Friday 4 January 2019

Late December 2018

Following on from the work done on the visit on the 16th (just below in this post) we were able to set up the two new 18 metre net rides along with the usual three. The new nets worked with the one in the top patch of scrub catching a Fieldfare, Starling, 2 Blackbirds and best of all a Mistle Thrush. Mistle Thrushes are very difficult to catch and we've only caught 2 fledged birds in the past 5/6 years.

John and I were joined by Ken and his trainee James, who was able to add three new species which is always a good day. One of the three Fieldfares caught was released unringed but it happens!
We are really noticing the drop off in Chaffinch numbers, or should I say, the number that we are catching - perhaps the ones present are all ringed!

Mistle Thrush

Castlerock Golf Club - Saturday 24th December 2018
                      New      Retrap

Blackbird        3            
Bullfinch         1             1             
Fieldfare          2
Goldfinch         1
Greenfinch      6
Mistle Thrush  1
Robin                             3

Song Thrush   1
Starling           1
Wren               1

Total              17              4                


16th December 2018

This morning the focus was more so on preparing the new net rides and together we have cut two new 18 metre net rides and a 6m dog leg off once of these. We are eyeing up another 12m ride also but we will see how these new ones work and see if we can increase the catch of the Fieldfare!

We had the three usual nets open and caught a few birds and again another single Fieldfare, caught in the same net. I did have another in the nets but it flipped out on approach. We will probably use 19x19mm 4 shelf nets in these new rides which are better for catching larger birds as the finer mesh 15x15mm 5 shelf nets have cost us at least 3 Fieldfares so far this season (but do catch the smaller passerines better).


Castlerock Golf Club - Saturday 16th December 2018
                      New      Retrap
Blue Tit           3             1
Bullfinch         3             3             
Fieldfare          1
Greenfinch                    1

Linnet             1
Robin              1

Song Thrush   1
Wren               1

Total              11              5                

A Merlin made an appearance mid morning and made a kill over the river which appeared to be a Fieldfare. The bird was certainly very heavy as the bird made a sharpish landing on the rocks before slipping into the Marram Grass.

The local Otter family also gave us a bit of a show with three feeding right along the rock armour and it looks as though they had been running about the shoreline before I arrived.

One of three Otters present

Otter tracks

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