Saturday, 28 June 2014

Bit of a catchup

May, June and July are probably the busiest months for most bird-ringers as we struggle to get around all of our nest boxes, find nests, do dawn catches and, if you work on Nightjars, stay up all night catching and tracking them too!! It all doesn't leave a lot of time for anything else, including blogging!

Here then is a quick run-down of what's been happening lately.

Apart from ringing over 300 Dipper pulli and checking over 250 Pied Flycatcher/Tit nest boxes (including this one with a brood of nine Marsh Tits) 

and ringing the odd Hawfinch brood, May was mostly filled with colour-ringing over 250 Chough chicks in partnership with Adrienne Stratford

and also catching a few of the un~ringed adults

as well as confirming the identity of all the ringed breeders!

In recent years June has been devoted largely to ringing and wing-tagging Red Kites. This year we concentrated on the Red Kites in Shropshire and Herefordshire and largely ignored all those nesting in Wales as happily it is now far too big a job with so many pairs nesting.

Some of the kite nests in Shropshire are in big trees mind!!

but, hey, always up for a challenge!

Three of the 30 odd kite chicks ringed this year.

The time freed from ringing and tagging all those kites has been spent tracking down and ringing more Kestrel chicks, 46 so far 

and Merlins

Nighttimes have been spent in pursuit of Nightjars 

but dusk and dawn also provided the odd opportunity to catch Cuckoos including this female.

All the coastal Chough activity has allowed for a Fulmar or two

Fulmars, although they look gentle enough sat on a cliff ledge are best dealt with with assistance (in this case Zac Hinchcliffe see Apart from throwing-up over you like a scene from the Exorcist they are also armed with a formidable hooked beak that they aren't shy of using!

and even the occasional Shag!

Thanks to Gareth Jones for the use of the Shag and Fulmar ringing photos.

Now that the pressure is off normal blogging will resume shortly! 

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