Unfortunately, other activities in 2015 took up my time so despite good intentions I didn’t get around to posting on my blog. 2015 was a fairly quiet year from a ringing perspective, mainly because the weather was poor, so I have decided to summarise the whole year’s activities in one post as I wanted to bring the blog up to date. So here goes.
The start of January saw a trip out with Colin and Stan to a site we usually use for Storm Petrels but on this occasion we were going to target Rock Pipits using spring traps. It was fairly quiet and we only managed to catch two.
At the end of the month I had a whoosh netting session with Colin in his garden. On this occasion we caught and ringed eight Greenfinch, three House Sparrow and two Starlings. We also re-trapped a Greenfinch.
My next ringing didn’t come until May when I met up with Andy to ring at a couple of Blackbird nests, with three chicks in each nest.
Staying with chicks on the nest June saw a trip out with Jim to ring at two Hen harrier nests with two chicks on one nest and three on the other. Attention then switched to seabirds and a trip to the Pentland Skerries. Here I ringed five Puffin and five Razorbill adults and one herring Gull and four Razorbill chicks.
July was back to raptor chick ringing and a trip out with Brian saw me ring nine Hen Harrier chicks and two Kestrel chicks.
August and September saw me back at the Swallow roost with six sessions in total. The usual species were caught and ringed: Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Sand Martin, Sedge Warbler, Starling, Swallow and Wren. A surprise catch was a Redpoll, which I think was a first for this site.
Towards the back end of the summer I visited my parents down in Sussex and was able to arrange a trip out with a local ringer called Val. We went to a site near to Cissbury Ring, somewhere as a young lad I had spent a lot of time. We met at day break when the weather was good but there was rain forecast for later in the morning so we weren’t sure how long we would have. We set the nets up and it wasn’t long before we started catching birds.
We caught a number of species that I have ringed in the past including 38 Blackcap, 3 Blue Tit, 7 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest and 1 Robin. I also got to ring a couple of new species in the way of 1 Bullfinch and 2 Whitethroat. In addition, we re-trapped: a Blue Tit, a Bullfinch, a Dunnock, Robin and a Whitethroat.
It was a great site and I hope to go back and ring with Val again sometime.
The poor weather meant that we didn’t get out to any of the gull colonies or do any Storm Petrel ringing and due to other commitments I missed the annual Fulmar chick ringing session on Swona.