Sunday, 27 November 2011

Strong winds curtail ringing activities

Having planned ahead for this weekend, the strong winds had a major impact on the ringing this weekend.

On Friday 25th November, a ringing session at Harrold-Odell Country Park resulted in no birds being ringed. Now that most of the leaves in the bushes have fallen, the area that in summer was home to a wide variety of birds, was very quiet. Redwings were eating the berries in the bushes along the edge of the lake. A group of Fieldfares was in the tops of the taller trees. Out on the lake a large group of Wigeon was very active; it was nice to watch a Goldeneye also. But our ringing area was deserted.

By Saturday 26th, the wind had really picked up in strength. Santa was in his grotto upstairs at Bromham Mill, but outside the wind made mist-netting difficult. A group of children sang Christmas carols, much to the delight of an appreciative crowd. Just two birds were caught - with one Blue Tit ringed and one retrapped (originally ringed on 25/6/11).

The forecast for Sunday 27th was for strong winds in the morning, then becoming calmer during the afternoon. As a result a planned morning ringing session at Marston Vale Millennium Country Park was postponed to the afternoon. The wind was still fairly strong at 2pm, but by 3pm it was a really pleasant, sunny, afternoon. Once again there were some dragonflies taking advantage of the warm weather; several kept on landing on both Mike and me.

Several Cetti's Warblers were heard, a Chinese Water Deer was seen and a Water Rail was flushed from the grass near the Pillinge. The Geese are still absent. The aim had been to ring Reed Buntings before they went to roost, but only one was ringed and there was no obvious gathering of others in the area. Totals for the day were as follows (with retraps shown in brackets):

  • Reed Bunting 1

  • Cetti's Warbler 0 (+1 retrap - first ringed on 13/11/11)

  • Robin 1

  • Wren 1 (+1 retrap - first ringed on 29/8/11)

  • Total: 3 (+2 retraps)
This is the fourth week running that we have ringed/caught Cetti's Warblers at Marston.

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