Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Ty'n y Caeau 30/11/2016

After a wait we managed to get back to doing some ring at the farm. Heather, Phil and Chris arrived at first light and it was pretty damn chilly.
After a few struggles we had the nets up (2x40' and 5x60') and as we waited for the first net round there was large flock of Redwing with the odd Fieldfare just hanging around in the Hawthorn between us and the nets. Only 1 found its' way into the catching area but lets be thankful we at least caught that one. Next time we must remember to have some Redwing sound available.

With the sun up it was a little warmer and we caught a fair spread of species before calling it a day at around 10:30.

Total for the day:

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Ty'n y Caeau - 3/11/16 the DJ Rules

To benefit from the work done on the field at Church Farm we decided to get the nets up by first light and it paid off.
Heather, Cedwyn, Chris, and our new recruit Leighton were at the site by 06:15 and had the usual nets up before  a glorious dawn.

With those in place we decided to put up the short 2 shelf nets up at the field edge of the crop to add to our catching options.

Next step was for our resident DJ, Cedwyn to choose the music for the morning and his choice proved decisive.
Not exactly sure what he used but I think it may have been the Vaughan Williams classic "A Lark Ascending" and possibly the less well known Robert Schumann "The Happy Farmer, Returning From Work" within a very short time this choice resulted in a Skylark obviously, and 3 Redwing (a somewhat tenuous link here, you'll have to work it out yourself).
The crop is doing very well this year even though there is no sign of any sunflower. John who farms this land told me it was because the leather jackets like the seed and it would need to be controlled with chemical spray which is not the best idea. However there were plenty of birds around including large flocks of Wood pigeon and Jackdaw overhead. Once the feeding stations are located we should be in for some good catches.
Whilst we didn't succeed in catching them there were also Greenfinch around which is good to see. Also a number of Sparrowhawk were spotted during the morning.
With the wind getting up and it becoming very cold we packed up about 10:30 after a relatively small but very varied catch.

Totals for the day:

Sunday, 30 October 2016

KNNR Reserve Centre - 30/10/2016 was it BST or GMT

After much confusion over what time to start the session, given the alteration of the clocks, it was decided that the best ploy was to ignore the clocks and arrive at Kenfig at first light (06:30 if you must know).
Heather, Dave and Chris set up 2 x 60' nets adjacent to the reserve centre.
It transpired that the birds were obviously having a lie in today or had forgotten to set their alarms as we didn't catch a thing until 09:10, and as we had to finish at 10:00 it was a pretty small total.

We were however able to releave the boredom by repairing one of the older 60' nets.

Totals for the day:

CES 12 - 1/9/2016 - At Last

Apologies for the late update to the CES ringing results.
Having completed 11 of the 12 sessions it was good to see a better result , though not quite as good as 2014.

Results for the day:

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Tyn Y Caeau - 27/10/2016

After doing some initial preparation work at the site earlier in the week we decided to have a ringing session whilst doing some further ride cutting.
Heather, Phil and Chris put up the usual five nets - 2 x 40' and 3 x 60' before starting some extra strimmimg at the bottom  end of the field.

Still more to be done but the site looks like this now -

At the bottom of the field there is a 90 degree dogleg adjacent to the two fence lines.
The plan is to join up the two ride to provide plenty of options on the day.

The catch was small for the day total being:

Saturday, 6 August 2016

6/8/2016 - CES 10 - The Year Keeps Improving

Though the forecast seemed to indicate that it was marginal, when Cedwyn and Chris arrived to set up the nets the conditions were pretty near perfect. Overcast and and no wind.

With the nets up up by just after 06:00 and catching just a single bird as we left the ride, we were joined by interested birders, Kevin and Tracy, who were keen to see some birds at close quarters.

With a good selection of the standard fare for Kenfig we were soon to have a very interesting catch. A Dartford Warbler, which is a first for the site and I am pretty sure it is the first for the ringing group having looked at the records going back to 1986.

The rest of the session provided good evidence of improving breeding success with the CES total for the day being the highest number for a few years and the year total is now over 200 which with 2 sessions still to go is very encouraging.

Notable catches were a number of Garden Warblers and this rather interested (well to me anyway) looking Long-tailed Tit.
I think the picture deserves a caption, but can't think of anything suitable at the moment ( watch this space)
With the weather getting pretty warm by the session end we were pleased to be joined by Dave to process a few birds and give us a lift back to the centre.

Thanks to Kevin for the pictures, as mine were all blurry.

Totals for the day:

Saturday, 30 July 2016

30/7/2016 - CES 9 - At last, Variety and Numbers

Cedwyn, Amy and Chris were greeted at 05:30 by this rather spectacular sunrise. The picture hardly does it justice. To get the full effect you should have been there (you could then have helped put the nets up too!).
All nets up by about 06:15, a little later than usual, but this was due to the fact that some of the overnight migrating Sedge Warblers were so keen to be processed that they flew into half erected nets slowing the whole process down. We won't complain as the 3 we caught immediately increased by 100% the seasons total for the species.

The morning continued in the same vein with a seriously good haul of Sedge and Reed Warblers plus a few comparative rarities, These were

Garden Warbler ©AS

Grasshopper Warbler ©AS
The overall session was much improved on both earlier sessions this year and the yearly trend of late,which as you can see from the "Results to Date" section at right, shows that this was the best session for some time. The CES total already greater than last year and we still have 3 sessions to go.

Kenfig always has much of interest and there was also a few other things to see through the morning.
This beetle obviously in a hurry to get to its next popular habitat.

A Poplar Beetle ©AS
An interested visitor to the ringing table (Mark from the Fungi Group) pointed out some rust on Burnett Rose. Not the easiest of things to spot.
and for those (like me) more used to rust on vehicles it's highlighted.

Totals for the day:

Friday, 22 July 2016

22/7/2016 - CES 8

Cedwyn,Heather and Chris were able to get CES 8 done on a particularly good morning. There was no wind and for the first part of the session it was relatively overcast.

With all the nets up by just after 06:00 we had a Wren in the hand before we had cleared the ride. This was obviously a good omen as the overall CES catch was  good with 35 birds. As an indication this is not too far short of the session 8 average (47) and has in fact only been bettered twice since 2006.

The scrub net was not as productive this time as it has on previous occasions.

Plenty of juveniles being caught though the numbers of sedge warblers is still very low. Another lesser whitethroat this session, plus a number of bullfinches made for an interesting morning

On what became a very hot morning it was welcome to have a lift back to the reserve centre.

Totals for the day:

Sunday, 3 July 2016

3/7/2016 CES 6 - Late again

A day late for the CES session again. We'll be getting a reputation soon. All down to the poor weather is our excuse.
However Heather and Chris took advantage of a short window of opportunity just a day late. It was well worth it as we had a better catch and two less than usual birds for a CES session, namely a Lesser Whitethroat and a Treecreeper.
Also included in the catch was a control, so we await with interest where this Reed Warbler may have first been caught. Watch this space.
The CES total of 30 birds was well up on recent years so fingers crossed for the year total. The fact that we have only had 2 Sedge Warblers in the catch this season is not good news though.

Not much else to report on the day and no photos I'm afraid, the treecreeper looked far too glum to publish its pic.

Totals for the day:

Sunday, 26 June 2016

23/6/2016 - CES 5 - A Better Day

Dave, Cedwyn, and Chris took advantage of a break in the dreadful weather to get CES 5 done albeit a day late.
With no wind and little sun it was all set for a good session, with the usual nets up by 06:10.
We were rewarded with an better catch than we have had so far this CES season, and also well up on the equivalent session last year, though it may be premature to think things overall will be improved over recent seasons.

Releasing birds from the net can on occasion be challenging but the skill can be honed to perfection by some of the other creatures needing to be released. Last session included a number of dragonfly which I should have mentioned were expertly dealt with by Wayne, and this week another task was to remove other invertebrates.
First up was a an Early Bee, happily a male so didn't have to worry about being stung.
The second was a Bee Beetle which as I hope you will agree from the photo was well worth the effort, they are quite pretty and again there is no sting to be concerned about. The dragonflies can give you a bit of a nip.

"Bee"ing freed from the net

"you looking at me???"
Totals for the day:

Friday, 3 June 2016

3/6/2016 - CES 4 - Some added interest this morning.

Cedwyn,Wayne and Chris met at before 05:30 and had the nets up just on 6am. Somewhat overcast at first but it was soon bright and sunny, with almost no wind.
Small catches each net round at least kept us entertained and interestingly we had 3 bullfinch which are not regular birds for the site.
We had seen what is probably the most abundant bird on the reserve, whitethroat, around the area adjacent to the ringing table, but we don't catch large numbers of them in the CES nets. Wayne did however spot  a pair obviously feeding a brood. On closer inspection he found the nest and we were able to ring 5 pulli. They were relatively well feathered, and well attended by the parent birds, so it will be interesting to see if they are retrapped later in the season, or in future years.

Totals for the day:

Sunday, 29 May 2016

28/5/2016 - CES 3 - More of the same

Not much change in the numbers of birds even though at the outset the weather looked perfect. So where are the birds.
The wind did get up substantially later in the session which may have had an affect.

Totals for the day :

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

17/5/16 - CES 2 - An Eggciting Upward Trend.

05:30 - perfect - No wind and overcast.
Heather and Chris had the standard net runs up in short order. Now lets wait for the birds.
Another quiet morning with small numbers  but from the results you can see the substantial 8.5% increase in bird numbers for the CES ride from last week - a pleasing trend. The fact that it only represents 1 more bird is perhaps less inspiring. Let's hope the juveniles start appearing soon as most birds had brood patches in evidence.
Later in the morning there was the threat of rain which didn't actually materialize but the wind did get up a little earlier than initially predicted.
Dave joined us to assist with the clearing up and had found an egg on the path to the ride. ID not known.
Any guesses?
The smart money says COOT but not really sure
Totals for the Day:

Thursday, 12 May 2016

12/5/16 - CES 1 - Another Season Begins

Dave and Chris arrived on what was a perfect morning for ringing. Overcast and no wind at all.
Kenfig from the car park
CES Ride.
We set about putting up the standard run of 6x18m nets on the CES ride. After the previous days rain the already high water level was a challenge. Waist waders only just up to the challenge at the far end of the ride. Even though we had spent a few hours earlier in the month setting up the poles we still had to make a few minor adjustments.
As can be seen we will have to do some "gardening' along trhe ride in the near future.

Next we set up the additional 2x18m run of nets at WPS ride, as we were not expecting too much in the CES nets.
As the observant will note this ride too is very wet.


With everything ready.

 Let's get  this session going.

We were soon ringing birds.
But not to get everyone too excited we did only end up with a fairly modest total but a selection of species. The session was marred by a short sharp downpour at about 7am but luckily we had the two birds out quickly and furled the nets.
It only lasted about 5 minutes and then the rest of the morning was a mixture of bright and hazy sunshine.

Some highlights

 A Cetti's Warbler displaying its trademark tail.


Then a favourite bird the Lesser Whitethroat.
White crescent in iris shows the bird to be an adult.
Totals for the day:


Friday, 11 March 2016

Kenfig - 11/3/2016

Just a quick entry to keep up to date.
Cedwyn, Chris started at first light for a short session. All done by 09:30

Totals for the day:

Monday, 29 February 2016

Kenfig NNR - 29/2/16

First session of the year at Kenfig NNR. Cedwyn and Chris decided that it was time to check if the regular feeding that Dave was doing adjacent to the centre car park was having the desired effect, namely to tempt in the local Reed Bunting population.

It was pretty cool to set up at just before dawn at 06:30, cool meaning -5C, so the extra thermal layers were pretty essential.

Just 2 lines of 60' net were put up as we needed to be away by around 9am.

The first net round was an immediate indication of the effect of plying them with millet, as there were 9 REEBU in for an early feed plus a blackbird.

The Reed Bunting formed the majority of the catch which, all in all, we regarded as a reasonable success for the short session.

Totals for the day:

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Ty'n y Caeau - 16/2/2016

On a very sunny but also very cold morning (-6 C when we arrived) Cedwyn and Chris were joined by a new trainee, Lauren, for what we hoped would be a good session.  Unfortunately the birds hadn't heard how nice a day it was and never really turned up.

Very quiet with only 8 birds caught all morning.

Totals for the day:

Monday, 25 January 2016

Ty'n y Caeau - 23/1/2016 - First of the year for KRG

After what seemed to be an interminable period of poor weather we have at last rung ( or should that be ringed) in the new year well after the usual 1st of Jan. dateline.

Anyway Cedwyn, Phil and Chris set up the nets for first light, and whilst it all sounded very quiet we were pleased to have a handful of Yellowhammer in the nets before we had completed the job.

The rest of the morning was fairly quiet but it did mean we had time to have a good look at the birds and get into the swing of ageing etc.

Late on we were rewarded with a fairly unusual catch - a Skylark.

There were plenty of birds around and hopefully the extra feeding will mean better catches later in the season.

Totals for the day: