Friday 29 May 2015

Thursday May 28th

Gull Ringing

On Thursday Roger Dickey, a BTO licensed bird ringer and chairman of the Army Ornithological Society, kindly donated a morning of his time to ring some of the Black-headed Gull chicks on site. It is hoped that the ringed birds will be sighted in future and the details sent back to the BTO, adding to the scientific knowledge on the species and providing a valuable insight as to where the birds born at Tice's Meadow travel to.

6 volunteers gathered at the Kiln at 08:45 - Roger Dickey, Richard Horton, Mark Elsoffer, Steve Minhinnick, Jim Dunaway and Tony Anderson (BVCP Ranger). After a health & safety briefing, the boat (kindly lent to us by the BVCP) was unloaded and dragged through the Meadow to the water's edge.

Roger and Richard donned their lifejackets and set sail for the tern rafts, whilst the shore crew watched on, provided encouragement and debated whether to call the Fire Brigade or Coastguard if things went wrong!

(c) Mark Elsoffer, Launch of HMS Horton
(c) Mark Elsoffer, Chicks in the Bag
(c) Mark Elsoffer, Return of the Jolly Sailors
 Roger successfuly ringed 5 Black-headed Gull chicks on the 2014 tern raft. 5 Common Tern eggs were noted as also being present.

(c) Mark Elsoffer, Black-headed Gull Chicks on Tern Raft
Whilst in the Meadow, a possible Badger latrine was found, as was a complete Grass Snake skeleton. On a more sinister note, a spent shotgun cartridge was also found.


John Hunt repoted an Oystercatcher in the Workings and a flyover by a Red Kite first thing.

Mark Elsoffer & Steve Minhinnick spent the morning and lunchtime on site and reported an Oystercatcher (Workings), 3 Ringed Plover (Meadow), 8 Little Ringed Plover (6 in the Meadow, 2 in the Workings) and a flyover by a Red Kite.

The following broods of young birds were sighted:
  • Great Crested Grebe pair with 2 young (Workings).
  • Mallard with 5 young (Workings).
  • Canada Goose with 7 young (Works).
  • Black-headed Gulls: broods of 3, 3 & 2 (tern rafts in Workings).
  • Coot with 4 young (small Silt Pond).
  • Starling flock of circa 30 birds with at least 10 young (willow on northern edge of Workings).

3 Roe Deer were seen in the Meadow.

2 visitors to the site reported a Green Hairstreak butterfly in the Woods. This is the first recorded sighting of this species on site.

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