Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Slow hand day

It was light when I reached the (Priory) park and a couple of Song Thrushes hastily left the grass area. I decided to concentrate on the feeding station nets but to no avail. I only caught 6 birds from 7.30 to 2 o'clock, despite having a 40/20 dog-leg [5 GT & 1 BT].

At 7.45, I had a Yellow-browed Warbler pass over, calling. [This is the 2nd record here]. It moved forcefully through the 'rough' from bush top to bush top. I couldn't actually see it clearly because I was putting a net up and looking in to the rising sun, but its distinctive call was enough to clinch it. Sure as eggs is eggs, neither I nor anyone else saw/heard it again and the sun went behind the clouds soon after.

I then put the 4-net run up and caught 22 birds here from 9 until finish. Today's total was made up as follows: Dunno (3), Robin 1 (1), Blabi (1), Blaca 2, Chiff 1, Lotti (1), Bluti 2, Greti 5 (3), Golfi 7, Bullf (1).

No Wrens; they're having a poor year (after last year's mega production). Shared my breakfast with a new, young Robin. The male Blackcap caught early on had a fat of 1.5 in contrast to the female at midday that had fat 0, but weighed the same. Both had good muscle score. About 5 Chiffs passed through during the day but only managed to ring the one that I was watching (top shelf job). One of the male Dunnocks was in its 6th year, the other in its 4th.

All of the Goldfinch were juveniles in all shades of PJ moult from 8 ogc to obw and nearly in adult plumage. We're doing quite well for this patch at 29 so far - and more to come, no doubt. In contrast, this year we have only caught 4 new Greenfinch on this site; presumably this is as a result of the infection going round, much like it did in the early 'nineties, when we had another low, total catch. You never know, it might pick up with a few "immigrants" later in the autumn.

We'll see what tomorrow brings.

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