Saturday, 3 July 2010

Number Seven

It has been a fortnight since the last CES visit and, since then, the weather has been on the "warm side". Still, if you can't sleep because of the heat, you might as well get up and go ringing!

"First up" - [3J(F)J "Prune"]

First bird up was a juvenile Dunnock and, on the next round, 2 adult female Blackbirds off the nest and out foraging before 6am. Just the one juvenile Garden Warbler this morning and we noticed a small cyst on the gape of this bird. Not something we see very often.

Juvenile Garden Warbler
The first of two juvenile (male) Blackcaps.

Things were looking good. Three early morning Blue Tits turned out to be from very different sites; one to the east, one to the south and the other from a natural hole or a bat box. Two hours in and it was time for a spot of breakfast and pill taking. Munching on a sandwich, I went through a moult sequence with Davy on an adult (6F) Robin.

Adult Robin moulting its primaries, tertials and tail (03/07/10)
Same bird - primary moult score = 12 (3332100000).

Blackcaps were dominannt with 2 juvenile male types (see photo above showing the darker crown colouration), 2 juvenile female types and a new 2CY male. This in fact doubled our juvenile numbers for the year, bringing them level with the adults. It should be noted that one in every nine birds that we catch throughout the broader site is a Blackcap.

A Green Woodpecker tantalised us, but with the bright sunshine that dominated the session, it could see the nets probably better than us!! We caught young Robin number 8 and as yet it has to start its post-juvenile moult.

Spotty, juvenile Robin.

Also in the bag were three adult Dunnocks. The first was a juvenile female last year, the second was one of our oldest birds, a male that was ringed as a juvenile in earlyAugust 2004 and the last was a bird caught in May 2007 as a 2CY male. Unfortunately, this year it has developed "bumble foot", similar to Sedge Warblers and Chaffinches. The ring is now tight on the leg but doesnt seem to be restricting circulation to the foot.

The final tally was 20 new and 9 re-traps. Every thing stopped at 10am and no more birds were caught in the fourth quarter of "our alloted time slot". C'est la vie!
Blue Tit 1 (2)
Great Tit 1
Chiffchaff 2 (1)
Blackcap 5
Garden Warbler 1
Whitethroat 2
Reed Warbler (1)
Wren 1 (1)
Blackbird 3 (1)
Robin 2
Dunnock 1 (3)
Chaffinch 1.

Additional highlights of the morning were a passing Sandwich Tern and two Little Egberts over. DK went to photograph the second "whitey" but all we heard after a shutter whirring were some mild expletives - as he had left his 2Gig card in the computer!

Instead - here's one I nicked off Phil Slade

Also spotted the first Common Gull of the autumn whilst looking up at a Sparrowhawk in with a party of 50+ Swifts. Soon after, we picked up a "Buzzorant" while scanning with binoculars, an extremely high Cormorant drifting eastwards, invisible to the naked eye, and pondered on where it had come from and where it would end up.

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