Beeston Bird ringing. July 2008

Olive Moth
After missing the last bird ringing session Sarah and i were eager to get to this one. We had been told that this was normally the most productive one of the year and so expectations were high, and we were not disappointed.

Single Dotted Wave

As usual the moth trap had been put out the night before and some of the species were photographed before the first birds were brought in. There were a couple of moths i had not seen or photographed before so that was a good start.

Derek with the largest catch of the day

The first batch of birds had a few of the commoner species normally caught but amongst them were a pair of great spotted woodpeckers, with one of them making an absolute din.But lovely looking birds up close in the hand.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Female Blackcap

Nearby to some of the nets the owners, Roger and Poppy, owned some meadow land and with a couple of small ponds it proved to be great for all sorts of wildlife. A pair of kingfishers were seen and heard when checking nets so Derek and a couple of us set up some mist nets in the hope of catching one. And on the way back to the house some marbled white butterflies were spotted .

Marbled Whites
Whilst awaiting for birds to net themselves we all decided to check the meadow area and at least 8 marbled whites were counted and on closer views you could tell the females apart from the males by the light brown beige lower underwing. They were also seen egg laying on the grasses too which was a sight not seen before.

Marbled White


There seemed to be good numbers of gatekeeper butterfly along with ringlets and meadow brown, with just one or two small skippers present. The grass areas bordering the hedge lined wooded area seemed to be teeming with small frogs and toads. There must of been several hundreds nearing a thousand, they were everywhere.


Small Skipper

The nets were checked after a short time and the kingfishers were seen nearby and miraculously one had flown into the mist net. It was a new species to be caught at beeston and everyone was elated at seeing one of these beauties in the hand so close. The behaviour it showed was weird, it would turn its head around as if in an hypnotic state not unlike a snake charmer and cobra it was truly weird.


With it being a special bird to ring it was duly photographed firstly in poppy's hand and then in my Sarah's, sarah loves all wildlife and birds especially but would not hold one, except for the barn owl i kept some time ago. And the same as some other species of bird when it was laid on its back it calmly stayed there not in any way wanting to move. On returning the kingfisher to where it was caught to our amazement the second kingfisher had also been trapped.

Kingfisher in Sarahs Hand


As the day drew on the number of different robin individuals rose over a remarkable 50 birds and the second ever lesser whitethroat was caught and ringed too. Where the kingfishers had been released there were a couple of dragonfly around, one being an emperor and the other a brown hawker which earlier had gotten caught up in a mist net. Myself and derek untangled it and a few choice words came from me before i let derek free it. The bite on those things bloody hurts, as derek found out as the last wing was freed.