Wednesday, 15 October 2014

14th October

It was a very windy morning with a force 5 gusting 6-7. The wind dropped by the afternoon and a few sheltered nets were opened. Half a dozen Goldcrests and a probable Northern Treecreeper (ssp. familiaris). Photos were sent to Martin Garner for confirmation. Both Martin and Adam Hut agreed that it was a Northern Treecreeper.

13th October

A much quieter day with only 10 new birds. A yellow-browed warbler was trapped on the second round.

12th October

A clear day with light westerly winds overnight. A good days ringing with approximately 60 birds ringed. Highlights included  Jay (the first to be trapped and ringed in the coastal park), a female Sparrowhawk and two female Bullfinches.

 (c) Harry Richardson

(c) Harry Richardson

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

27th August

Yesterday afternoon saw the first scarcity of the autumn being found in the form of a greenish warbler by Paul Cook. Nets were opened soon after sunrise. It was fairly quiet with a garden warbler trapped and then the greenish warbler found its way into one of the nets. This is a new ringing species at the site after last years bird escaped from the nets, not once but twice. The bird showed well for a few hours after release in the Big Mound.

greenish warbler © Jason Thompson

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Spring brief summary

This spring was again fairly quiet on the bird front. Whitburn is never going to be like Portland but it has had some good spring migrants in the past including melodious warbler and Isabelline shrike. It can be worth the effort though as the team found out this spring. On the 31st May the team went along to the Big Mound to see what was about and heard what they thought was a marsh warbler singing. They set a few nets near to where it was singing and a few net rounds later the bird was in the net and in-hand identification confirmed it was indeed a marsh warbler and therefore a first for the obs. The following day an acro was heard singing in the same spot as the previous days marsh warbler. Nets were routinely set and as per yesterday a few net rounds later an acro was in the net, however it was unringed and looked different from the previous days warbler. In hand characteristics and measurements all pointed towards Blyth's reed warbler, another new ringing species for the obs. Photos below show the two warblers.
marsh warbler
© John Chapman

© John Chapman

Blyth's reed warbler

© John Chapman

© Harry Richardson

© Harry Richardson

© Harry Richardson

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Woodland management

The Coastal Conservation Group have joined up with the ringing team to undertake some much needed woodland management.  An excellent team of volunteers have planted hundreds of native trees within the coastal park and one of these areas is within the horse shoe of the Big Mound.  The area has been fenced of with a new fence line. The woodland within the Big Mound has become overgrown and unsuitable for trapping birds.  Over the past few years the ringing group and volunteers have been removing trees and reducing the height of other trees with great success. This weekend a team were out reducing the height of roadside plantation.

Photos below are from this winter and show the great work of the ringing group and CCG.

Thank you to all of those that have helped with habitat management in and around the coastal park.

 New fence line on the southern edge of the Big Mound.

 Tree planting on the southern edge of the Big Mound.

Woodland management with Dougie, Jason and Harry © Jaye Louise Scott

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

15th October

Rain at dawn and continued NE winds meant hopes were high for a moderate catch, although numbers caught recently at Spurn (444) and Gib Point (314) are shear dreams for us.  Catching started off well with redwings and a single song thrush. Blackcaps arrived in number today as well as more goldcrests.  Surprise of the day came when a goldcrest bearing a ring inscribed with "RKS Museum Stockholm".

Ringing totals = 75 birds of 11 species.
redwing (20), blackbird (13), blackcap (11), wren (5), great tit (3), robin (3), chiffchaff (2) and singles of song thrush, greenfinch and brambling.