Saturday, 5 June 2010

Quick 'n easy

Today, Ed and I set up at the "crescent" reed-bed; that is, on two sides, not through the middle.

Above: The 'ringing station'.

Not a bad morning 'cos we were all done by 9 o'clock.

20 birds in 3 hours is, for us, a good result. As 12 of the birds were Reed Warblers (see photograph below), extraction was "a piece of cake".

Many of the female reed warblers were showing signs of being in egg. Going by this evidence, it will be a short while yet before we catch the first fledgeling Reed Warblers.

Other birds around were -
Mr & Mrs Swan (she's "orange 500") and their 6 cygnets (that we'll deal with when they're a bit bigger),

a Kingfisher over the net here and a Turtle Dove purring away in this willow alongside the net,

and a very vocal Reed Bunting that eventually got fed up singing to itself and took the wrong turning for breakfast/elevenses.

In all, we caught just 8 new birds and a dozen re-traps, of which 2 were 'new-for-year'.
Chiffchaff 1 - a 2CY female nesting nearby
Blackcap (1) - a male caught as a juvenile in June 2008
Reed Warbler (today's target) 5 (7) - oldest was a 2006 bird
Wren 1 - a new 2CY female
Dunnock 1 (2)
Chaffinch (1) - a 2CY male
Reed Bunting (1) - the 2CY male.

Above & Below: These photographs show the same male blackcap.

A brood patch is where adults loose their 'belly' feathers and blood vessels engorge and come to the surface of the skin to enable heat transfer from the adults to eggs & young.

In the photograph below, the male blackcap is shown with a false brood patch. Sometimes, males are known to help with the 'sitting on the nest' duties. In other species where male and female are hard to tell apart, the false brood patch of a male can easily be mistaken for the brood patch of a female (such as the Garden Warbler). This was an easy one though!

In the immediate area, birds that we saw making use of the main lake-side airspace included Greylag (uncommon here), Common Tern (starting to fish more earnestly; family duties?), Swift (much fewer than last week-end), Cuckoo, Gt. Spotted Woodpecker, Common Whitethroat, a party of Long-tailed Bushtits (working their way over the nesting Reed Warblers) and a pair of Goldfinch.

No comments: