team James

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  • An interesting re-trap

    Today the team were at Wm Wheat & Son, Chester Road, Aldridge. It is a fantastic site with lots of varied habitat and a number of species of birds.

    The team arrived early and the site quickly went from bright and clear to heavy mist. The nets were set at the public feeding station for our newest trainee to gain their first hands on session.

    Birds ringed through the day were:

    3 x Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Robin, Dunnock.

    Interestingly the Willow Warbler caught was a re-trap that had returned to the same area following being ringed by us in June 2014, which is an incredible journey for such a little bird.

    3 x Robin chicks were also ringed.

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  • A day at a new site

    Today some of the team were at a new private site in Great Barr, Birmingham.

    The aim was to assess where future net sites could be and see what species were about.

    In a two hour session the team caught a number of birds including the first Chiffchaff of the year.

    Other species ringed were: Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Wren, Long Tailed tit, Great Tit, Magpie

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  • Recoveries update: February 2015

    We've had a big batch of recoveries from BTO this week including 4 blackbirds, 2 great tits, 2 blue tits and singles of robin, long-tailed tit, starling, sedge warbler, lesser redpoll, greenfinch, goldfinch, buzzard, jay and storm petrel! Here are a few of the highlights:

    Bonjour mon ami!

    The sedge warbler mentioned was originally caught at one of our main sites, Belvide Reservoir, on 26th July 2014. Just 21 days, and 555km south later the bird was recaught by ringers near Treogat in France on the south coast of Brittany.

    Crossing the channel

    Another of 'our' birds has made the trip across the Channel, this time a lesser redpoll. The bird was originally caught on 11th October 2011 on Cannock Chase, before being recaught near Loppem, just outside Bruges in Belgium. The bird was recaught 570 days later.

    How old?!

    A recovery of a blackbird doesn't always raise an eyebrow but this particular bird did. Originally ringed at Belvide Reservoir by the group on 10th February 2008, the bird was recaught over 6 years later at the same site on 20th December 2014.

    Blackbirds are often overlooked as migrants unlike their relatives the fieldfare and redwing, but every winter 'our' blackbirds are joined by thousands from the continent and Scandinavia. This particular bird doesn't appear to have gone very far, but in its 6 years since we last saw it, it may have many miles under its wings. The oldest known blackbird was 19 years 3months and 8 days old, so 'our' bird may have a few more years left yet.

    A second blackbird the group caught at Shugborough was recaught at the same site just over 5 years after we orginally caught. Like the Belvide bird, it would appear not to be fond of travelling.

    A life at sea

    Every year, members of the group head north to catch storm petrels off the north coast of Scotland. Every year this produces some interesting recoveries of these amazing birds.

    The latest of these birds was caught by the group on 19th July 1998 and then recaught at Oygarden, on the Bergen Islands in south west Norway. Sadly the retrap wasn't recent, and the bird was recaught in 2001 but details have only just made it through to BTO. The group have encountered birds living to 15 years old, but they still fall short of the longevity record of 33 years 11 months and 9 days old!

    Hopefully 'our' bird is still going strong!

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  • WOW! what a day

    Today the team went to a new site named Lower Barn, Pattingham following an invite from Andy Roberts who had done a fantastic job of feeding up an area of his site where Yellowhammer, Linnet and Reed Bunting had been seen feeding.

    The team set the nets early on and waited for usual difficult task of trying to catch the elusive Yellowhammer.

    To our amazement our totals were:

    Yellowhammer 48

    Reed Bunting 11

    Chaffinch 6

    Dunnock 4

    Linnet 2

    Pretty impressive considering the yearly totals of yellowhammer ringed accross the country

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  • A good Session

    On 30th January the team were out at their Uttoxeter site and ringed 144 new birds with a number of retraps.

    Robin 14

    Tree sparrow 4

    Goldfinch 19

    Blue tit 51

    Great tit 13

    Lotti 6

    Wren 1

    Redwing 1

    Blackbird 9

    Starling 1

    Jay 1

    House sparrow 23

    One of the blue tit retraps was originally ringed on 14/07/2010

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  • Redwing Morning

    This morning two teams were out at different sites for Redwing.

    Site one is Chapel Lane Farm, Great Barr. This is a brand new site, which will be fantastic in the summer and has an ideal location for us to try for winter thrushes.

    Site two is one of our regular sites, Chillington Hall, Brewood, Staffordshire.

    Chapel Lane Farm - We set one 60 foot net and within two hours caught and ringed 14 Redwing and as many Great & Blue Tits.

    Chillington Hall - The team had four nets out today, they caught & Ringed 25 Redwing along with 2 coal tit and again the Sparrowhawk was present but elusive.

    We anticipate with better weather we would have ringed more but with stoing wind gusts today it proved difficult.

    Photo: Redwing at Chapel Lane Farm

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  • Wm Wheat Bird Ringing Demonstration

    Today saw the team conducting a Bird Ringing Demonstration at one of our regular sites, Wm Wheat & Son, Chester Road, Aldridge, which had been sponsored by Walsall MBC.

    Read about the days events here - WHEATS WILDLIFE

    The highlight of the day is when Ben made his first ever cup of tea. WELL DONE!

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  • A good morning for Redwing

    Today the team returned to a great new site, Lodge Farm, Aldridge for another attempt at Redwing.

    Our previous ringing trip saw us with a catch of 18 but we learnt alot from watching their behaviour.

    With four nets set in an improved set up we sat and waited, watching two Raven overhead.

    It was another frosty morning but with a stronger wind this time so we were unsure how we would get on.

    On the first net round we ringed 10 new birds, the following two nets rounds gave us more and more Redwing.

    Finishing on a good 43 Redwing, 2 Wren, 1 Robin & 1 Dunnock

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  • Return to Chillington Hall

    Pete Bache and Hoppy returned to Chillington Hall in attempt to improve on the Redwing catch from a couple of days ago.

    With an adjustment of the nets Pete & Hoppy in just one hour caught and ringed 33 Redwing, 1 Blackbird & 1 Goldcrest.

    The morning improved with a visit to the net by a Merlin, Sparrowhawk and Buzzard although none of the caught and ringed.

    A Good day

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All of the group's latest news from ringing sessions, trips and recoveries

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