Friday, 16 April 2010

Two away days

A couple of pre-breeding sessions in areas away from the main Priory CES net lanes. Often we pick up returning 2CY migrants in these patches and also young birds that have moved out for good.

Friday - it was the small reedbed known as 'the crescent' (because of the shape of the path we net along). A swathe has been cut through the middle by the rangers for the first time in 30 years. This is the second of three cuts that will see the patch undergo some rejuvenation. It hasn't been done before now as it was the 'wash out pit' and the phragmites has grown up on the 'quicksand', a less than welcoming sub-strate for welly-booted ringers.

Still, a small catch - since the forecast light winds did not materialise but remained a good F4, straight off the water.

2CY female Chaffinch (BP=1)

Wren (1), Blackbird 1 (1), Chaffinch 1, Reed Bunting 1.

2CY male Reed Bunting in full summer plumage

Saturday - further down the 'long hedge' from the main site, in amongst the blackthorn and elder. Our No.1 target was the Common Whitethroat that arrived yesterday. Frustratingly, two Lesser Whitethroats arrived in the area of the CES extra net on the Thursday. But ...

Wot? - No vapour trails? [taken in the 'sheep pen']

Ed and I managed to get 400' up (7 nets) by using both of our sets of poles. It turned out to be a reasonable day, once we got going. There was nearly an air frost (0.5C) but we soon warmed up in the sunshine after handling frosty poles and that.

V064467 - about to celebrate his 4th birthday

"Top of the poles" was this Blackcap; we also caught 5 others, 3 females & 2 males. Matey above sang lustily to one of the females, who called back fiercely, with much wing-flapping, either in anger or anticipation!

Quite a 'how do you do'!

We also caught a returning male Chiff for the 5th time since ringing in early April '08; its wing was now 65mm. This bird is a bit of a roamer, as we have caught it in three different locations some ways apart.

One of two male Chaffinches caught today

To sum up, here is the total of our efforts today, 23 new & 15 retraps:
Blue Tit 3 (2),
Great Tit (1),
Long-tailed Bushtit 2 (2),
Chiffchaff 1 (1),
Blackcap 5 (1),
Wren 1 (1),
Blackbird 2 (1),
Song Thrush (1),
Robin 2,
Dunnock 3 (4),
Chaffinch 2,
Greenfinch 1,
Bullfinch 1 (1).

Today's 'rare'! A 5M Greenfinch in good nick.

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