Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Magnificent Seven

Great Spot. - note the dull eye of this juvenile and the emerging red crown feathers, indicating 'male'.

A lonely vigil today, starting at a dewy 7 o'clock and finishing at a (comparative) sweltering 12 noon. My main intention was to catch a few more Blackcaps, which I achieved. It was also a chance to try out - and learn how to use - the new MP3 player and speaker with a bit of tape luring. It is certainly a tad better than my 30-year old tape set-up, but then that is capable of blasting them out of the sky. I had to join the 21st century sometime!

Well, it went very well. An early Reewa and a Chaff followed by a couple of Blaca cheered me up so I set about putting a net by the new feeders. A Goldf, two more Blaca and another Reewa, plus loads of immature Bluti and new Greti kept me busy for a couple of hours, by which time I decided it was the right juncture for a cupp'a.
Just love the black and white uppers of the King Harry's
A recently fledged juvenile Reed Warbler -all three in different fitness to emigrate
One of two male Blackcaps included in the seven new individuals.

From then on, it slowed down but became the more interesting. A young male Grswo dropped in, two Robin, more tits, another Blaca, a Treec, a couple of adult Lotti, another Goldf, two more Blaca, a third Reewa and finally, at half eleven, a Coati.
On measurements, this young Treecreeper should turn out to be a male.
Coal Tit - I claimed this immature bird as a ringing tick for the park.

Now these are rare in the park; one was seen by DK in Feb 2009, but the previous record was one I and another birder saw back in 1995. Bingo.

At the end of the morning, I had bagged 50 birds of which 10 were retraps. Four of the six tits recaptured had been ringed 'at the nest' as pulli, in different plantations. Twelve species at this location is just above par. I didn't manage to catch any of the 3 Chiffs feeding on Ivy blossom, nor the lone Whitethroat that had been seen here up until yesterday. I only saw 2 Blackbirds all morning and heard an alarm call of a Dunnock without seeing one. The Marsh Tit came to the feeder but not the net! A Hobby came over, too. About 6-8 Meadow Pipits passed west-south-west during mid-morning.

The all important ringing list (re-traps in brackets, as usual):
Gt. Spotted Woodpecker 1 - second for the year
Blue Tit 8 (6)
Great Tit 12 (1)
Coal Tit 1 - 'ringing tick' for the park
Long-tailed Bushtit (2) - both lone adults
Blackcap 7 - now 2010 total (89) beats last year's
(2nd highest annual figure in 20 years)

Reed Warbler 3 - makes 37 youngsters for the year
Treecreeper 1 - second for the year
Wren 3
Robin 1 (1)
Chaffinch 1
Goldfinch 2

Blackcap is the most ringed species on the site. At present it accounts for 11.35% of all new birds. Blue Tit is next (10.49%), then Reed Warbler (5.63%), Blackbird (5.48%) & Sand Martin (5.09%).

A typical young Blue Tit, still a bit scruffy as it comes to the end of its post-juvenile moult (mainly body feathers are replaced).
Surprisingly, only one Great Tit was a retrap (ringed as a pullus, too). Not an adult among them.

One other bit of news - DK picked up a Cetti's on call/song (remained hidden - so only brief views) by the STW bridge, our first since winter 06/07.

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