Sunday, 15 July 2012

Little Owl ringing

I expect the brood of little owls ringed today will probably be the last pulli of the season.  Earlier in the season the pair of little owls in this box failed.  Jim checked the box again a month ago and had the female incubating.  A few checks later revealed 4 small chicks.  John was joined by Jason and Andy to ring the birds.  The female was trapped at the box but only two of the four chicks had survived this week. Pics below of the female.

© Jason Thompson

© Jason Thompson

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Poor end to one of our Song Thrushes

A song thrush ringed at Whitburn on the 2nd October 2010 was shot dead in Urrugne, France on the 15th December 2011.

Unusual Stormie movement

We all know the chances of a ringed storm petrel being retrapped is very high and on the 5th July 2009 two of our stormies were retrapped in Tullagh Point, Donegal, Ireland.  Thats no surprise as we have now had a few recoveries of our stormies in Ireland, however these two birds were trapped together at Whitburn on the 2nd August 2008 and were retrapped TOGETHER.  I am not sure of many other records of birds being trapped and then retrapped together (apart from local breeding birds, such as yellowhammers).  Below is a map of where the birds moved to, although unlikely to have crossed over England.

Sparrowhawk pulli

I have ringed quite a few birds over the years but this weekend I got to ring something new, sparrowhawk pulli.  Although we regularly catch fully grown sparrowhawks in the mist nets at Whitburn, I have not found a sparrowhawk nest before and not one that was so accessable. The nest was found during a ringing session at the coastal park, however they decided to nest right above one of the walkways between the nets.  When the nest was originally checked there were 4 cold wet eggs in the nest and we had obviously unknowingly kept the female of the nest.  I didnt have much hope for this nest at all, however we checked the nest in late june and heard chicks calling in the nest which was a huge surprise.  Again I was hoping one or two of the eggs would hatch after the eggs got cold but this must of been only a few days after they had been laid as all four eggs hatched.  Amazingly after all the wet and cold weather we have had up in newcastle, all four chicks had made it to 2 weeks old.

John and trainee Andy joined me to ring these chicks.  There was a single male and three females which were clearly much larger than the male.

Sparrowhawks (c) Adrian George

Barn Owl control

Whilst attempting to trap short-eared owls at Sharpley we also trapped a control barn owl.  Last week I received the peperwork back from the BTO.  We thought that this bird would be a locally ringed bird however it was infact ringed as a chick on the 15.07.09 near Wooler in Northumberland.  That is a movement of 93km SSE.  This movement may be part due to the severe winter weather that we have had over the last few years.