Thursday, 25 August 2016

Wraysbury GP - 25 August 2016

A forecast of rain in the early morning delayed our start and we weren't on site until 7.00am. We had a total of nine nets up and caught over 80 birds including some species that do not regularly appear on the record sheets here. As well as the more usual Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, today we also caught an adult Woodpigeon, a juvenile Pied Wagtail and some young Swallows, all contributing to our total of 16 species.

3JP Pied Wagtail

3O Swallow

Totals:  71 (11)

Woodpigeon - 1
Swallow - 3
Pied Wagtail - 1
Dunnock - 3 (2)
Robin - 3
Blackbird - 1
Reed Warbler - 2
Whitethroat - 9 (1)
Garden Warbler - 6 (1)
Blackcap - 15 (4)
Chiffchaff - 10 (2)
Willow Warbler - 6
Goldcrest - 2
Long-tailed Tit - 3 (1)
Blue Tit - 2
Goldfinch - 4

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Stanwell GP - 24 August 2016

Stanwell has been rather neglected lately as we've been concentrating on Wraysbury and Broadwater as the migration got underway. This morning we managed to fit in about 4 hours ringing with 5 nets in the reedbed ride and a single net close to the River Colne.

We were joined by WA and had everything set up well before work at the recycling plant began. We caught a total of 27 birds with no recaptures. There was a number of juvenile Reed Warblers and a couple of Sedge Warblers.

3O Sedge Warbler

Also, a smattering of other species, despite the noise disturbance as work got underway on the mound of rubble that we ring near and that seems to change everytime we go on site. This added to the aircraft taking off right above the site makes this a welcome, if somewhat noisy, retreat for birds within a stones throw of Heathrow Airport.


Totals: 27

Wren - 1
Robin - 2
Sedge Warbler - 2
Reed Warbler - 11
Blackcap - 1
Whitethroat - 1
Chiffchaff - 5
Goldcrest - 2
Long-tailed Tit - 1
Greenfinch - 1

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Wraysbury GP - 23 August 2016

We continue migration monitoring at Wraysbury - not long to go now as we'll be heading off to Sweden next week where we'll be ringing at Getterons throughout September. It's over a week since we have been able to ring at Wraysbury so we expected to see a few changes.

We had six nets up today, for just two of us as a couple of others that may have joined us couldn't make it. We had just completed set up when I (Denise) turned a corner on the way to the first net for checking, to find some 15 ponies between me and the net. With a little skillful encouragement they disappeared off, away from the ringing rides - we really will be pleased when they're finally removed.

Catching was steady until 10am. There were still a few Willow Warbler about, Whitethroats are now roughly equal to Blackcap captures and Garden Warbler numbers have dropped right down but some of those that we're catching are carrying high levels of fat. There were a few scored at 3 or 4 fat with the heaviest bird (F7 M2) weighing in at 26.9g.

 Garden Warbler weighing 26.9g - IPMR said no!

D859845, a Robin, ringed on 15th December 2015,  was captured in moult although both wings were not symmetrical.

 Adult Robin D859845

 Asymmetrical wing moult - right and left wings


Totals: 73 (12)

Dunnock - 5
Robin - 1 (1)
Reed Warbler - 2
Whitethroat - 17 (5)
Garden Warbler - 6 (1)
Blackcap - 18 (3)
Chiffchaff - 16 (2)
Willow Warbler - 3
Goldcrest - 3
Blue Tit - 1
Goldfinch - 1

Monday, 22 August 2016

Broadwater GP - 22 August 2016

For the second day running we went to Broadwater hoping to find large numbers of Swallows over the lake. As before, there were few birds about and it was not even worth putting the net up.

Instead we went round to our usual site and put up four nets. Considering the late start, we did quite well with over 20 birds captured. Several birds were retrapped Chiffchaffs and all birds captured took 'AA' sized rings.

One re-trap Willow Warbler had been present for five days with no significant weight gain. This site is not a breeding area, but appears to be a regular autumn migration site, with for the area, a fairly good number passing through utilising the Colne Valley corridor.

Adult Willow Warbler showing pale throat and face

 Broad retrices

Pure white belly and light yellow legs



3JM Goldcrest

Totals: 15 (8)

Chiffchaff - 6 (6)
Willow Warbler - 7 (1)
Goldcrest - 2
Long-tailed Tit - 0 (1)

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Broadwater GP - 17 August 2016

Another windy day as we continue monitoring this site every other day. MRB and BC covered the session on the 15th and captured 57 birds, down on the numbers we've been getting lately.  Today we captured even fewer birds. There were birds around, but it was cold early on and the birds were mostly high up in the warmth of the sun. There were several completely birdless rounds.


Adult Chiffchaff in wing moult

After the clearance made to the site by the fishing club, we have made up some notices to try to keep people out of the new rides that we've had to cut. We can but hope as a new fixed guy put in only last week had been burnt through and rendered useless.


There will be no coverage on Friday as we'll all be at the BirdFair! 

Totals:   27 (6)

Wren - 0 (1)
Robin - 3
Reed Warbler - 1
Sedge Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 2
Garden Warbler - 1
Chiffchaff - 9 (4)
Willow Warbler - 7 (1)
Blue Tit - 2
Great Tit - 1

Monday, 15 August 2016

Chobham Common - 14 August 2016

As we walked across the common we decided we would have met up at an earlier time had we known there would be so many passerines about at the end of the day. Stonechat, Whitethroat , Chiffchaff and Dartford Warbler were all seen. Two doubles and a single were erected and we were fortunate enough to capture two young Dartford Warblers before the sun dropped below the horizon and the small birds retired for the day.

There was a brief flurry of activity at dusk as a couple of Nightjars flew around quite close to the nets before disappearing but after that there seemed to be much less activity than when we last visited. A juvenile Nightjar was our only nocturnal capture - other than an extremely aggressive Pipistrelle Bat and a rather better behaved Long-eared Bat. Both were successfully extracted and released.

The team was CL/DKL/WA/LON.

Totals: 3
Nightjar - 1
Dartford Warbler - 2

Wraysbury GP - 14 August 2016

A 6am start for the team of five (CL/DKL/HD/WA/LON) but time was lost trying to return several ponies back to the other side of the fence. Some were herded through the gate but others retreated to the far side of the site and we had to be content with that.

We put a total of nine nets up and catching was rather slow at first. As we watched the birds moving around the site it was clear that the numbers of Blackcap and Garden Warbler had dropped considerably in comparison to recent catches. We took our first capture of a flock from the double along the access track. There were plenty of Long-tailed Tits, a few Blue Tits and some Whitethroats and Willow Warblers that had been travelling with them.

 Reed Warbler aged 3

 Sedge Warbler aged 3

3M Goldcrest

We continued to see a similar pattern in behaviour as we caught several birds of different species in some nets, from time to time, with nothing appearing in others. Mixed flocks could be seen moving around the site. There were definitely far fewer birds foraging individually - a marked change from our recent visits here.

Totals: 88 (14)


Wren - 1
Dunnock - 2 
Sedge Warbler - 2
Reed Warbler - 3
Whitethroat - 27 (2)
Garden Warbler - 4 (4)
Blackcap - 5 (3)
Chiffchaff - 10 (1)
Willow Warbler - 9
Goldcrest - 7
Long-tailed Tit - 13 (3)
Blue Tit - 4 (1)
Chaffinch - 1