Monday, April 09, 2007

Hurrah for spring

The year is now getting into its proper swing with survey work starting this month. Already I have received early returns from the Heronries census and Breeding Bird survey, and I have already started three nest record cards – Blue Tit, Song Thrush and Coot. A ringing session last weekend resulted in three mist-netted Chiffchaff – all returning juvenile males; and several species caught were also starting to demonstrate the beginnings of brood patches.

This weekend I have visited my newly acquired Pied Flycatcher nest box project (approx 140 boxes) in North Wales - making preparations and undertaking repairs ready for when the Flycatchers and Redstarts return. The picture gives a flavour of the site and I shall give you more details of breeding successes
as the year progresses. According to Birdtrack a Pied Flycatcher has already been sighted in south Wales.

Today I was out with other members of Merseyside Ringing Group visiting one of the many heronries in north Cheshire - this one being at Budworth Mere Marbury. Although several trees were climbed, and nests examined, only two birds were ringed – the rest either being too small or too large, with some nests still having eggs. The next three - four weeks will witness more visits to all the heronries in order to ring the pulli as they mature.

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