Wednesday 2 May, 2012
Peter was here today from British Trust for Ornithology, ringing birds. He caught 37, including 4 retraps, from 11 different species.
Despite our cats, house sparrows are most numerous at 16, but we had two new species caught today - a willow warbler and a chiffchaff.
Monday 14 November, 2011
Peter, from the British Trust for Ornithology (and Barry Mill), was here yesterday doing the last bird ringing of the year. Our sparrow breeding programme has obviously been successful as he had to release some birds without recording, because he ran out of bags.
Yesterday's tally was 59 new birds and 7 retrapped ones. Of the 59 new birds, 40 were house sparrows, 7 Great Tits, 3 Blackbirds, 3 Blue Tits, 3 Coal Tits, 1 Wren, 1 Dunnock and, the highlight, a juvenile male Great Spotted Woodpecker. What a handsome chap he was.
Friday 29 July, 2011
Peter was here last week trapping and ringing birds. He caught 51 new birds and 2 retrapped. The most interesting new bird was a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker. Other than that it was Blackbird (2), Blue Tit (1), Chaffinch (3), Dunnock (3), Stariling (1) and House Sparrow (40!!). The spuggies are either numerous or stupid.
The retrapped ones were a Blue Tit and, interestingly, a House Sparrow first caught in January 2004.
Tuesday 7 June, 2011
We caught this Cinnabar moth on camera last week.
Never seen one like it before, but it was beautiful.
Tuesday 19 April, 2011
We've got a small flock of yellowhammers at Dalmore. Until they appeared, I'd only seen drawings and photos and none of them did this little bird justice. The yellow plumage on its head is so bright it's almost fluorescent.
We had three at the feeder today, along with five goldfinches, a robin, two blackbirds and a family of spuggies. The spuggies have taken up residence in the nestboxes on the gable end of the house. A little wren was pottering about under the ivy - they are still my favourite, despite my current yellowhammer obsession.
Sunday 20 February, 2011
Peter was here today catching and ringing some wild birds. Our Tess has adopted him and follows him everywhere when he's here. When he's ringing, she sits and watches - I think she hopes that a stray bird might fall into her mouth. I did offer to shut her in but Peter was quite happy with her.
Today, despite the weather, he caught 41 birds, 10 of which had been caught before. There was a Tree Sparrow today and another Brambling - and adult female this time. She was beautiful. He saw lots of Goldfinches but none were caught. As last time, there were a lot of tits - 2 Coal, 10 Great and 11 Blue.
Monday 31 January, 2011
When Peter was down ringing birds last week, one of the things I was curious about was how long garden birds lived. He told us that many won't survice their first year, but some do live a surprisingly long time. I received this email from him a couple of days ago. Like me, you might find it surprising:
"You did ask how long some of the birds could live for so I have checked the BTO website and these are the longevity records from BTO ringing for the species that I caught yesterday:
Sunday 23 January, 2011
We have had a local volunteer here today from the British Orthnothology Trust (BTO) netting and ringing wild birds. The gentleman has been coming to Dalmore for a number of years and lives locally; he runs a number of similar projects in the area.
I fely a wee bit sorry for the birds caught in the nets, but they weren't there long and none seemed to come to any harm. Peter brought us a juvenile female Brambling to see; it's the first time he's caught a Brambling here although he has caught them at Barry Mill before. It was a lovely wee thing - hope it survives.
Tuesday 19 January, 2010
Actually, it wasn't that dramatic. I was walking the dogs this afternoon and saw them nosing around something on the ground. When I got closer, I found that it was a bird, some kind of waterfowl, that couldn't fly.
Hmm, just as well I used to watch "Animal Hospital" (thanks, Rolf). I threw my jacket over it and caught it up under one arm. It's not very big - I've tried to identify it using my trusty "Reader's Digest Book of British Birds" without success - and I think it's a goose, rather than a duck because it hisses rather than quacks.
Wednesday 30 December, 2009
Last week, Dan and I noticed a large flock of brown birds in the field opposite the house. We tried to get a photographs, but the quality through the window was poor and when Dan opened the door they flew off. I consulted my "Reader's Digest" Book of British Birds, and decided they were curlews. I don't think I've ever seen a curlew before.
Well, they were back yesterday, this time in our river paddock. There were about twenty, maybe. I still failed to get a photograph, but maybe third time lucky.