Sunday, 8 March 2015

Barn Owls and more...


Yesterday Chris Payne espied a female Peregrine over the South Northants village of Greens Norton.

Today there was a ringing session held at Stortons Gravel Pits, and although not many birds were caught a couple of House Sparrows were a welcome surprise! Good informative re-traps included birds from 2010 and 2011.

A further ringing operation was performed at Sunderland Wood on the Kelmarsh Estate today, before the rain arrived. Some 46 captures were recorded, the highlights perhaps being a pair of Nuthatch, a Treecreeper and a Goldcrest. One or two Woodcock were seen flying around the wood.

An increasing trend among the Chaffinch population has been the incidence of a crumbling disease of the legs which initially causes the loss of claws and then the loss of toes and eventually feet as well. The birds tend to remain in good condition throughout all this and eventually are left with stumps for legs, and it is assumed succumb sometime thereafter as they are unable to land and perch properly. This is particularly acute during ringing activities as we are able to examine the birds properly, to the point that many are released straightaway as it is not viable or even possible to safely ring them.

Barn Owls are fairly high profile at the moment and today there were 3-4 noted at Blueberry Farm, Maidwell, another in the Brampton Valley between Brixworth and Hanging Houghton, another alongside the A508 between Lamport and Maidwell and finally another near to Scaldwell village.


Neil M

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Courtesy of John Finlayson

Pair of Nuthatch at
Sunderland Wood

Courtesy of Neil Hasdell

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