Thursday, 21 June 2012

Stanwell Moor - 20 June 2012

There had been no visits to the site for three weeks so an evening sortie was planned. The shoreline of the lake had receeded a little, but the reedbed rides were still much wetter than usual.Wellington boots were again essential to get to and work the 170ft and 30ft net runs.

Due to the unseasonal amount of rain, Chris was armed with brush cutter and strimmer in order to battle the ever increasing biomass emerging in the dryer areas of the net rides at ground level.

The area seemed quiet, other than intermittent interruptions from the sound of groundwork being undertaken in other rides about the site.   There was little bird song and apart from terns fishing in the lake there seemed to be nothing much above the shallow water.

As well as numerous rabbits and the feathered visitors and residents, Stanwell also gets the odd floral  gem and the only Bee Orchid known at the site has been recorded for the second year. More of a surprise was the exotic plant pictured below.

 Bee Orchid

This green specimen was found hidden amongst the brambles alongside one of our overgrown rides. The leaves may be instantly recogniseable, and if not the pot could be a clue to its identity. I can only imagine the look on the face of whoever put it there when they return to find the ride completely clear and ready for ringing action. After consideration we decided the Police would not be interested in a stakeout for this solitary plant. We strongly suspect it will be gone when we next visit. If we see any doped up rabbits we'll know the reason why.  

Only 13 birds were captured. Most welcome were two juvenile Cetti's Warblers. This was not entirely unexpected (we'd acquired the appropriate licence) as at least two singing males were known to be present. However,we have never caught more than one youngster on any one date before.  We managed to catch three young Starlings, representing just a tiny fraction of the post breeding flock now roosting in the Willow carr. We caught immature Chiff-chaff (2), Lotti and Wren. We also managed an adult female Swallow with BP5. The retraps comprised a Great Tit, caught for the third time since July 2009 when it was already an adult and two adult Reed Warblers. Both second captures for the year, one was control V967422 that was first netted on 22nd May and the other had been caught and ringed on the 13th of May.

Cetti's Warbler

Totals: 10 (3)

Cetti's Warbler - 2
Reed Warbler - 0 (2)
Chiff-chaff - 2
Swallow - 1
Great Tit - 0 (1)
Long-tailed Tit -1
Wren - 1
Starling - 3