• Disappointing today--but good totals overall

    After reports of a lot of birds at the feeder yesterday--following the good catch last Friday, we turned up ever hopeful this morning. unfortunately it wasn't to be--perhaps the thick mist played a part--or perhaps it's just getting towards the end of the season--but we ended with only about 20 new birds and not many retraps. 3 Brambling, 2 Common Redpoll and 14 Lesser Redpoll were the highlights.

    In a quiet moment ( is all morning!) and between bacon and sausage sarnies, we did a quick tot up of the key species we have ringed at the feeder this year. Given the generally lousy weather and low number of visits-270 Lesser Redpoll, 35 Common( Mealy) Redpoll and 44 Brambling is not a bad result--plus the as yet to be clarified source of the controls we have had.

    We intend to try again--more news then.

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  • Feeders still very active

    we had another session at the Chase feeding station last Friday with a good catch yet again. Although we had a lot of same-site retraps, we also had 58 new birds showing that there is a continuous passage of birds into and out of the site--mainly as these species prepare to move back north to breed.

    The total comprised:-

    28 Lesser Redpoll

    6 Common Redpoll (plus 1 control)

    20 Brambling

    2 Chaffinch

    1 Great tit

    1 Blackbird

    The growing number of Brambling in particular is indicative of their return movement through Britain (possibly having wintered in France or Spain), on their way back to Scandinavia and points north and east.

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  • A Mealy Brilliant Morning!!!

    A near perfect morning today with light winds,overnight frost and gradually warming sunny morning gave us great hope as we set the feeder nets at 07.00hrs. We were not disappointed with a series of big catches. Although we had lots of retrap Redpoll, we still managed 60 new birds comprising 26 Lesser Redpoll, 10 Mealy Redpoll, 9 Brambling, 5 Chaffinch and 2 Siskin plus a few other bits and bobs. In addition we had a control L Redpoll, a control Mealy Redpoll and a control Brambling--all British ringed birds--but we musn't be greedy. A brilliant morning rounded off by bacon sarnies and tea--thanks Jim!!

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  • Over 50's Friday

    Today saw a visit by Jim and Ben to our Cannock Chase feeding station,.

    A late start but a great first catch as 30 Common and Lesser redpoll were caught and ringed. Strangely the only birds in the net at the time of our first round were Redpoll.

    As the morning progressed we welcomed more species such as Dunnock, Great tits, Blue Tits, Siskin (male and female ) and this stonking Male Brambling

    We ringed over 50 birds this morning with 45 of them being Redpolls (four of them being controls)

    We look forward to hearing where the controls were from and when they were ringed

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  • Great, but could have been so much better!!

    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.

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  • Free Bird Ringing Demonstration

    Our Group will be conducting a Free Bird Ringing Demo at:

    Wm Wheat & Son

    520 Chester Road

    Aldridge

    WS9 OPU

    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

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  • Down at the feeders

    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!

    Scott

    @ScottoftheMarsh

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  • Ton - Up Tuesday

    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

    Goldcrest 6

    Dunnock - 1

    Robin - 3

    Really promising for future sessions and looking forward to finding out the movement on the control Redpoll.

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  • End of the season at Sandon

    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!)

    Read more...
  • A resighting of a different kind!

    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

    Read more...

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