Sunday, March 27, 2011


The eyes have it

You've got to keep a firm grip, or the hawk won't hesitate to grip you...


Massive thanks to my trainer, Del, for phoning me when he'd caught this male Sparrowhawk in his garden and then letting me come round to ring it!

You always handle any bird with respect, but when it's got razor-sharp talons ready to grab you, and a bit of an attitude, you're onto another level entirely...

In the final picture you can see the contrast in the secondaries (and alula) between older, brownish, feathers, and newer bluish-grey ones. That shows that this bird hatched the year before last.

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Frolicking frogs

Common Frogs frolicking

Common Frogs frolicking

Common Frogs frolicking

Common Frogs frolicking

Went ringing again this morning. Didn't catch much, but the garden pond was stuffed full of these fantastic frogs. Love 'em!

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ringing at Beeston

We we were on track to get the 2,000th bird ever to be ringed at Beeston today, and so we did. And at least it wasn't a Dunnock or Blue Tit (though they're nice in their own ways, we catch them all the time). It was a handsome male Goldfinch.

Male Goldfinch - the 2,000th bird to be ringed at Beeston
We also caught a handful of Siskins, which we don't normally... The first bird of the day was an adult male which was laden with fat (fuel for migration) and weighed in excess of 16g. The other Siskins we trapped were more around the 13g mark. Quite a big difference for a small bird.

First bird of the morning - an adult male Siskin

Smallest, lightest bird of the day - a male Goldcrest, which tipped the scales at less than 5g!

Reed Bunting
Male Reed Bunting caught in the garden

Mistletoe - untouched by birds!

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

Monday, March 07, 2011