Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Stanwell Moor - 24 July 2012

Wellies were again the order of the day as the main ride is still submerged at either end. We were visiting the site on the second night running and actually did slightly better in numbers due to the Lotti flock connecting with our 30ft net. We had 27 in total including 4 more Swallows and the first Sand Martins of the year. There were more youngsters around with 5 Reew Warbler, 2 Blackcaps and a Garden Warbler.

Reed Warbler V351324 was recaptured for the second year running having been retrapped on 3rd June 2011. This bird was originally ringed at Bedfont.

Old timer T708027 (Reed Warbler) carried a ring that was issued within the group, seven years ago, also at bedofnt and appears not have been missing seven years. Where?
For the first time in a while a Cetti's Warbler was heard to sing briefly and Hobby was present again. A young Sparrowhawk was attacking the Starling roost, dropping one next to the trainee, before taking one in flight over the water.

Totals: 25 (2)

Swallow - 4
Sand Martin - 2
Wren - 1
Robin - 1
Reed Warbler - 4 (2)
Garden Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 2
Long-tailed Tit - 10

Stanwell Moor - 23 July 2012

An evening visit produced 25 birds. The first juvenile Reed Warbler of the season was most welcome along with returners X905781 and L851561 ringed on 27/06/10 and 28/07/11 respectively. It seems that V967422 from Stoke Lake Guildford, controlled on 22nd May and retrapped on 20th June has become a regular, having been caught for the third successive month.

 Juvenile Reed Warbler

A Hobby was present from around 7pm onwards but did not deter 8 juvenile Swallows from roosting.

Juvenile Swallow

Totals: 24 (1)

Reed Warbler - 6 (5)
Blackbird - 1
Robin - 1
Swallow - 8
Wren - 3
Long-tailed Tit - 1

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Black Park, Braddenham & Yoesden Bank - 22 July 2012

The first real day with sunshine forecast all day, and we were still a bit too hung over from the previous nights wader ringing, so we just wandering around a few local butterfly sites, with planned visits tomorrow and Tuesday night to Stanwell Moor ringing site before four days at Icklesham.

We first dropped into Black Park where managed to see eight Silver-washed Fritillaries and three White Admirals, plus a Purple Emperor which did the usual early morning visit to some abandoned dog poo, which thankfully had not been cleared up!

Purple Emperor

White Admiral

Our next stopped off at Braddenham passing about thirty Red Kites hanging over a freshly ploughed field at West Wycombe. Butterflies were very active and not settling, with about eight Dark Green Fritillaries, Marbled Whites and many Meadow Browns.

Dark Green Fritillary

After a stop off at the garden centre cafe by Hill Fire Caves we headed off to Yoesden Bank where there were a lot of Meadow Browns in varying condition, some Gatekeepers and Ringlets, with fair number of Marbled Whites and eight male Chalkhill Blues.

Chalkhill Blue

Harty, Isle of Sheppy - 21 July 2012

An evening out with the Swale RG began at 7.40pm on Friday night when we set off for the Isle of Sheppey. The trip was uneventful but on nearing the bridge to the island a huge black cloud could be seen hanging in the distance. This was neither forecast or expected and we feared that the session may be called off at the last minute. However we continued and arrived 45 minutes early allowing time for a brief drop in at the Harty Ferry Inn. By 10.30pm we were at the potato sheds and kitting up before being taken by 4x4 to some shallow pools on the marsh. 5 nets were erected  before heavy rain started, and continued for some minutes.

A few birds were captured prior to high tide at 2.30am with more arriving at peak tide level. If turned out to be a pleasingly varied catch, if of modest quantity.

I learnt that a) Curlews and Whimbrels smell very different to other waders that I have handled, b) The group had never had a retrapped Whimbrel before this catch, c) it is unusual to catch Black-tailed Godwit and Golden Plover at this time of year at the site and d) I really should have more appreciation for Stanwell mud which is much less glutinous than the mud experienced at Harty.

Many thanks to Rod and the team.


Grey Plover – 1
Golden Plover - 1
Black-tailed Godwit – 1
Bar-tailed Godwit – 1
Curlew – 3
Whimbrel – 9 (1)
Redshank –3
Greenshank – 1

Monday, 16 July 2012

Black Park - 15 July 2012

As it was a day with sunshine, well at least for a few hours in the morning, we made our way to the local Country Park for a wander to look for butterflies and check what the bird community around our ringing site were doing. Alas the sunshine did not last long with the cloud steadily thickening up. We did manage during a few periods of bright sunshine to see at least seven Silver-washed Fritillaries, a few Meadow Browns, the odd Gatekeeper and a Comma. I may have seen a White Admiral but the sighting was too brief at a distance to be sure.



Meadow Brown

 Silver-washed Fritillary

Walking around the ringing area, which is remnant heathland, birds were obvious by their absence, at least summer breeders, with no Whitethroats or Willow Warblers to be heard, or even young calling, and the number of Blackcaps seemed low. There was a good sized party of mixed tits going through, which if we had been ringing would have kept us busy, but I cannot say I miss extracting 30 odd Tits. We did come across a party of about 15 Crossbills, but with the whole site having surface water virtually everywhere, the potential for targeting them at a specific water hole will be low. Apart from a couple of Red Kites, it was fairly quiet birdwise.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Stanwell Moor - 8 July 2012

One of our rare visits this spring, turned out to be a pertinent reminder why we have not been much this year. A late session down pour, luckily did not effect any birds but ended up with two very wet ringers, working a very wet site. Catch was moderate with 27 birds caught, of which 19 were new birds. We re-trapped one of our earlier 3J Cetti's and also had two Swallow's, including our first juvenile of the year. We also re-traped control Reed Warbler L271161, first controlled at the site on X and X380544, a re-trap originally ringed on 26/6/2009 at the site. This is only the second site re-trap this year from a previous year.

 Greenfinc - female 3J

Totals: 19 (8):

Swallow - 2
Dunnock - 4
Robin - 2 (1)
Blackbird - 2
Cetti's Warbler - 1
Reed Warbler - 2 (6)
Blackcap - 1 (1)
Chiff-chaff - 3
Starling - 1
Greenfinch - 1

Ringing ride views: