Monday, 2 December 2013

Chobham Common - 2 December 2013

A visit to Chobham with Margaret and MRB, perhaps against our better judgement in view of  the poor return from the last two visits when we got 5 birds and then a trip out lead by PCD returned just 2 birds being caught last week. There are no large flocks of small finches or wintering Reed Buntings this year and the thrushes merely shuttle between the two neighbouring golf courses at some height overhead. That said, MRB missed out on a trip in the summer and has never had a chance to ring Dartford Warbler so ever optimistic we gave it a go.

We found an area near the railway line and put up a dog leg and an open box for Lesser Redpoll. We then made good use of a strip cleared through the heather for when cattle are fenced in during the summer. This took two three panel 40s and two two panel 40s in a straight line.

We had an inauspicious start with three Great Tits but things soon started to look up with a retrapped Lesser Redpoll (D709736) swiftly followed by a Dartford Warbler.

3M Dartford Warbler

As we were only seeing Redpolls in ones and twos, Chris switched one of the audio-lures to a new Redwing recording to see if it provoked a better response than the one that we've tried before. It was certainly more compelling than the old recording and birds rapidly dropped from their heading into some nearby Silver Birches. Rather fewer could be encouraged down to net level but we did catch one from the initial 'drop in'.

Redwing aged 4

The morning continued with a trickle of birds being attracted to the audio lures. They may not have been in large numbers, but the record sheet reflected true quality. We managed another couple of Lesser Redpolls but sadly still no Commons, as yet, this year.

 4M Lesser Redpoll - note rosy hue GC fringes and lesser coverts

We caught a further two new and one retrapped Dartfords, making it the leading species for much of the session..............

Retrap 3M Dartford Warbler, Y979849, ringed on 13/08/2013 when 3J

3M Dartford Warbler

3F Dartford Warbler

until a further four Redwings were caught during the morning.

 Adult Redwing

We also caught one of a pair of Stonechat to add  a little more diversity to the catch and raise the total to 18 birds all told.

3F Stonechat

So, still no large numbers of Redpolls but a very worthwhile session nonetheless.

Totals: 16 (2)

Stonechat - 1
Redwing - 5
Dartford Warbler - 3 (1)
Goldcrest - 1
Blue Tit - 1
Great Tit - 3
Lesser Redpoll - 2 (1)