Spurn Observatory: Other Birding / Ringing Activities, Summer 2021

Another post from Lucy, updating her activities at Spurn Observatory. This time she is blogging about her activities away from the Little Tern colony.

Summer is turning to autumn here at Spurn, but in the past month I have had some fantastic opportunities to ring a range of young birds.

Having checked the barn owl box in late June to find four chicks only a few days old it was lovely to return in July to find five big, healthy looking chicks, ready to be ringed. The adult birds can regularly be seen hunting in the surrounding fields, and have been very successful parents in the past. These were the first barn owls that I have ringed, and they are an absolute delight!

The following morning I ringed two Stock Dove chicks whose parents had taken up residence in an owl box. They had very full crops and were about a week off fledging. I forgot to get a picture of them!

I have spent a couple of beautiful evenings mist netting juvenile Swallows and Sand Martins. We set up a single double shelfed net along a hedgerow adjacent to a pond and set tapes to lure the birds in. They are amazing acrobats and spent as much time sitting on the top and middle shelf of the nets as they did wheeling above our heads. A steady stream of birds were caught and ringed, and the nets brought down in time for the swallows and sand martins to roost in the rushes in the pond. Again, I forgot to take a picture of the Sand Martins.

My most recent ringing exploit was to a nest box just behind my accommodation where four Tree Sparrows were ringed. As you can see they were very close to fledging and stayed in the box for only a couple of days after they were ringed.

Ringing here at Spurn continues to surprise and delight me and I’m very excited for what the coming weeks will hold!

All birds were ringed under license from the BTO.

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