Wednesday, 16 August 2017

CES 11 - 13/8/17

The morning started with a glorious sunrise as evidenced by the pic below.
What the picture doesn't show is a modicum of panic when we reach the final net to find that the usually ready installed guy rope had been shredded by some necessary but enthusiastic clearance of the reeds. Undoubtedly a moral here is "carry a spare guy at all times". i.e. be prepared. Where's a boys scout or girl guide when you need one?
We still managed to have the CES nets up by 06.10 before moving on to the scrub areas to put up the extra nets as per session 10.
It was a slow morning and surprisingly the additional nets were far less productive than previously though from a CES point of view it was a positive days work. As can be seen by the results table on the linked page this year CES has matched last years with the last visit to come and two missing sessions.
The usual suspects turned up with this week these two -

Thanks for the assistance again of Heather,Stephen and Kirsty(who supplied the photos).

Totals for the day -

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

CES 10 - 8/8/17

After a very frustrating day checking the weather which seemed to be changing hourly the decision was made to go for a session today.
The weather looked close to perfect when we all met at 05:30. Today's team consisted of Cedwyn Sarah, Kirsty, Stephen and Chris.
As there were a number of us we decided to put some extra net  in place on a ride a little further into the scrub and crossing a gap in a line of trees.

This meant we had a total of 10x60' nets in place, so boredom shouldn't be on the cards this morning.
Especially as we were again dealing with bird poo in the interest of science.
There were a good selection of birds in a fairly steady stream for the first hour or so, mostly the regular species of warblers (reed, sedge and willow) but then we caught one of my favourite birds ( I like them all really) a Lesser Whitethroat.


At this point Dave had arrived and heard tree pipit overhead, We were already using a tape lure playing on  the non CES ride, so Cedwyn decided to change the tape and we were rewarded almost immediately with a few pipit in the net.
The steady run of birds continued and included another less than regular species, this garden warbler.
Though a good session overall the downside was that the CES total of 20 birds for the morning was disappointing. That said the annual total this year is an improvement on the average of the last few seasons.
Totals for the day:
Thanks to Cedwyn,  Stephen and Kirsty for the pictures.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

CES Catch up

With no entry since CES 3 this is a rather later than desired catchup on the CES ringing at Kenfig. Weather and availability of ringers has meant that we have missed 2 recent CES sessions.
The results here are for session 5,7,8,9


The numbers are significantly better than recent years. As mentioned previously we are assisting Sarah Davies in her study of the feeding habits of warblers, so it was pleasing that we had good numbers of the target species.
We had the usual run of nets in both the reed bed and adjacent scrub.

Thanks to Kirsty and Stephen for their assistance through the morning.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

CES 3 - 28/5/17

The weather was just perfect for us to get the nets up by 6:05am, with no wind and a completely over cast start to the day.
Heather, Sarah and Chris were then joined by Kenfig volunteer Val who was keen to assist with the scribing.
The first round was a catch in the CES nets of a pair of bullfinch.
Later a family of  great tits had obviously encountered the WPS nets, though the adult birds were smart enough to avoid being caught leaving us with this handful of juveniles.

They were all of a similar weight indicating the adults must have had their work cut out to keep them all well fed. We made sure we released them all together to rejoin the parents in  the nearby scrub.
This robin was a very newly hatched bird as the colouring in the picture hopefully demonstrates.
The weather became a little brighter and warmer through the morning and the catch was then pretty slow in keeping with recent years CES records. The total catch being only very slightly more than the same session last year
Thanks to our interested visitors, Kevin and Tracy, for the pictures.

Totals for the day:

Saturday, 20 May 2017

CES 2 - 18/5/2017

Heather, Sarah and  Chris were at the pool for CES 2.
Again the aim was to collect samples for Sarah's project and the numbers whilst pretty low meant there was no stress on taking the samples and processing the birds. There seemed to be plenty of birds in the vicinity, but avoiding the nets. The catch was fairly evenly split between the CES nets and the additional nets in the scrub.
The wind got up later in the morning but by then most of the catching had been done.

Totals for the day:

Tuesday, 16 May 2017


We had a pretty good start to the season with a nice sprinkling of warblers. The water level was low for the time of year; still deep but thigh wader deep not chest wader deep. Sarah Davies came to catch invertebrates in the nearby habitat and gave Heather and Dave guidance in collecting bird poo ready for DNA analysis.

Willow warblers were about in reasonable numbers.

Several sedge warblers in the catch was perhaps what we'd expect at this time of migration. Hopefully a pair or two will stay to breed by the pool this year.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Friday, 17 March 2017

Kenfig Reserve Centre - 15/3/2017

A change of venue for this session. Dave Chris and Heather were joined by Sarah at the Kenfig Reserve Centre on what was a perfect morning for ringing. No wind and just slightly overcast.
The nets were up by about 06:45 - 1 x 60' adjacent to the car park and another 30' net in the scrub alongside the centre building.
Not large numbers but a steady run of birds for the couple of hours we were there.
Interesting snippet of news received today was the report of a Goldcrest first ringed as a juvenile at the reserve September last year was reportedly found in Port Talbot on the 14th March. Good know it survived the winter and recovered from it's encounter with a window!

Some pics of today's catch.

Totals for the day:

Friday, 17 February 2017

Ty'n y Caeau - 17/2/2017

Heather, Leighton and Chris were at the site for 07:15 even though previous experience shows the birds don't get there too early. Along with the usual run of 5 nets (3x60' and 2x40') we also again added the short nets in the hope of catching skylark ( flocks were again in evidence throughout the morning)
We also added two  60' nets in a dog leg at the lower corner of the field.

Catching was again slow and disappointingly the added net was not productive.

Following information from recent publications (Demongin) a number of dunnock were aged as 5 based on buff colour contrast on the tips of the greater coverts and also the dark line at the tip of the primary coverts which becomes more apparent when the wing is partially closed.

It will be interesting to see how this detail is confirmed over the coming months when we are catching known age birds.
Also took a picture of a very clear age criterion for greenfinch.
Note the 3 unmoulted greater coverts on this juvenile male.

Don't often see pictures of blue tit, but they are worth it after the effort of extracting the feisty little things.

Dave and Becky arrived a little later in the morning to supervise and deliver additional seed. Did not however manage to bring better luck and increase the number of birds caught.
No skylarks so we went home about mid day.

Totals for the day:

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Ty'n y Caeau - 8/2/2017

Heather, Leighton and Chris had the nets up at about 8 am though it had been light for a while. We know the birds seem to be late risers in these parts, or are elsewhere getting the early worms since we only offer seeds of various types.
In keeping with previous sessions each successive net round seems to produce more birds and we started with 1 and the last of the day provided about 12 though a few same day retraps were in that total.
A relatively rare catch for us was the woodpigeon. Quite a handful to both extract and process and we didn't have a scale large enough to weight it, but demurred from describing it as obese since that was obviously our fault. I also forgot to photograph it.

It was good to start catching the target birds for the site, namely yellowhammer and reed bunting.
Should also be noted that there were a flock of well in excess of 100 skylark, though our attempts at attracting them with a "tape" lure failed, as we are not up to the standards of our usual bird DJ (Cedwyn.) 

Totals for the day:

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Reed Buntings at Kenfig

Dave fitted in a brief session before work this morning putting a 60' net near the bunting feeding area between the two car parks. Seven new birds were caught.

The feeding area comprises a small lawn area with a single pile of wheat and millet which is topped up daily. Piling seeds seems to work better than scattering them.

A song thrush's anvil was right next to the net but no thrushes were caught.

The net was up for an hour and 30 minutes and caught 8 birds; a good time to total ratio for Kenfig!

Monday, 9 January 2017

Ty'n y Caeau - 8/1/2017

Heather and Chris were joined by Leighton this morning making use of the second time in a week that there was a favourable forecast.
The feeding obviously seems to be starting to work as there were far more birds in evidence, including the target birds for the site, namely Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting. There were also very large flocks of Skylark (good) and Wood Pigeon (not so good, as far as John the farmer is concerned, as they  take far too much of his rapeseed crop)
Interestingly the catch was very small for the first rounds with most of the birds being caught after 10:00am. It did make us wonder whether we should leave getting up in the dark and just turn up later if the birds can't be bothered to make it there earlier!

Totals for the day:

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Ty'n y Caeau - 3/1/17 - First of the Year

Heather and Chris made the best of the weather  to get to TyC for 07:40 just as it was getting light.
With the nets up before 08:15 we were hoping for a good catch though it was eerily quiet on the bird front.
We did however have a very successful morning before leaving at about eleven.
The total weight of birds caught was just under a quarter of a kilo though we have to own up it was only 3 birds, but it's not all about numbers as we always say on such occasions.
The reason for such a positive morning was that bird number 2 was a Kestrel which we had to separate from it's breakfast before we could take it out of the net. The dunnock was not so content with it's final day, and we did think the blue tit which was about six inches away from the kestrel may suffer some avian form of PTSD. However it flew away happily enough after it was processed.
A few pictures.

Totals for the day: