Tuesday, 31 December 2013

My Best Moments of 2013

Yesterday I did my blog on the best ringing birds of 2013 and today I am looking back at my best moments of 2013. One from each month, but it was really hard to just pick one.

3rd Jan 2013 - the first time I met Peter and went ringing with him. It was the start of something really special. On that very first time we got a stunning Willow Tit.

On 17th February I got to meet lots of my blogging friends when mum and dad invited them to our house for a special birthday walk. I showed them all my birding patch and a Kingfisher put on a great show for us.

When I was playing in goal for Kingsmead FC last season we made it through to both the league cup final and another final.

In April I was birding on Frodsham Marsh with Mum, Dad and Bill Morton when a Hooded Crow flew over. it was the first and only time I have seen one.

In May I found a Great Spotted Woodpecker nest in the wood where I set up my feeding station. I spent a lot of time filming them and put together this video during the month.

In June I had an amazing experience. I got to see Spring Watch Unsprung being filmed and met Chris, Michaela, Martin and Nick.

In July I had been blogging for a year. it was also the month I had my first go at moth trapping and what an amazing first go it was. In July I finished Primary School.

This was an amazing month as we had 2 brilliant days at the Rutland Bird Fair and I met lots of amazing people and the BTO team including Andy Clements.

with Mark Avery

I started High School this month. This was also the month I showed my best friend Sam his first Kingfisher. He was so excited to see it.

In October I wanted to do something to help stop the badger cull so I made a video as part of a project for school. I was amazed at the response it got and thank everyone for their help in sharing it.

In November I had a guest blog published on Mark Avery's brilliant blog. It was all about trying to get more natural world education in to primary schools.

In December I got an amazing bird on my patch within walking distance from my house. This amazing Bittern.

There was so much more like Red kites with Grandma and body boarding in Cornwall, but I can't fit everything in here.

I hope you all have a really wonderful 2014 and I look forward to hearing about all your adventures.

From Findlay.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Last Ringing Session of the Year & 2013 Ringing Highlights

The last session of ringing 2013 went great and it was a double header, not two sessions of actual ringing though, as in the morning we were coppicing at one of our sites, then in the afternoon and on wards into the evening was a roost session at a different site.

Of course we didn't have to be up as early as usual due to us just coppicing, but we did have to be there for nine o'clock so I was still reasonably tired when we arrived. The rising sun was there to admire when we arrived, reflecting nicely off the site's railings (out of focus in this picture). 

As the sun rose it shone nicely on this Great Spotted Woodpecker I spotted in the canopy of this tree, first time I've seen one at this site.

After the coppicing we were off too Peter's dads to collect him and the ringing gear, it was nice to see some of Peter's family, his mum and dad, brothers and sisters.

Pete (Peter's dad) came along as well to the roost session, and introduced my brother and  mum to ringing, which I think they rather enjoyed.

The session started off pretty steady with quite a few Goldcrests consistently being taken out of the net and the Chaffinches took over as they all came in to roost. There were quite a few Long Tailed Tits in the mix as well.

We caught several Long Tailed Tits from different areas of the site, and I could hear large flocks of tits, in fact the whole wood was filled with the sound of bird song.

My brother was really excited about letting go some of the birds and you should of seen the intense look on his face when he was carefully holding this Long Tailed Tit.

For the first time in a while we caught a Jay; a beautiful adult this one was. I was really pleased we caught it as firstly they are one of my favorite birds (colour wise) and my mum really likes them.

Ageing these birds can be quite tricky but you need to look how crisp and sharp the black bars on the blue feathers (mainly Greater Coverts and Primary Coverts) are. That makes this one an adult. 


What an amazing year 2013 has been. 

Here are a few of my ringing highlights in pictures, I cannot believe how much has happened in just one year of ringing.


Willow Tit

Lesser Redpoll




(Spoon-billed) Great Tit


Leucistic Brambling


Tree Sparrow

Chiffchaff & Chaffinch (ChiffChaff)


Grasshopper Warbler



Reed Warbler

Sedge Warbler

Jackdaw pulli

Tawny Owlet


No ringing because of my SATS, but I did see this beauty in Wales

Pied Flycatcher


Juvenile Robin

Male Bullfinch



No ringing because of holidays and Peter being away, but I did get to go here and see lots of people from the BTO.


Garden Warbler

Barn Owlet



Song Thrush






Long Tailed Tit

Female and Male Fieldfares

A massive thank you to the people who I couldn't do this without. You know who you are.

Bring on 2014!

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas my bird and wildlife enthusiast friends. I would like to wish you all the best for 2014, thank you ever so much for all your support and help this year.

Enjoy tomorrow!!! I think I might.

From Findlay

Friday, 20 December 2013

Wilde About Badgers, especially red ones!

When I was at Grandma's in the Summer I spent a lot of evenings watching her badgers, especially the lovely erythristic (red) one. I found all my videos of it today and thought I would share this one with you. A little bit of pushing and shoving - just like me and Harley sometimes:

I hope you enjoy it. If you can't see it Douglas the You Tube link it here:


Monday, 16 December 2013

Fieldfare Fanfare

I was glad to be back ringing again, due to it being cancelled because of bad weather last week. The day didn't give us big numbers of birds, but the variety was great. 

We did catch some nice Fieldfare (but no Redwing this week, although we did see some- our total for Redwing is amazingly over 200 now ). In this picture, I've very carefully displaced the feathers slightly to show there's a male (right) and female (left); notice the male has a much fatter dark filling to the feathers and the black filling on the female's feathers is very thin.

 Apart from Fieldfares we also caught our second Redpoll for the site this Winter which was nice; we also caught Goldcrest, Blue Tit, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Bullfinch and a stunning looking juvenile Treecreeper.

I am looking forward to next Saturday's session, the last one before Christmas. Any ideas what I should get ScouseRinger for Christmas. I was thinking a Christmas jumper.

Wild Bird Wednesday