What a year!!!!

2015 has been an awesome year full of surprise and memories that I will treasure for a life time!
So here is a top 7 of my favourite places/things I've done over the last 12 months:

7: Catching first Elephant Hawkmoth

This year as many of you my dad and I started Moth-ing for the first time but by far the highlight of this was catching a lovely Elephant Hawkmoth, we later went on to catch Poplar Hawkmoth and finding a Hummingbird Hawkmoth feeding on our Lavenders for the second year on the run, to see last years post on this Moth click on the link:Hummingbird Hawkmoth

Elephant Hawkmoth

6: Rutland Water Work Experience

Last summer I spent 5 days working with the staff at Rutland Water (Wildlife Trust), which I helped with a range of jobs; till work, helping with the Osprey Project and my favourite part was helping with the final touches to the new Volunteer Centre  in which David Attenborough opened! During my two days helping with the Management team, I found a Little Ringed Plover nest, on the new site! For the two days during lunch time I was monitoring the parents as they incubate the nest.
Another highlight included finding a Great White Egret on my final day, this bird ended up staying till almost September.

Little-Ringed Plover eggs


This year I've done a lot of ringing, and there has been so many highlights but to narrow it down here are a selection of photos that have been highlights, others include ringing 4 Reed Warbler Chicks, Adult female Kestrel, House Martins.


Tawny Owl Chicks

Adult Female Little Owl

Carrion Crow Chick

Adult Stock Dove

Lapwing Chick

Little Ringed Plover Chick

Barn Owl chicks

Adult Male Green Woodpecker

Lesser Whitethroat

Willow Tit

4: Birdfair 2015

Birdfair is always a highlight of my year, but Birdfair 2015 was brilliant, as I got to help out with the BTO on both their stands (ringing and 'normal') stand, I had the help from friends Ben Moyes and Evie Miller to see the BTO's new membership 'Young Birders', if your under the age of 18 and are interested please click on this link:http://btoyoungbirders.blogspot.co.uk/
Also another highlight of the Birdfair, was the Birdfair's first comedy/children's book play. With the likes of Nick Baker, Mike Dilger, Dominic Couzens, Bill Oddie, Lucy McRobert and Rob Lambert, all staring in this hilarious play!

3: House Martin Survey

This is a survey that my dad and myself have started, we started last year  ringing adult and Juvenile House Martins, the reason for this study is that we've had this string colony on our house for the last 6+ years and we want to know more about it, were hoping to learn if the same pair use the same nest each year or if the juveniles from last year use the nest to breed in that they fledged from the previous year. This is going to be a long term study that we are carrying out, but it nicely coincides with the BTO's House Martin survey (I'll put some links to that at the bottom).
So we were into our second year of this survey, last year we ringed 13 birds - (9 adult and 4 juvenile), this year we ringed 17 birds -( 10 adults and 7 Juvenile) and 3 re-traps but all of the re-traps were adults which is interesting. We were also monitoring all of the these bar one, which was too high for us to reach with a ladder. So the survey is doing so well and can't wait to carry it on.

Copyright Toby Carter

Copyright BTO

Copyright BTO

Copyright BTO

Copyright BTO

2: BTO Work Experience

I've already got a big blog post on this, but it was an amazing highlight so won't touch on it too much, I got to ring a Water Rail, stand in reeds and water upto my chest for a day (It was awesome), being in the audience at Springwatch plus many many more things so please check out the blog post  - http://grimstonwarbler.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/bto-work-experience-26-29th-may.html 


Copyright Lee Barber

Reed Warbler nest

Springwatch Audience

Me in the background Copyright Ben Moyes


This was definitely without a doubt the highlight of my year, again there is a big blog post on it but some of the highlights were; BLYTH'S PIPIT, HUD WHIMREL, RF-BLUETAIL, MINKE WALE AND FINDING MY FIRST ORTOLAN BUNTING and that is just a few,so please if you haven't read the post please do! SCILLY POST!!!!!

YB Warbler


Hud Whimbrel


House Martins : http://grimstonwarbler.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/the-house-martins-need-you.html

Thanks for reading and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!