By ,06-Mar-2014 12:00:00
Early morning session at the Chase feeding station resulted in a first catch of 47 new birds of which most were Redpoll. Then the rain came just as we extracted the last bird. The next hour or so was spent cursing the weather as we had to furl the nets as lots of birds kept on visiting the feeders. Eventually it eased off by which time the catch rate had dropped off a lot. However, 59 new birds was a great score--especially since 5 of the 44 Redpoll were Common/Mealy. perhaps a clue to their origin was from an already ringed 6th Mealy carrying a Norwegian ring--I wonder if it was one I ringed in Norway last year??
In addition we had 3 Brambling, 2 Siskin and a few tits--great stuff.
By ,05-Mar-2014 09:07:00
Our Group will be conducting a Free Bird Ringing Demo at:
Wm Wheat & Son
520 Chester Road
Date: Sunday 9th March 2014
Time: 10am - 12pm
Lots to see and do so why not come down and have a close encounter with the wildlife
We hope to see you there
By ,19-Feb-2014 22:12:00
Another sessions today at a feeding station on Cannock Chase which continues to attract a nice selection of birds including several lesser redpoll. Previous visits have seen over 100 birds caught but today's totals were lower perhaps owing to the milder weather encouraging many birds to start singing.
Bird of the day was a female brambling, followed closely by a control mealy (common) redpoll, check out the photo below to see the size difference to a lesser redpoll. We await news from BTO as to where this bird has come from!
By ,04-Feb-2014 22:41:00
Today 4th February 2014 saw our first trip of the year to Cannock Chase. Jim, Colin and Ben got to the feeding station for 7am, setting up early.
The feeding station has been left for a number of weeks with various feeds such as Nyger, Sunflower heart and mixed seed
The weather was dry but with a very cold strong wind, fortunately the feeding station is reasonably sheltered. We waited for day break and we could see a variety of birds dropping in around the area, also a a number of them flying off following wind gusts.
Finally our first net visit came finding a good number of birds and species. This was recipitated throughout the morning with each visit providing us with a good number of birds and species, including a gold crested Lesser Redpoll Control. Ring number L609510.
The final number for the morning was 100 birds, which may have been even better with improved weather conditions.
Lesser Redpoll - 30
Coal Tit - 25
Blue Tit - 2
Great Tit - 24
Chaffinch - 7
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 2
Dunnock - 1
Robin - 3
Really promising for future sessions and looking forward to finding out the movement on the control Redpoll.
By ,31-Jan-2014 20:58:00
The final tally from our winter roost catches at Sandon is complete with 100 birds caught over 5 visits, a marked increase from just 22 birds in the previous winter but sadly a long way short of the totals nearly decade a go when nearly 400 birds were caught.
A huge thank you to the Harrowby Estate for allowing us access to the woodland. In all 42 redwing, 12 blackbird and 32 chaffinch formed the bulk of the crop with other species caught including sparrowhawk, goldcrest, robin and coal tit.
We now look forward to a great summer season (hopefully!)
By ,11-Jan-2014 19:08:00
One of our wing-tagged buzzards has been resighting after first being ringed and tagged in June 2013. More details can be seen on Wildlife Kate's blog here
By ,27-Dec-2013 15:03:00
If you follow Wm Wheats & Son nature blog on twitter ( @wheatwildlife ) you'll have seen a great surprise visitor to the feeding station that was caught on camera.
See the video here
By ,23-Dec-2013 10:56:00
Our recent visit to Sandon was a great improvement on the previous weekend with 34 new birds caught including 19 redwing, 5 blackbird, 7 chaffinch, 1 wren, 1 coal tit and rather fittingly, a robin.
As the big day is now just around the corner, may we wish a Merry Christmas to all our ringers and followers! We hope 2014 is a productive and bird-filled year.
By ,16-Dec-2013 13:29:00
Affectionately known as the coldest place on earth, our winter roost site at Sandon was surprisingly warm on Saturday. Sadly the threat of rain closed play a little early but a small session produced 9 redwing, 7 chaffinch, 1 blackbird, 3 great tit, 1 blue tit and a retrap blackbird.
By ,26-Nov-2013 22:38:00
With the weather being a little calmer and colder of late Ben conducted a couple of ringing sessions and Wm Wheats Garden Centre. http://www.wmwheat.co.uk/nature-blog/index.htm
Ben has ringed a number of Greenfinch over those sessions, which appear to be the most common finch to eat at Wheats feeding station.
Following a quieter session he thought he would give it ten more minutes before packing away when he saw something in the net different to the usual species, on closer inspection it was a Lesser Redpoll. Extremely excited by the fact Redpolls were in the area he returned several days later where a further 6 redpoll were ringed. One being a mealy (common) Redpoll with a wing length of 74.
Whilst at the feeders the first siskin for the site was seen on what appears to be a favourite dead tree of all species.
Other sighting on and over the site have been two regular Raven and approximately 200 Redwing feeding on the trees at wheats.
This is really a promising sign of potential for this young site
Lets hope the redpolls and siskins start coming in.
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