Monday, 7 May 2012

North West Nesting

Another end to a weekend’s nest recording and ringing down in Manchester. We started off the weekend monitoring the Tree Sparrows at WWT Martin Mere who are now in to the full swing of things, with over 70 boxes now containing chicks or eggs.

We also recorded a number of other nests at Martin Mere including Barn Owl, Stock Dove, Moorhen, Mallard and Blackbird - to name but a few. A nice surprise was getting to ring a lovely adult Stock Dove.


On Sunday ‘Team Sparra’ headed out in search of other nests and found a good variety including Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Green Woodpecker and Whitethroat. It was a great opportunity for me to pick up a few tips about nesting and I have now proudly adopted ‘the stick technique’! This being as simple as it sounds, gently tapping suitable vegetation checking for any adults sitting on nests - I even managed to find my first Chaffinch nest with my trusty stick!


Over the weekend I had a lesson in how to find, mark and record Lapwing nests. It was great to finally see a Lapwing nest up close after having ringed a few free roaming chicks last year.

We also tracked down and ringed a total of 10 Lapwing or as they're known back home Peewit chicks!
A highlight of the weekend was ringing a brood of Barn Owl chicks that had taken up residence in one of Kane’s boxes – 8 years after it had been put up! The female was also lifted off the nest and ringed.

Another great weekend and I have definitely learned a few new nest finding tricks – next stop Stirling!

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