Friday, April 29, 2022

Spring ringing 23-24.04.2022

 In the last few years, I'm trying to limit my spring ringing attempts since spring migration at my usual site is very scarce.

This year, during our Easter holidays we had a very visible wave of flycatchers and I couldn't resist putting up the nest and trying to ring some of them. The highlights for sure are the two Collared and one Pied flycatchers, which are my first ringed birds from those species. Nice addition was my third Barred warbler.

Total: 19

Collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis) - 2

Pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) - 1

Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopus major) - 1

Whitetroat (Sylvia communis) - 5

Blackcap(Sylvia atricapilla) - 2

Great tit (Parus major) -  2

Barred warbler (Sylvia nisoria) - 1

Blackbird (Turdus merula) - 3

Robin (Erithacus rubecula) - 1

Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) - 1

Barred warbler (Sylvia nisoria)

Barred warbler (Sylvia nisoria)

Collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis)

Collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis)

(Dendrocopus major)

Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

Whitetroat (Sylvia communis)

Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)

(Ficedula hypoleuca)

Sunday, April 10, 2022

First nest of the season

 The weather here in Bulgaria has improved in the first days of April and the breeding season began with full speed. 

While some of our migrating birds are just arriving, others have already started incubating.

I usually try to monitor and ring nests near my hometown, but yesterday I couldn't resist looking for some nests in one of the parks here in Sofia. 

During my one-hour walk, I've found five active nests (3 Turdus merula and 2 Turdus philomelos). Most of them are very high in the trees since the park lacks any low-growing bushes.

Hopefully next week I'll be able to spend much more time searching and recording nests, but in general, I just hope for a successful season and many fledged young birds.

Turdus philomelos nest

Female Turdus merula

Thursday, February 17, 2022

First Tawny owl nestbox

 I finally decided to try and make a Tawny owl nestbox. In the last month, I've managed to assemble 20 nestboxes for Tits/Flycatchers, but my brother convinced me that I should try to construct a bigger next box for Tawny owls or Barn owls.

I checked some articles and videos describing how to make a proper Tawny owl nest box, but I mainly follow the RSPB scheme and tips. It took me more than one week to finish it because I can only spare a few hours after work. 

The entrance is 20x20cm, the depth of the next box is 60cm and in general, the next box is well insolated so I assume I've covered the main requirements. The main problem that I can think of is that the middle of February probably is quite late in the season for me to expect a Tawny owl pair using it for this season.

In any case, I intend on making more boxes for next year, because of the lack of natural tree holes and suitable nest sites in the area.

Of course, I'll be very happy if someone can give me some advice on how to make the next one better.

Attaching the nest box

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Highlights from January 2022

 For the first time in the last 10 years, I was able to spend more time ringing in January. The species composition is quite different from what I'm used to.

The highlights for this month are the two Fieldfares (Turdus pilaris) that I've ringed. Those are my first Fieldfares (for this site and in general) so you can imagine the levels of adrenaline and joy that I had.

I hope I'll have time in February as well so I could try and ring a few more of those beautiful northern visitors. For now no sign of Redwing, but there is still time.

Here are the totals for January and a few photos(and a video) of the highlights:

Middle Spotted Woodpecker - 1

Sombre Tit - 3

Blue Tit - 8

Great Tit - 37

Long-tailed Tit - 1

Firecrest - 2

Goldcrest - 1

Nuthatch - 2

Fieldfare - 2

Tree Sparrow - 5

Yellowhammer - 3

Sombre tit



Middle-spotted woodpecker



Friday, January 7, 2022

2021 Totals

 The new year is upon us and it's time to analyze the results and achievements. For me personally, this was the most successful year in terms of the number of ringed birds and new species.

In this post, I'll include only the bird ring at my usual site in NW Bulgaria.

Most of the ringing was during the autumn migration, but I also put some effort into nest monitoring/ringing which gave good results(compared to previous years). Unfortunately, my nestboxes had very low success and I couldn't ring any Semicollared flycatchers (Ficedula semitorquata).

S.atricapilla - 294
T.merula - 88
E. rubecula - 41
Ph. trochilus - 38
L. collurio - 26
P. caeruleus - 22
P.major - 21
A. trivialis - 21
A. caudatus - 16
T. philomelos - 15
S. curruca - 13
P.lugubris - 12
S. borin - 11
S.communis - 9
L. megarhynchos - 9
Ph. sibilatrix - 8
C.coccothraustes - 6
S. europaea - 5
E.citrinella - 5
Ph.collybita - 5
F.coelebs - 5
P. palustris - 5
C. chloris - 5
M. striata - 5
D. minor - 2
M. apiaster - 2
Ph. phoenicurus - 2
H. icterina - 1
O. scops - 1
D. major - 1
R. ignicapilla - 1
T. troglodytes - 1
A. schoenobaenus - 1

Total: 691
Species: 33

In the pictures below you can see the highlights of 2021.

I wish you all very successful 2022!

Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)

Turdus philomelos nest

Sitta europaea nest

Turdus merula nest

Male Turdus merula

Otus scops

Otus scops

Fringilla coelebs nest

Turdus philomelos hatchling

Parus lugubris hatchling

Coccothraustes coccothraustes hatchling

Cyanistes caeruleus nest

Sylvia atricapilla nest

Alauda arvensis nest

Emberiza cirlus nest

Lanius collurio nest

Sylvia atricapilla hatchlings

Lanius collurio nest

Sylvia atricapilla nest

Sylvia atricapilla hatchlings

Lanius collurio hatchling

Lanius collurio hatchings

Male Lanius collurio

Phylloscopus trochilus and Phylloscopus sibilatrix

Phylloscopus trochilus and Phylloscopus sibilatrix

Muscicapa striata

Phylloscopus sibilatrix

Birds ready to be processed

Male Sylvia atricapilla with very pale plumage

Male Sylvia atricapilla with very pale plumage

Merops apiaster

Merops apiaster

Erithacus rubecula

Muscicapa striata with strangely colored legs

Regulus ignicapilla

Troglodytes troglodytes

Parus major

Male Coccothraustes coccothraustes

Emberiza citrinella

Chloris chloris

Spring ringing 23-24.04.2022