Saturday, 28 August 2010

Hands Solo.

At last, I could get out and ring. Hand almost like new, wellies still performing after 20 years.
Today was a solo effort, since young Ed went off to his new patch at Clophill. Nets went up and the birds came visiting.

Well, they did for about 90 minutes, then an hour long wait for 3 more and, after that flurry, one bird an hour to finish off with. I even put up 2 extra nets (100') but they didn't catch anything. I put it all down to a sudden weather change about 8 o'clock, when the skies cleared, the wind got up and the tops of the nets were bathed in bright sunlight.
"The sky at bright" - taken 8am. (Yes. That is the moon)

It went from bad to worse, too.
The list of 22 new and 3 retrapped birds is as follows:
Chiffchaff 2
Blackcap 6
C.Whitethroat 3
Blackbird 2 (1)
Song Thrush 3 (1)
Robin 1
Dunnock 3 (1)
Chaffinch 1
Goldfinch 1

Overhead there were c.16 Swifts and c.20 House Martins in the early morning sun. Also flying over from the main lake, 15 Shoveler ( spooked by the sailing fraternity), 4 calling Gadwall, & 8 Cormorant but no raptors. Inside the ringing sub-site, there was a Lesser Whitethroat on the top of one of the Elderberry bushes for some while, accompanied by a Garden Warbler at first and then by an unringed male Blackcap. Upwards of 8 Goldfinches blogged to and fro, a young Great Spot flew over, the Long-tailed Tits flew through with a few other hangers-on (tits), across (but outside) the corner of the net run. I heard a Bullfinch, a Greenfinch and noticed 2 Crows in the top of the Pear tree, something I spotted last time I was in here. No sign of the Spot Fly that we watched last Sunday.

Total CES tally this year was 96 adults of 21 species, 169 juveniles of 20 species. We have also captured another 45 individuals on extra visits and ringed 81 tit pulli in the same compartment, a grand total of 360 individual birds of 24 species. Blackcap is still "tops" for the site with 56 caught so far ... and another 6 weeks to go before they all disappear.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Number 11

Today was the 15th. CES 11 due to be done today. 15th bird today was special. Lesser Whitethroat - our 4th this year. Maybe it was bred here.

A funny old day; no Swifts seen, for a start. A Sparr over the nets just as they were opened set the scene. Another dire first half (like the previous two weekends). Quite a few screaming young Common Terns flying to and fro with their parents.

It turned out to be quite a good day for the Borin Warbler; we managed to get 4 new ones.

The full line up was as follows:
Blue Tit 2 (1)
Gt. Tit (2)
Blackcap 4
Garden Warbler 4
Les. Whitethroat 1
C. Whitethroat 1
Reed Warbler 2
Wren (1)
Blackbird 1 (3)
Robin (1)
Bullfinch 1
... making 24 birds of 11 species, a bit "off the pace" for the time of year.

There was a fly-through Kingfisher (well above the top shelf), a few Swallows, both Gt. Spot and Green Woodpeckers and a Common Sandpiper over the nearby old lake (Fingers) mid-morning.

A little disappointed that we didn't catch more Whitethroats, just this one mid-session.

The weather was 8 oktas decreasing to 7, breezy but moderating, from the NE going NW'ly, light drizzle initially after four damp days and nights. Will we do better next weekend?

And while we're at it, here is a report from Mark Boyd, who did The Thorns today:

"Hi Everyone

You missed a rare opportunity to say that you were at the least productive Waterloo Thorns CES visit ever yesterday. Conditions were fine, a little breezy towards the end of the morning, but nothing exceptional. There were birds around - a bouncing sparrowhawk, a flock of 40 mixed finches, etc - but not many in the nets. All nets were up by 5.30 am. By 07.40 I had caught two birds. I caught the rest at 10.45.
Here are the totals:

Robin 1 (0)
Bullfinch (1)
Treecreeper 1 (1)
Long-tailed tit (2)
Goldcrest (1)

That's right. Just seven birds in total, of which only two were new."

One bit of good news - we had a Blue Tit leave this same CES site near Sandy and travel to Wicken Fen, a distance of 42km. This is our 4th longest distance, the best being 88km for the species.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Another CES10 - Bedford (or Dire Straights 2)

Another Sunday CES session, this at Priory CP. We did, however also run a couple of nets "off site", which we'll come to.

Not quite as bad (but almost) as last weekend, even though it started off slow with just 7 birds in the first half.

19 new birds & 3 retraps covering 10 species for the CES
Blue Tit (1)
Willow Warbler 1 juv [that's 4 now!]
Blackcap 3 juvs
A 3M Blackcap, at the end of its PJ moult. Note 1 ogc

Garden Warbler 3 [a 4M & a 3P]
A scruffy juv Garden Warbler doing a body moult

Whitethroat 4 all juvs
Wren 1 a late juv
Blackbird 2 (2) - 2 wimps and 2x 5's (2nd CY)
Song Thrush 1 fresh looking juv
Robin 1 'half-breast'
Goldfinch 2 grown-ups
Male Goldfinch - or 'King Harry'

All of the warblers were fat zero and muscle 1; no signs yet of migrating birds here at 52 degrees North!

Now onto the 100' of extra netting across the footpath, a different habitat.
Just 11 new birds and 2 retraps; Net for net - better.
Blue Tit 3 (1)
Great Tit 1 (1)
Long-tailed Tit 1 juv
Chiffchaff 2 - one of each age class
Whitethroat 1 lurking adult with 5 outer primaries growing
Adult Common Whitethroat in full primary moult (MS=40) - getting ready to leave us.

Robin 1 in PJ moult
Chaffinch 1 - a 2CY male in heavy moult
Bullfinch 1 - a 2CY female, still with a good BP.

The only moving birds were 12 Cormorant east and c.12 Swifts south after feeding above the lake-side willows. Bloggers included up to ten Goldfinch and the breeding/feeding Common Terns.

CES 10, Everton

CES 10 at Waterloo Thorns (370' in 5 net rides in scrub on the edge of "the Secret Airfield") was completed on Sunday morning. A decent session with a nice species mix; we fell just short of getting 40 birds.

Overall 31 new and (8 retrap)

Blackcap 2 (2)
Blue tit 2 (2)
Bullfinch 2 (1)
Dunnock 6 (1)
Blackbird 3 (1)
Green woodpecker 1 (1)
Whitethroat 9 (0)
Reed warbler 1 (0)
Garden warbler 1 (0)
Coal tit 1 (0)
Wren 1 (0)
Chiffchaff 2 (0)

Cheers - Gareth Fisher

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Dire Straights

"Missing - Presumed having a good time". Not today (Sunday).

Summer is turning; the creeping thistles are ripe and ready for the 'King Harry's' to strip out. Mind you, a few have already been given some thought!

Started off the first half of the Priory CES with 7 birds of 7 species. Grim. A bit better in the second half (needed to be!) with 12 birds of 10 species, ending up with 19 birds of 12 species. This compares favourably with the other CES at The Thorns which had just 26 birds using 50% more netting!

The autumn fruits are beginning to ripen; a few blackberries are ready to be taken.

The Elderberries, of which we have many on this sub-site, are ever so slowly turning red. It will be a while yet before they are deep purple and ready to be eaten.

The Teasels, on the other hand, will be ready for our Goldfinches before the last of the Thistles are stripped.

Which brings us back to the birds we caught and ringed today.
Great Tit (1)
Chiffchaff 2
Willow Warbler 1 - our 3rd of the year!
Blackcap 2 (1) -
C.Whitethroat 2 (1) - all in some stage of moult
Reed Warbler 1
Treecreeper 1 - the first of the season

Wren 2
Blackbird 1 - a new male
Robin 1 - not quite 'Xmas card' yet.
Dunnock 2
Goldfinch 1 - our first youngster of 2010

An extra 60' net that was set in an adjoining sub-site yielded another 5 birds -
Gt. Tit (2)
Chiffchaff 1 (1)
Chaffinch (1)

What will next weekend bring? A few passage birds, perhaps?