Thursday, 18 July 2013

Relaxing in the sun

It appears it isn't just us humans that are taking advantage of this current spell of fine weather. On Tuesday a ringed male (sadly we didn't see his code) was seen foraging along the avenue that runs down the centre of study site. Having consumed a worm he walked quickly to a bare spot, turned around before fattening himself on the ground with his wings outspread.

Blackbirds are known to "ant" where by they lie near an ants nest, allowing the ants to clean parasites off them. However, after the bird had flown off the area was check for ants but none were found. This male might have just been taking time out to relax in the sun; and who could blame him!
This male was either 'anting' or sunbathing, either way he appeared to be
enjoying  himself in the midday sun.

BK was also spotted, in fact she was the only bird who's code we were able to read despite there being several others! She seems to have had some success in the breeding stakes as she was seen feeding a rather large, and noisy, fledgling.
BK looking watchful as her youngster was not too far away.

Monday, 15 July 2013

50 at last!

The project finally reached the milestone of 50 Blackbirds! The latest addition, an adult female ringed HP, was caught this evening while we working on another project. Hopefully the next 50 won't take so long!

Judging by the size of here brood patch she is likely breeding
close by to where she was caught.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Catch Up

We must apologise for the lack of updates of late; with a delayed spring and blustery  (and sometimes wet!) start to the summer fieldwork for the project has been sporadic.

Much of our time of late has been re-sighting birds we’ve ringed over the last year for the RAS element of the project. This is also allowing us to build a picture of how the birds use the park. Some birds seem to hold very distinct territories (or are at least seen in discrete areas) while others wander a little more. So far we’ve re-sighted over 25% of the birds ringed in the last year, several of which have been collecting worms or feeding very plump fledglings. If you see any colour-ringed blackbirds then please let us know!

While some birds, such as A4 seem to stick to a discrete area, others like AB
apparently like to wander about more. However, the picture is far from complete
and we would welcome more records from the allotments!

Ringing sessions ceased for a couple of months while the birds began to breed during a very cold and delayed spring. These sessions started up again recently and we have managed to add two more birds, both this year’s young, bringing the project total to 49 (47 of which are colour ringed). These sessions not only allowed us to catch up with birds we have not encountered so far during the breeding season but also provided some interesting “by-catch” in the form of a kingfisher and a lesser whitethroat.

A3 was the 10th bird ringed for the project and was recently
re-caught less than 100m from where he was originally ringed
last May.