Sunday, 29 January 2012

AM Reds and PM Golds

This weekend Kane and I travelled up to Manchester for a weekend's ringing with Ciaran, Chris & Zac. On Saturday I left the house early to met up with Steve Christmas for a mist netting session at Walkden while the guys went to Atherton woods for an all day session.

My ringing session was fairly quiet but we did manage to catch a good number of Redpolls and a rather welcome retrap Great Spotted Woodpecker, as well a one (mandatory!) Blue Tit.

A lovely bright male

Taken shortly before drawing blood from poor Steve!

I finished my session up at around luchtime and so headed over to find the guys in the woods via McDonalds for 'supplies'! The main aim of the day's ringing session in Atherton Woods was to collect data for ZSL on Avian Pox as well as to help Zac with his dissertation project. 20 Blue Tits were recruited into Zac's project and 2 birds were caught showing signs of Avian Pox. A superb variety of birds were processed including my very first and long awaited Goldcrest.

A cracking male Nuthatch and one of my favourite woodland birds

Smile for the camera!

My very first Goldcrest!

Ciaran with 2 of the 3 Treecreepers

Sunday saw us mist netting in Kane's garden and of course no weekend would be complete without a Coot session. The highlight of the garden session was catching a bright male Bullfinch.

All talk and no bite these guys!

Whilst out at Crompton Lodges I attempted to catch my first Tufted Duck but all I ended up with was a purple hand to match my nail varnish! Next time perhaps...

New recruits at Crompton

Big thanks goes to Steve Christmas, Michael & Mary, Kane & the gang. Another weekend done and soon it will be time for us to head back down to Slimbridge.

Some of the gang hard at work

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Scottish Success

The day has finally come for our first Scottish Coot recovery. On the 18th January we received news from Bernie Zonfrillo that CAI had been sighted at Hogganfield Loch, Glasgow. CAI was ringed at Linlithgow on 11/11/11 (coincidence?!) and travelled 36km to Hogganfield.

CAI's movements

The first recovery of the project in Scotland is very exciting and I'm looking forward to many more - if you see any colour marked Coot you can send in your sightings, with as much detail as possible, to kanebrides'@' Many thanks to Bernie for getting in touch.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Galway Gulls

To start off the year with a bang our group had a wee ringing trip to Ireland. I hadn't been to Ireland since I was little and it was great to be back again. I love Ireland, the people, the music and the pints!

We enjoyed a great week catching Black-headed gulls, Common gulls and Herring gulls. We saw some fantastic wildlife including 20+ Great Northern Divers, 10 Iceland gulls, 1 Kumlien's gull, Hooded Crows and a rather smart looking Black Guillemot flying up river in the centre of Dublin!

Kumlien's Gull (Zac Hinchcliffe)

Iceland Gull (Zac Hinchcliffe)

In total 19 Black-headed, 1 Common and 4 Herring gulls were ringed, all of which were caught by hand. Before heading to Ireland permission was obtained from the harbour master, an Irish permit was sought and the local police in Galway were informed of our ringing activities.

Black-headed Gull

The trip was not just about ringing though as we all enjoyed a relaxing break after a hectic year. We spent most nights listening to the live Irish music that fills the quaint little pubs and bars and of course we could't go a trip to Ireland without sampling some of their famous Guinness too! Some top banter and Irish 'jigging' was had by all!

The 2012 Group (with Heather behind camera)

What a great start to the year and here's hoping that the rest of 2012 is as good. Thanks to everyone who came on the trip.