Friday, 7 October 2016

VRS Van Lennep, Kennemerduinen, Holland - 5th and 6th October 2016

We are now in the process of travelling back from Sweden and after dropping in at Gedser, Denmark to see old friends we have driven across Germany and most of Holland to Heemstede,where we're spending a few days with Andre van Aken.

Andre rings at Van Lennep and we arranged to accompany him for some autumn ringing. We have been to the site before and been impressed by the set up.

Today there was a chill North Easterly wind blowing. The nets had already been dropped by Tommy on arrival and we all had specific areas to clear and remain close to first thing, as there is currently a fox problem at the site. This means that birds are lost due to our own disturbance, but it's preferable to birds being taken from the nets. We had one sighting of the fox and still hoped for good numbers from the mist and clap nets, but finished on 111 birds of 11 species on our first ringing day.

Total:107 (4)

Water Rail - 1
Meadow Pipit - 10
Grey Wagtail - 1
Song Thrush - 16 (1)
Blackbird - 5
Wren - 1 (1)
Robin - 26 (2)
Dunnock - 2
Blackcap - 36
Chiffchiff - 6
Goldcrest - 3

The second day started on a much cooler note, with very little wind and a crystal clear sky. There was a coating of frost on the nets and poles, the first frost of the season - and again we were reducing our catch due to maintaining a constant presence in the net rides, for the first hour, in order to discourage the fox. There were five ringers today, Andre and ourselves were also joined by Arnaud and Dorf and this time there was no sign of the fox at all.

Ringing progressed at an easy pace, one person ringing, a second inputting data, while the others did net rounds, monitored the clap nets and took catches periodically.

Our favourite bird of the session was an adult Jack Snipe, aged using the criterion of speckled markings on under tail coverts. Despite the elaborate clap net arrangements, this bird was caught in a mist net.

 Adult Jack Snipe

It's not often that a Firecrest gets beaten into second place for best capture!

Thursday's Water Rail

Thanks to Andre and the other ringers who welcomed us to their ringing site in the Nationaal Park Zuid-Kennemerland.

In the ringing station

Records entered directly onto computer

Water pump - to alter water levels in clap net area. Impressive!

Four clap-nets

Total: 120 (4)

Jack Snipe - 1
Meadow Pipit - 25
Song Thrush - 15
Redwing - 6
Blackbird - 8
Wren - 1 (2)
Robin - 16 (2)
Stonechat - 1
Blackcap - 38
Chiffchiff - 3
Goldcrest - 4
Great Tit - 1