Thursday, 8 September 2016

Getterön Fågelstation - 8th & 9th September 2016

8th September
The morning started with light spots of rain during setting up, so a quick check of the forecast was in order and this showed a change with showers expected at 6am. The wind was from the SSE. Not being able to check the sky at that time in the morning, I decided to delay dropping the garden nets across the road, just in case there were a lot of birds and the showers were very heavy. Then I would soon be able to help Chris with the other nets if necessary.

Once it was light and we could see that there was no significant rain bearing clouds, the other nets were dropped. It was a very slow start. There were few birds and a lot that we were catching had already been ringed. Chris began to try for Swallows in the reedbed just before 10am when the numbers of resident Swallows were swelled by other birds passing through. It's difficult to say whether these were the birds that we'd seen on wires along the access road yesterday, but we had another chance at Swallows and we caught a reasonable number, all juveniles. One capture showed features of both House Martin and Swallow.

Just after 11am it became clear that birds were arriving. Captures were usually on the northward side of the nets and of course the numbers in the nets increased. Bird of the day was a juvenile Barred Warbler. An alert went out on the local news network and some twenty or so visitors arrived to take a look before it was released.

 Juvenile Barred Warbler



 House Martin/Swallow hybrid

 Paler throat patch and diffuse rather than solid band. See Swallow above.

 Legs and feet partly feathered and light pink like House Martin 
whereasSwallows have black legs and feet.

Large white patch on rump

We tried in the evening again for Wagtails, but despite over 50+ coming into roost, none were attracted to the area of the nets.

Below are some nice examples of the difference between an adult and juvenile Whitethroat.

Adult eye and tail below

Juvenile eye and tail below

Totals:   102 (28)
Swallow - 15
House Martin x Swallow hybrid - 1
Tree Pipit - 4
Meadow Pipit - 16
White Wagtail - 2
Dunnock - 2
Robin - 2 (2)
Redstart - 1 (3)
Whinchat - 1
Sedge Warbler - 4 (3)
Reed Warbler - 5 (2)
Lesser Whitethroat - 2
Whitethroat - 4 (4)
Garden Warbler - 7 (5)
Blackcap - 22 (4)
Barred Warbler - 1
Willow Warbler - 1 (1)
Chiffchaff - 8 (1)
Spotted Flycatcher - 1
Blue Tit - 1
Great Tit - 0 (3)
Tree Sparrow - 1
Linnet - 1

9th September
We thought that there may be a few birds today as we had seen a great deal of feeding activity, with a high proportion of birds being Whitethroats, at the end of the previous day.

All nets were dropped, we took the first round, with birds in nets from all of the site, and waited to see how the day progressed. It was steady, with Chris and I having to clear nets and process birds the entire time. A mist came in from the sea at about 10.30am and the nets were closed, still with no Whitethroat ringed. The birds had obviously moved on without giving us a chance to catch them!

Before long the mist cleared and the Meadow Pipit net was left up for a short while longer. By the afternoon it was a warm, clear day with a slight wind coming from the South East.

We have started trying for nonpasserines, after dark, using the raptor nets and a couple of our own nets in the garden. The chances of catching something are not high but it will never happen if we don't try. This, like the roost attempts, will not be done every night as we need to be up early to drop nets!

Juvenile male Sparrowhawk

Meadow Pipit

It was another glorious end to the day. We're beginning to wonder just how long this weather can last.

 The end of the day.

Total:  136 (11)

Sparrowhawk - 1
Tree Pipit - 5
Meadow Pipit - 20
Blue-headed Wagtail - 1
Dunnock - 1 (1)
Robin - 12 (2)
Redstart - 2
Sedge Warbler - 10
Reed Warbler - 23
Marsh Warbler - 0 (1)
Lesser Whitethroat - 4 (1)
Garden Warbler - 12 (2)
Blackcap - 22 (4)
Willow Warbler - 4
Chiffchaff - 11
Blue Tit - 6
Great Tit - 1
Greenfinch - 1