The Dark Room

Monday, 18 February 2019

Weekend Ringing

Saturday 17th February

Went out with the NTGG at a new site cannon netting for Gulls. A slight delay with the dust cart turning up later than expected meant that we had to take a quick catch as we had to be off site by lunch time. We ringed 323 gulls mostly Herring and had 3 controls from Denmark, Norway and York. Just a few Black headed and some GBBG. However we did see 3 Caspian Gulls all 2cy and 2 Med. With the experience team on site we were able to smoothly process all the gulls in time and safely. It was a fantastic morning ringing!

Black headed Gull 6

Adult Herring Gull 10

argentatus Herring Gull

Sunday 17th February

A short mist net ringing session with Paul H produced double figures but the bird of the day was this female Lesser Redpoll 5.

All images taken with the Iphone.

Thanks to Paul Roper and Paul Hawkins for a good weekend..

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Bonaparte's Gull Erith

After dipping the Glaucous Gull at Rainham Marshes and then the Bonaparte's Gull at Erith in Kent last weekend it was nice to catch up with the latter this morning at 10.40am on the pier. A great find for RB and DS. It showed really well for 25 minutes or so then was lost to view. It's a stunning Adult  and was the first gull I picked out as it sat on the Thames to the delight of other birders who couldn't locate it-I got lucky.

Great to catch up with MS,RS,RB and DS this morning too.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

It's good to get out

Went out ringing today with Paul H for the second time this year due to it being to windy last weekend. Fairly quiet again around the feeders but like any T permit holder will tell you. it's good to get out and ring birds!
Reed Bunting, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Blackbird, Dunnock, Redwing, Long tailed, Blue and Great Tits have all been scribe in the log book on both days.

Adult Male Reed Bunting (6)

Male Goldfinches (5)

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Patch year list

The patch year list is now up and running having made a couple of visits to the valley, it now stands at 63 way down on last years start-I got 65 on the first day! It's pretty much been standard so far.  I finished in 3rd place with a total of 117 last year so the aim is to better that? Well done to Dave Mo (2nd) and Paulboy (1st). Let's hope we all have a good year again on the patch including Martin, Steve, Lee and Dave Mc.

A Slavonian Grebe would be more than welcome on our patch. We are certainly due another one....

Friday, 28 December 2018

Reed Bunting in the hand

A steady morning ringing with Hawky yesterday produced the following.

3 Reed Bunting
2 Redwing
7 Long tailed Tit
Blackbird (retrap)
11 Blue Tit
4 Great Tit

Adult male Reed Bunting (4)

1cy Male Reed Bunting 

Notice the pointed tail feathers on the above and below images and light brown T6 making ageing for both birds as 1cy (3) easy. If they had rounded tail feathers and have a strong black and white marks to T6 they would be aged as Adult (4)

1cy female Reed Bunting (3)

Monday, 17 December 2018


A short ringing session with Paul H produced 10 Lesser and 1 Common Redpoll, Yellowhammer, 2 Redwing, Robin, 2 Dunnock, Blackbird, Blue Tit and Great Tits. A total of 25 birds was a good return with the nets only up for just two hours.

Male Lesser Redpoll

Common Redpoll or north western above was a interesting bird in structure and having a wing of 75mm and a weight of 11.6g.

Male Yellowhammer

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Ringing Fieldfare

With the weather being to wet and windy for ringing over the past two weeks it was nice to grab a morning session on Tuesday with Paul. A cold and misty morning which soon cleared produced 28 new birds. The highlights for both of us was two cracking Fieldfare both 3's (1cy)



One method for sexing Fieldfare is to check the crown feathers, Male's have larger blackish centres.


With 2 Redwing, 3 Blackbird, 5 Goldfinch, Dunnock. Wren, Chaffinch and Blue and Great Tits it was a real good mix.