Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My good deed for the day

My good deed for the day

Rescuing a green-veined white from the pond. Found some thyme flowers for it to fuel up with and put it in the sun to warm.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Where do birds come from?

Chiffchaff 'control'

Well, the obvious answer is 'eggs', of course. But after 18 months of bird ringing at home, I'm starting to get some interesting results - from birds I've ringed and which have then gone elsewhere ('controls'), or birds ringed elsewhere which I've then caught at a later date ('recoveries').

Before I went off to Canada, I managed to catch some warblers in a net over a ditch. Two of them were controls and another produced a recovery, which is pretty good going.

I caught a Chiffchaff which had been ringed as a young bird at Rye Meads the previous autumn, as well as the Whitethroat I mentioned in a previous post.

And I just heard about one of the Blackcaps I caught on 20 April. It had reached Rutland Water six days later, and they caught it again four days after that, by which time it had lost a couple of grams in weight so is probably breeding there. Fat is migration fuel, and there's no point carrying it around if you've arrived at your destination!

A couple of other birds have been less fortunate. A female Siskin ended up in the jaws of a cat in Sandy a few weeks later, while a Song Thrush lasted for another seven months before dying in unknown circumstances, also in Sandy.

Here's a map with the best bits so far.

View Bird movements in a larger map

In the garden

The trees are weighed down with cherries. Birds are gobbling them up and a family of foxes is enjoying what falls to the ground.

Fox eating cherries

There are two young foxes...

Fox eating cherries

They seem pretty happy wandering around in daylight.
  Fox eating cherries

Meanwhile, birds are coming to the pond for water.

Blackbird and Song Thrush

I was surprised to see such a nice-looking Broad-bodied Chaser in July

Broad-bodied Chaser

Early-nesting Bumblebees went mad for the thyme flowers.
  Bumblebee on thyme flowers

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Fluffy babies

It's that time of year again... the time for fluffy babies.

Juvenile Robin
Juvenile Robin
Juvenile Robin
This one's starting its post-juvenile moult, getting the orange breast feathers
Juvenile Wren
Juvenile Blue Tit
Blue Tit
Juvenile Coal Tit
Coal Tit
Juvenile Great Tit
Great Tit
Juvenile Great Tit
Another Great Tit
Juvenile Long-tailed Tit
The fluffiest of them all... baby Long-tailed Tit

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Crumpled wings

Common Darter with crumpled wings

Oh dear. This Common Darter won't be getting very far. As Imperfect and Tense said, it "went straight to the chapter on inflating its abdomen and missed out the page about wings."

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

My Canadian beach holiday

I spent the whole of May on the shores of Lake Erie, in Ontario, Canada
Banding kit
I was helping Bird Studies Canada with their Migration Monitoring Program at Long Point Bird Observatory
Prothonotary Warbler
We caught some pretty nice stuff. Here's a male Prothonotary Warbler
Male Blackburnian Warbler
Male Blackburnian Warbler
Male Cape May Warbler
Male Cape May Warbler
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird (didn't band them, but just handling them was AMAZING!)
Male Magnolia Warbler
Male Magnolia Warbler
Red-eyed Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Male Eastern Bluebird
Male Eastern Bluebird
White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo
Yellow-breasted Chat
Yellow-breasted Chat
Brown Thrasher
Brown Thrasher
Male Common Grackle
Male Common Grackle
Coyote tracks on the beach
It wasn't just birds. These are Coyote tracks not far from our cabin
Looking west
Gulls at the Tip of Long Point
The Tip
Early mornings take their toll after a month, but they were worth it
We watched some spectacular weather passing us by, in the middle of the lake
The outhouse facilities
Some of the facilities were a bit basic...
A good day for drying
Here's my stuff drying on the line
A fantastic gourmet meal starring freshly-picked wild asparagus, the best I've ever tasted
The Tip
Dawn at the Tip
Peaceful evening at the Tip
My last evening was beautifully calm and I didn't want to leave :o(
Boat ride home
Eventually they dragged me off in a boat and I was sent back to Blighty

photos taken with Apple iPhone