January Birding Update!

Finally we’ve had some seasonal weather mid-month, albeit for just two or three days! This encouraged some more unusual species of birds to the Ponds including a male Shoveler  with the Mallard flock on 20th, and a single Siberian Chiffchaff (a much greyer version of our yellow-green Common Chiffchaff) briefly on 17th.







As well as these visitors, the regular wintering birds were still present with the Siskin, Lesser Redpoll (pictured right) and Goldfinch flock feeding in the alders, and the male Stonechat which is most often found along the northern boundary hedge. In fact during the first bird ringing session of the year, on 20th, this bird was trapped and ringed (pictured below).

StonechatmaleLBP (1)RedpollLB

The Stonechat was one of the nine birds caught on the 20th, and this total included four Goldcrests. Interestingly two of the Goldcrests were already ringed, one of which had been ringed by me at the Ponds back on 1st Nov 2015, which shows it is actually over-wintering at the Ponds. The other was wearing a ring that wasn’t fitted by me, so as soon as I get the data back on where this bird was ringed I will post it here.

The highlight though of this excellent session was a real surprise,as they are now a fairly scarce bird around these parts. A stunning adult female Green Woodpecker (pictured below).
  GreenWoodyLBP1 (1)

November Birding Update!

November Birding Update!

It may still be mild, but some of the birds certainly know we are heading towards winter. During this month all five species of wintering thrush have been recorded at the Ponds. Blackbirds and Song Thrush most regularly, along with flocks of Redwings and Fieldfares that often just drop in briefly before moving on, and on the last day of the month two Mistle Thrush that nicely completed the set.

Warbler numbers have dropped as expected, but there are still a couple of Chiffchaffs in the bushes, and on the 11th a Cetti’s Warbler was heard and seen well.

It’s been a very productive month for bird ringing at the Ponds, with 56 birds trapped and ringed. On the first of the month an impressive 27 Long-tailed Tits were ringed (four different flocks), including one showing an unusual pale claw! Also in this session, and three others during the month, highlights included a Treecreeper, a Coal Tit, a Grey Wagtail and biggest of all a Mute Swan!

A small team from Abbotsbury Swannery came over to help with the capture, ringing and inspection of the female Mute Swan of the resident pair. It was hoped both birds would be caught and fitted with uniquely lettered colour-rings so they can be identified as an individual forever, but at the moment it’s one down one to go…

Thanks to Steve for the November birding news — check out photos and more on the Lower Bruckland Facebook page (and please give us a like)!