Sunday, 22 September 2013

Chobham Common - 22 September 2013

After Thursday's success on the Meadow Pipit front C & D revisited an area of the common that is regenerating after the area was burnt last year. It started slowly with fewer Meadow Pipits about. We had a double in some trees but somehow the tit flock managed to completely avoid it. There was also a double double panel that works well for Dartfords but no luck today.

After 3 hours we had barely made it into double figures, the bulk being Meadow Pipits.

 Meadow Pipit median coverts juvenile above and adult below. Also note difference on greater coverts.

We had just reached the stage of saying how Chobham can be such a disappointment when it promisies so much when small groups of hirundines started to pass through overhead, heading south. Being ever the optmist where birds are concerned, C changed the mipit tape to House Martin. We spent quite a long time watching them skim above the nets but as the cloud closed in briefly the first few went in and before we knew it they were alighting on the top line and in the skeletal conifers that surrounded the nets.

When those that had not been caught began to gain height we went in to extract and were stunned that from being on the verge of packing up, we were suddenly close to running out of bags.

 Juvenile House Martins

All of the House Martins were juveniles in various stages of post juvenile moult.

Thanks to the unexpected bonus we finished on a very respectable total of 57.

Totals: 57

House Martin - 43
Meadow Pipit - 11
Chiffchaff - 3