Friday 10 July 2015

July Update

Now that most of our trips and holidays are out of the way and the weather is set fair for the next few weeks we should hopefully get out more regularly.

Last weekend Ken had a training session in his garden by the University for one of his T permit holders - Alison.  The weather was a mixed bag but they still managed a good catch of 32 birds of 11 species. 

There were a couple of nice catches for the garden including 2 House Sparrow, which are a rare commodity in the nets and a Woodpigeon.

Ringing Totals 04/07/2015
Blackbird                            3             
Blue Tit                              1
Chaffinch                           5
Coal Tit                              2       
Dunnock                            3                        
Goldfinch                           9
Great Tit                             3 
Greenfinch                         2
House Sparrow                  2
Robin                                 1
Woodpigeon                      1                                  
Total                                 32                 

On Wednesday night John, Ken and Steve had the first attempt of catching Storm Petrels this year.  Normally in the second week of July the catches range from 14-39 birds.  The weather forecast was wayward, as the suggested calmer conditions didn't materialise and left a wind blown net.  Only two birds were caught and they only hit the net prior to packing up at 2am. 

This morning I headed down to Portstewart Strand to do a bit of work on the net rides.  It was two days shy of a month since my last visit, so I was expecting there to have been a lot of growth and you can see from the picture below, my presumption proved true.  Armed with a 'whacking stick' and a pair of clippers, I was able to flatten the hogweed, nettles and the brambles in an hour, hopefully keeping the rides clear for the autumn.

The conditions were calm first thing (5-7mph wind, overcast,17°C), so I managed to open a couple of nets for about an hour and a half.  There seemed to be a few birds about but I only managed a catch of 5 new birds and the customary retrap Bullfinch.  By 9.30am the wind had picked up greatly (20mph+) so I quickly packed up and headed for home.   

Ringing Totals 10/07/2015
                                        New         Retrap        Juveniles in [ ]         
Blackbird                           1
Blackcap                            1                 
Bullfinch                                              1   
Dunnock                           [1]                                         
Robin                                [1]
Willow Warbler                 [1]                                                     

Total                                  5                1 

The dunes are looking spectacular and full of colour.  The area around the gorse nets is particularly good for Northern Marsh Orchids with plenty of Pyramidal and Common Spotted (from white to deep pink) mixed in. I also spotted my first Dark-green Fritillary butterfly for the year plus a number of Common Blue and Small Tortoiseshell.


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