Saturday, 31 December 2011
Thursday, 29 December 2011
Exactly a year ago, bored with television and having eaten all the Christmas Quality Street I decided to take a night time walk to the top of our farm here in West Wales with a teenage relative to introduce him to woodcock ringing. Sadly earlier last year this young lad had lost his mother after a sudden illness and this was his first Christmas without her.
He was completely captivated when I managed to catch the only woodcock we saw that night and was thrilled to be able to ring it with me.
A short while after this he decided that he wanted to write an article for the junior section of the RSPB magazine about this experience, it was accepted and will be published in their January issue. He comes from a literary background and we all hope that he will be inspired by this early success to follow in his mother's footsteps and like her become a journalist.
How nice it was to be able to complete this story by calling him on Christmas day this year to tell him that I had received an email from Tony Cross informing me that this ring had been recovered from near to Saint Petersburg in Russia.
Wednesday, 28 December 2011
A bit of very rash and show-off, off-roading, in a toy 4x4 followed, which resulted in my car being buried right up to it's axels in the middle of a very wet grass field (well bog, actually) in the middle of absolutely nowhere!! No end of pushing and shoving was going to move it (some of us did try!) so an emergency call to Terence Lambert at 10.30pm saw Paul and Marc off home to their beds. I got to spend another 10 hours trying to keep warm before being dragged out backwards by Tom Jones (no, not that one!) in his brand new (but no-longer clean and shiny) tractor!
Many thanks indeed to both Terence and the Jones's for their immediate and good-natured assistance! Never has a hot cup of tea been so welcome!
Photos to follow no doubt!!!
Just received, Marc in mud! Not sure that was his original footwear though!!!
May be more yet?
Saturday, 24 December 2011
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
Tuesday, 20 December 2011
In all 52 species were recorded and 19 species were caught including Tristram's Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Serin, Firecrest and Rock Bunting.
If anyone sees a Ring Ouzel this coming year please check it for colour-rings. The odds aren't great but those 9 have got to go somewhere!
Sunday, 11 December 2011
White L, Yellow V, ringed on the same day however, was seen on 19th November 2011 by Dave Astins at Hook, Pembrokeshire 173 kms SSW.
Off to Morocco with Mick Green and Paddy Jenks for a week catching and colour-ringing Ring Ouzels (hopefully!) tomorrow. With any luck there will be some photos to post when we return!
Tuesday, 6 December 2011
Not sure what you call a five thing hat-trick but have finally managed to ring all five regular breeding owls in one year.
Monday, 5 December 2011
My London-based sisters-in-law, Jane and Ange enjoying a close encounter with some unfamiliar nightlife.
Sunday, 4 December 2011
With a fantastic number of birds dazzled in October, I wondered if I had peaked too soon! Fortunately it would appear that the good run of birds is going to continue thoughout the winter with another (very) respectable number of birds dazzled in November. As you can see from the table below, the catches in both months were very simular. The two totals that have stood out for me so far are:
1) 5 Jack Snipe - it may not seem that many, but my guess it that it will probably be somewhere between 5%-10% of the total caught in Britain & Ireland in 2011.
2) 8 Woodcock - I would have expected to be well in to double figures by now. It's not even because I'm missing them, there just aren't many around here at the moment! Where are they all?
I can't wait to see what December brings - BRING IT ON!!
Saturday, 3 December 2011
At my first site near Llanerfyl the birds were a bit jumpy, but I still managed to bag 1 Golden Plover, 1 Woodcock and another Jack Snipe (my 6th of the winter - where are they all coming from??)
Not satisfied with what I had caught I then headed up to the the Ceri ridge way where I knew of a reliable fields for Snipe. Within 5 mins or so I had caught one (JACKPOT - the elusive hat-trick achieved - Snipe, Jack Snipe and Woodcock), shortly followed by another 4 more! The night was rounded off with another 4 Golden Plovers.
A Good night all round!!
Thursday, 1 December 2011
The 18 birds caught included 1 last winter re-trap, 1 same night re-trap, 6 new adults and 10 new juveniles.