Saturday, 29 September 2012

Wraysbury - 29 September 2012

We joined the group and contributed three doubles to the nets covering area C6. We managed around 90 birds but it took a lot of effort and plenty of netage. There were Meadow Pipits present but most evaded the nets. Blackcap, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Dunnock, Goldcrest, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff and Song Thrush all made it on to the record sheet. There was also a single Reed Bunting.

Age 3 Reed Bunting

Star bird of the day was a juvenile Pied Wagtail.

Totals: 80 (11)

Meadow Pipit - 8
Pied Wagtail - 1
Wren - 2
Dunnock - 5 (3)
Robin - 3 (2)
Blackbird - 2 (1)
Song Thrush - 3 (3)
Blackcap - 30
Chiff- chaff - 6
Goldcrest - 2
Long-tailed Tit - 0 (1)
Blue Tit - 3
Great Tit - 1 (1)
Chaffinch - 1
Goldfinch - 9 
Lesser Redpoll - 3 
Reed Bunting - 1     

Stanwell Moor - 28 September 2012

On a day when we anticipated the wind to get up at around midday we were on site and getting nets up by 6.15am. Three nets were put in the reed bed with two triangles on the meadow for Mipits. The first round from the reeds gave us Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap but the catching went rapidly down hill after that. The exception being the ten 'o'clock round when two retrapped Cetti's Warblers, Y335556 (this years) & L606690 (last years) were waiting for us. 

 Age 3 Meadow Pipit showing two generations of median coverts

 Age 4 Meadow Pipit with shallower tooth on medians and more
defined notch on greater coverts.

We were pleased to see good numbers of Meadow Pipits quite early on and within the first three rounds we got most of the nine pipits that were caught. Two large female Sparrowhawks were also targetting them, very successfully, by driving them towards the soil bank and picking them off quite easily. At least two were seen to be taken in this manner. As the wind grew stronger and the birds were more cautious it became obvious that the nets were no longer effective so we packed up and were off site just before it began to rain.

Totals: 17 (2)

Meadow Pipit - 9
Dunnock - 2
Cettis Warbler - 0 (2)
Reed Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 1
Chiff-chaff - 2
Blue Tit - 1
Reed Bunting - 1

Stanwell Moor - 27 September 2012

We made a quick trip to the gravel pit to monitor the water level at the pool in the meadow, and since we were there decided to erect a few nets for the roost, just on the off chance.

While I looked after the nets, Chris went to see how much water the recent downpour had topped up the pool. The level had definitely risen but no waders or duck were present.

Meanwhile, I watched the sky for signs of potential roostees, but it seemed the Starlings now favour an alternative site and the few Swallows that were seen to pay any attention soon moved on. As the light began to fail and gulls passed overhead on their way to roost, the only birds captured were a Robin, Cetti's Warbler and a Swallow.

Totals : 3

Swallow - 1
Robin - 1
Cetti's Warbler -1 

Monday, 24 September 2012

Landguard Bird Observatory - 21 to 23 September 2012

With the promise of winds swinging easterly over the weekend, Chris and I headed down to Landguard to join our old ringing buddy Gavin. Thirty birds were ringed on the 20th and we were hopeful that we might have a good few days. On Friday we had all nets open and caught 11 birds including Chiffchaffs, Robins, Blue and Great Tits and Goldfinches.

Things were a little better on the Saturday with an increase to 15 birds ringed, including the first Brambling of the autumn.

3F Brambling

Meadow Pipit

The wind veered easterly in the early afternoon. All seemed very quiet towards the end of the day, but with reports of Yellow-browed Warbler and Red-breasted Flyctacher amongst other migrants along the coast in Norfolk we were hopeful as ever. But it transpired that there had been a mass exodus over night and the only four birds caught were Greenfinch, Blue Tit, Whitethroat and Great Spotted Woodpecker, and the dump of good birds in Norfolk failed to make it much further south in any numbers.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

The birds observed on Sunday included 350 Wigeon, 200 Brent Geese, 190 Gannet, 2 Manx Shearwaters, a Sooty Shearwater, 2 Leeches Petrel, a Short-eared Owl, 2 Guillemots, 2 Razorbills, 30 Arctic Skua and a Pomerine Skua - but we weren't viewing constantly and missed many of these while doing the rounds.

The heligoland trap

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Black Park Country Park - 16 September 2012

Today was the first visit of the autumn to the country park. While setting up all seemed quite quiet. There were a few Goldcrests around and a couple of Crossbill were heard to pass overhead. Before being fully set, a mixed tit flock connected with a 40ft net giving a busy start but the catching then reduced to a trickle as the wind began to increase in strength. We closed before midday.

The catch was mainly titmice with a smattering of other species. Blue Tit X763679, first caught when aged 3 at Home Cottage Farm, Iver Heath on 28/12/2009 and processed again as a 5 in our garden on 05/02/2010 was retrapped.




Totals: 46 (2)

Wren - 1
Robin – 3 (1)
Blackcap - 1
Chiff-chaff - 2
Goldcrest- 5
Great Tit - 9
Blue Tit – 16 (1)
Long-tailed Tit - 7
Nuthatch - 1
Treecreeper - 1

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Harty, Isle of Sheppey - 14 September 2012

An evening hide tide session at Harty on the Isle of Sheppey with the Swale RG. We travelled via Rainham RSPB where we had brief views of the Baillions Crake, followed by a couple of hours wandering around Shellness (400 or so Black-tailed Godwits inc R/GYG L/RRW and a couple of Avocets) and Capel Fleet (11 Marsh Harriers seen coming to roost), then the Harty Ferry PH for dinner, Denise's burger arriving minus the burger initially. We met up at 9.30pm as high tide was just after midnight. Few birds were heard moving about, but we did manage a lowish catch of fourteen birds of six species.

juvenile Dunlin

Totals: 14

Grey Plover - 5
Dunlin - 3
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1
Whimbrel - 1
Curlew -3
Redshank - 0 (1)

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Stanwell Moor - 13 Septmeber 2012

An evening visit for the Swallow roost just brought how how early it gets dark these evenings and how quick the session goes after work. It was a fairly quite evening with eight birds in just under two hours, with a bonus of another juvenile Cetti's Warbler and at least a single Swallow despite not having any roosting.

 Juvenile Cetti's Warbler

Total: 7 (1)

Swallow -1
Robin -1
Cetti's Warbler - 1
Reed Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 1
Chiff-chaff - 1 (1)
Blue Tit - 1

Monday, 10 September 2012

Weymouth area - 9 September 2012

Wanting a change and an excuse to do a day just birding, we decided to go to Weymouth and have a look at the Short-billed Dowitcher and see what else was around. We got there by ten, which after an hour it became overcast and the wind picked up. A few hours spent trying to get to see the Lodmoor Dowitcher, which potentially was asleep in the vegetation give us a chance to read some colour rings.

Mediterranean Gull E607 - origins still unknown 

Black-headed Gull E4ZF rung last year in Holland

cr Sandwich Terns, one red Darvic EVD was rung 
on the Ythan  Estuary last year

A trip over to a very quiet Portland Bill, only migrant seen was a single Wheatear, and despite the onshore wind, virtually nothing was moving on the sea.

Afternoon session back at Lodmoor eventually gave some very good views of the Short-billed Dowitcher and some post ID comments by those surrounding us about how could anyone not known it was Short-billed, very easy to say once someone has made the right identification. A couple of more cr Gulls were picked up. Final count was four cr Mediterranean Gulls (one from Hungry), two Black-headed Gulls, one Sandwich Tern (plus one cr banded which can only be assigned to a colony and a specific breeding year) and two Mute Swans.

Stanwell Moor - 8 September 2012

This morning we were joined by TA, so divided our efforts to cover the lakeside and muddy meadow areas.
With wader migration stalled by the current weather conditions, box configurations in the meadow gave Meadow Pipits into double figures. Birds caught early on were probably of the local breeding population with some 3JJ individuals. Those from later on may have been local or on passage.

Getting to grips with the business of ageing Meadow Pipits


We also got some Linnets, a Reed Bunting and bizarrely a first year Great Spotted Woodpecker bearing  LE42220 a non group ring.

The lakeside captures were of predictable species for the habitat, but did include an extremely immature Song Thrush, evidence of some very late breeding efforts, in what have been difficult conditions this season. By midday 4 Hobbies were providing aerial displays above and taking full advantage of the many and varied dragonflies on site.

Totals: 34 (2)

Great Spotted Woodpecker - 0 (1)
Swallow - 1
Meadow Pipit - 14
Wren - 1
Robin -0 (1)
Song Thrush - 2
Sedge Warbler - 2
Reed Warbler - 2
Blackcap -4
Chiffchaff -3
Great Tit - 1
Linnet - 2
Reed Bunting - 1

Stanwell Moor - 6 September 2012

Another fine evening and we tried at the roost again. It was looking promising with a mixed flock of Sand Martin and Swallow hanging above the lake, but attention from the Sparrowhawk/Hobby combo spooked them and the session captures failed to make double figures and even fell one short of the previous evening's disappointing total.

Totals;- 6

Sedge Warbler - 2
Reed Warbler - 2
Blackcap - 2

Stanwell Moor - 5 September 2012

This was one of the brightest, clearest and calmest evenings of the summer. It had been the kind of day that spurs birds on and it was obvious that there had been a mass clear-out.
We pinned our hopes on the roost, but caught nothing as there were no hirundines. Only seven birds were caught, one being a control Reed Warbler Y224319.

Totals - 6(1)

Sedge Warbler - 2
Reed Warbler - 2(1)
Blackcap - 1
Chiffchaff - 1

Stanwell Moor - 3 September 2012

We were joined by CRW for this session. A few Reed Warblers, Blackcaps and a Chiffchaff came out of the Reed-bed nets prior to the roost and a single Linnet was netted from the rapidly reducing water meadow. There was a small roost including retrapped 4M Swallow L851606, originally rung by us last year.

Totals: 15 (2)

Sand Martin - 1
Swallow - 6 (1)
Reed Warbler - 4
Blackcap - 3
Chiffchaff - 0 (1)
Linnet - 1

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Stanwell Moor - 1 September 2012

The morning session started with a quick tidy-up in the net ride as willow and reeds were spilling into the open area and making it difficult to access both sides of the net. With the three nets set and tapes for Reed Warbler and Chiff-chaff playing, we put up a further two 50s on a spit where bramble has reached head height and lines either side of the ride.  We then erected a further two doubles and a combination of three two panels over the diminishing pooled water and mud of the flash.

The first net round produced only three Reed Warbler and a Wren. The Chiff-chaff tape had failed to pull in any of the calling birds in the immediate area. There was a good mix from the brambles, Blackcap, Whitethroat,Song Thrush and Blackbird were all captured and processed but nothing can back from the flash nets.

As the morning progressed the birds continued in a steady trickle including two Reed Buntings, one of which carried a ring that was not issued to RRG/MX.

Reed Bunting - 3 male

After closing down the lakeside nets we finished up at the flash and although no waders or ducks were seen in the vicinity we did manage two Meadow Pipits to bring the total to 34 captures.

Meadow Pipit - 3J

Totals: 31(3)

Meadow Pipit - 2
Dunnock - 1
Wren - 3
Robin - 2
Blackbird - 2 (1)
Song Thrush - 1
Sedge Warbler - 1
Reed Warbler - 6 (1)
Blackcap - 9
Whitethroat - 1
Chiff-chaff - 1
Great Tit - 1
Reed Bunting - 1 (1)

Stanwell Moor - 30 August 2012

With the additional assistance of CDW and Richard Dwyer (Surrey Ringing report editor) the roost and flash were targeted. A small band of hirundines, c25, showed interest in the tapes and the birds had gone down before the flash nets were fully erected. A catch of three adult Sand Martin and six Swallow was taken.
Having packed up the roost nets we resumed at the flash but nothing had found the nets and even after a brief wait until what passes for dark in the glimmer from the motorway lighting we caught no more birds.

Totals : 9

Sand Martin - 3
Swallow - 6