Saturday, 19 August 2017

Truss's Island, Staines - 18th August 2017

On a very windy day with mist netting out of the question, we went first to Wraysbury to maintain some of the rides, ready for next week (if the forecast for Monday can be believed), then went on to Truss,s Island to record some darvics and metal rings.

White V3J was a very aggressive individual with primary
 and tail feathers in dire need of replacement. This bird 
having been ringed by EGI Oxford.

All the other Mute Swans, 22 had orange darvic rings fitted under MR's scheme with an additional five metal ring numbers taken.

The Egyptian Geese had two fairly well grown youngsters, neither adults or juveniles carried rings.

 Photographic evidence for W40776 and W39410.



Broadwater GP - 16th August 2017

Broadwater is at its best towards the late summer and today we managed 101 birds of 13 species, and that was without any Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, Wrens or Dunnocks.

Blackcap 3O with unusual dark brown showing in the cap. 
This bird remained unsexed although most likely a female.

Another Blackcap with distinct bars within greater coverts and secondaries.


Most numerous were Chiffchaff 18 new and two retrapped and Blackcaps with 19. Numbers of Great Tit and Blue Tit weren't far behind that with some nice recapture data collected. Blue Tits Y823943 and K052441 were both ringed in 2015, their hatching year and not seen again until today. K052441 was ringed as a 3J on 12th July, whereas Y823943, aged 3, was ringed on the 2nd December of that year.

Adult Chiffchaff CNP900 is a bird that was first captured, and ringed on the 6th August 2015 while still a 3J.

This Reed Warbler was in no hurry to be on its way.


Reed Warblers continue to pass through, as do Willow Warblers.

3JJ Cetti's Warbler

Great Spotted Woodpecker, aged 3

Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper and Cetti's Warbler, all juveniles were species that are caught on site much less frequently than our other captures.

Thanks to MRB and Margaret for a very pleasant morning, rounded off nicely with lunch in the Bear and the Barge.

Totals: 89 (12)

Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1
Robin - 3 (2)
Reed Warbler - 3 (1)
Blackcap - 19
Garden Warbler - 4
Chiffchaff - 18 (2)
Willow Warbler - 8
Goldcrest - 6
Long-tailed Tit - 2
Blue Tit - 11 (4)
Great Tit - 12 (3)
Treecreeper - 1

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Stanwell GP - 14th August 2017

It was a less than promising evening as we met LON at the gate, with departing aircraft flying, low, right over the site. We had a few Swallows and House Martins overhead up on the soil heaps so tried a net there, but caught none. The track net brought a few Whitethroat with some of them now carrying  fat scoring up to 3.

The reed bed was quiet, and the only birds from there as we waited for dusk were a Reed Warbler and recaptured Cetti's Warbler Z761916. The male was ringed on 28th December 2015 as a 3M, was recaptured the following January and this record is the third successive year it has been caught here.

 Z761916, adult male Cetti's Warbler 
in primary moult.


There was no obvious pre-roost activity over the lake so it came as some surprise to find two juvenile Swallows in the nets as we went to take down.

Totals: 12 (1)

Swallow - 2
Robin - 0 (1)
Reed Warbler - 1
Whitethroat - 6
Chiffchaff - 1
Greenfinch - 1

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Wraysbury GP - 13th August 2017

An exceptional session with twenty species today. The total, that just crept into three figures, included singles of Lesser Whitethroat, Kingfisher, Woodpigeon, Starling, Goldcrest, Sedge Warbler and Willow Warbler. Leading species was Blackcap 30 new, 20 retraps and a UK control, while numbers of Whitethroat and Garden Warbler were down in comparison to recent days.

Juvenile Lesser Whitethroat

 Controlled 4M Blackcap S323303

 Woodpigeon, aged 5

3M Kingfisher



Totals:  84 (18)

Woodpigeon - 1
Kingfisher - 1
Wren - 1
Dunnock - 2 (1)
Robin - 1 (2)
Blackbird - 1 (1)
Song Thrush - 2 (2)
Sedge Warbler - 1
Reed Warbler - 3
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Whitethroat - 16 (7)
Garden Warbler - 8 
Blackcap - 30 (3)
Chiffchaff - 8 (2)
Willow Warbler - 1
Goldcrest - 1
Blue Tit - 2
Great Tit - 1
Starling - 1
Linnet - 2 

Broadwater GP - 12th August 2017

We had a good morning at Broadwater. The numbers weren't particularly high but a juvenile Kingfisher was the first caught on site.

3F Kingfisher

The Willow Warblers continue to pass through.

Willow Warbler 3O

 Variation between two juvenile Willow Warblers


Added to that there was a smattering of Sylvia warblers, a couple of Reed Warblers, a Treecreeper and a nice retrap, a rather disheveled male Goldcrest, that had been ringed as a juvenile in 2015.

DPH 887, ringed on 30/09/2015 when a 3M


The only negative thing was that we were unable to ring an adult Chaffinch due to a foot and leg infection of Fringilla papillomavirus. So many Chaffinches in our area have this, perhaps due to the number that feed in gardens with an increased risk of cross infection from already infected birds.

Chaffinch with Fringilla Papillomavirus

Totals: 35 (1)

Kingfisher - 1
Robin - 1
Reed Warbler - 2
Blackcap - 10
Garden Warbler - 2
Chiffchaff - 7
Willow Warbler - 6
Goldcrest - 1 (1)
Blue Tit - 3
Great Tit - 1
Treecreeper - 1

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Wraysbury GP - 11th August 2017

A misty start to another morning netting around the perphery of the site. There is still no sign of the bird numbers increasing to three figures, as in previous years, although the numbers of walkers and dogs being walked as we expected, is increasing now that the area is so open.


Total: 42 (4)

Wren - 2
Dunnock - 4
Robin - 1
Reed Warbler - 1
Whitethroat - 7 (3)
Garden Warbler - 4
Blackcap - 12 (1)
Chiffchaff - 6
Willow Warbler - 2
Goldcrest - 2
Great Tit - 1

and just for the record........
Walkers - 10
Dogs - 7

Stanwell Moor GP - 7th August 2017

The morning at Stanwell was extremely quiet in one sense, while this actually was a probable effect of the lack of audible quiet. We are used to being under the flight path from Heathrow, and it is particularly noisy when planes take off in our direction - as they were, with a plane departing every 90 seconds. Added to this the gravel company are pressing ahead with returning the area immediately next to where we ring to a levelled, grassed area. At present there are three diggers, perched on the spoil heaps some 20 feet high, gradually shifting the concrete and metal filled soil towards a crusher in a scene reminiscent of three mechanical sauropods, bending their necks to feed. They were fascinating to watch, and there was plenty of time for that as we only got twelve birds.

Sedge Warbler Age 3

Juvenile Goldfinch 3JP

Juvenile Linnet

 There was also another capture from the net, as shown below.

Poplar Hawk moth

Totals: 11 (1)

Dunnock - 1
Sedge Warbler - 1
Reed Warbler - 3
Whitethroat - 4 (1)
Goldfinch - 1
Linnet - 1

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Chobham Common - 6th August 2017

It's a while since we did Chobham so we went along this morning. We caught three Chiffchaffs in the first half hour, followed by a Dartford Warbler. It was generally quiet and there were few Stonechats, Dartford Warblers or much else in our immediate area, although some were seen in a sheltered area close to the railway.

After a gap of over 90 minutes we got some more captures with a couple of Willow Warblers, a Great Tit and a Goldcrest. It was just a few birds for our efforts, so it could be a while before we try another morning session - the heather was stunning in the August sunshine.


There were a few Graylings along the path

Totals: 8

Dartford Warbler - 1
Willow Warbler - 2
Chiffchaff - 3
Goldcrest - 1
Great Tit - 1

Monday, 7 August 2017

Wraysbury GP - 5th August 2017

The wind speed looked good enough for Wraysbury, but there were showers that were not forecast during setting up so we reigned in and kept it down to six nets as it was just the two of us.

We had 15 species - the most unusual capture being a juvenile Moorhen that was found in the ride by the lake at 10.20am. Chris was able to pick it up as it slept and after checking for any injuries or other reasons not to ring it, it seemed fine and the ring was duly fitted. It went off without any problems, the first Moorhen to be ringed on C6 and the second ever for Wraysbury.

  Moorhen aged 3

There was also a young Great Spotted Woodpecker, a species that is infrequent in the Wraysbury nets.


Numbers of Whitethroat and Garden Warbler appear to be trailing off, but there were a couple of Willow Warbler, four Chiffchaff and two Goldcrest. Singles of Linnet, Goldfinch, Blue Tit and Great Tit also helped to raise the species count.

Age 4 Garden Warbler Z956235 ringed on site as a juvenile in Sept 2016


Totals:  70 (12)

Moorhen - 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1
Wren - 2
Dunnock - 2
Robin - 4 
Blackbird - 4
Song Thrush - 2 (1)
Whitethroat - 13 (5)
Garden Warbler - 10 (3)
Blackcap - 19 (1)
Chiffchaff - 4 (2)
Willow Warbler - 2
Goldcrest - 2
Goldfinch - 1
Linnet - 1
Blue Tit - 1
Great Tit - 1

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Broadwater GP - 2nd August 2017

Another cloudy morning with the threat of showers. CL, DKL, MRB and DKL reduced the usual number of nets due to spots of rain during setting up, and this a day when rain was not expected in the morning.

MRB was hopeful of some Willow Warblers amongst the catch and was not disappointed. The net in a ride, newly cut this year, that we have named 'Cheeky 40' brought some more Reed Warblers and the well established 'Secret Garden' continues to under perform as birds fail to find the net.

The total of 47 contained far too many tits, and migrant warblers were less abundant than we had hoped.

3JP Blue Tit

Great Tit 3J in post-juvenile moult including
the tail.

Great Tit 3J, just starting its post-juvenile
moult, from a late or second brood

 Totals: 44 (3)

Blackbird - 1
Wren - 1
Dunnock - 1
Robin - 1
Reed Warbler - 4
Blackcap - 5
Garden Warbler - 1
Chiffchaff - 5 (2)
Willow Warbler - 5
Goldcrest - 1
Blue Tit - 6 (1)
Great Tit - 13

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Wraysbury GP - 1st August 2017

The wind was low enough to get some time in at Wraysbury this morning, allowing the two trainees a last bit of practise before their ringing course. We had seven nets up and a limited window of opportunity as showers were due later in the day.

3J Whitethroat S443613, 

We captured a total of 70 birds, 56 new and 14 retraps, between 6.20am and 11.40am. Leading species was Garden Warbler with 18 new birds. Whitethroat numbers were disappointing and the number of birds as a whole was perhaps a reflection of the recent habitat changes.

 3J Magpie EX67333

Pattern of outer primaries diagnostic 
of a juvenile bird

A Magpie allowed for useful extraction experience for WA and LON ringed it. We also had our first Willow Warbler for the year on C6. 

Totals: 56 (14)

Dunnock - 1 (1)
Robin - 4 (1)
Blackbird - 1
Sedge Warbler - 1
Reed Warbler - 2
Lesser Whitethroat - 0 (1)
Whitethroat - 8 (3)
Garden Warbler - 18 (1)
Blackcap - 10 (7)
Chiffchaff - 3
Willow Warbler - 1
Blue Tit - 2
Great Tit - 1
Magpie - 1
Goldfinch - 2
Linnet - 1  

Stanwell Moor GP - 31st July 2017

We made a short visit to Stanwell today. Nothing put up in the reed bed, just a couple of nets in the spoil heaps area to see whether much was moving through the site today. It was as we had expected with much less movement, perhaps due to the windy conditions, than on past dates. There was too much noise to get any interest from the few hirundines around and most captures were Whitethroats.

Juvenile Whitethroat

Totals: 14 (1)

Robin - 1
Whitethroat - 10
Garden Warbler - 2
Chiffchaff - 1
Great Tit - 0 (1)

Monday, 31 July 2017

Broadwater GP - 30th July 2017

We'd arranged to meet LON at Broadwater, our most sheltered site and got six nets up under a sky that threatened rain despite there being none in the forecast.

The birds were slow to get moving after a night with some very heavy rain, but amongst the first songs heard was that of Willow Warbler, a species not yet captured on site this year.

Wilwa JRK110, first of the year

Over the course of the morning we processed just over 40 birds including some Willow Warblers, amongst the usual Chiffchaff and Blackcap, also some Reed Warblers with a control from the Runnymede Ringing Group Bedfont site. We also had a young Cetti's Warbler too.

Z763146, ringed Bedfont 5th June 2016 as a 4M.

There was a heavy shower not long after noon but in anticipation we had already packed up and were on our way to the cafe before it became a real problem.

Totals: 35 (7)

Wren - 1 (1)
Robin - 4
Cetti's Warbler - 1
Reed Warbler - 4 (2)
Blackcap - 7
Garden Warbler - 1
Chiffchaff - 7 (3)
Willow Warbler - 4
Great Tit - 3
Blue Tit - 3 (1)

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Stanwell Moor GP - 29th July 2017

Not a very promising day, a bit windy in the morning and showers forecast for the afternoon. We weren't sure whether we'd go at all but eventually arrived on site just after 10am. The reed bed was well sheltered and the track net wasn't too affected either. We started off with five nets, but one just wasn't catching anything so that came down towards the end of the first spell of light showers.

The track net worked well and from the numbers of Whitethroat and Garden Warbler caught in such a short space of time it seemed that these species were definitely on the move today.

There wasn't too much going on in the reed bed with just a few Reed Warbler, one Sedge Warbler and a juvenile female Cetti's Warbler.

The first showers were light and eventually ceased but a second approaching band of showers looked  heavier and nets were taken in before 2pm.
Juvenile Lesser Whitethroat

Adult Sedge Warbler

Adult Reed Warbler

Totals: 31 (1)

Songthrush - 1
Dunnock - 1
Robin - 3
Cetti's Warbler - 1
Sedge Warbler - 1
Reed Warbler - 3 (1)
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Whitethroat - 11
Garden Warbler - 7
Blackcap - 1
Long-tailed Tit - 1

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Chobham Common - 25th July 2017

After some rather windy conditions this evening definitely looked favourable and with the added bonus that the young would now be on the wing, we were hopeful of improving on our 2017 total, so far, of a single Nightjar caught in June.

We arrived at 8pm and between the four of us (CL, DKL, WA, LON) the three doubles were up in next to no time. As usual we set on established paths and cleared areas so as to avoid disturbance of heather covered areas. It's already over a month since the summer solstice so we knew that we would only have a very, very short space of time to try for diurnal species, before the still, quiet time when nothing seems to move until dusk falls when the churring and calls of Nightjars are first heard.

By the time it started to get dark there had been no captures and with the first Nightjar calls, we started to play the tapes and had a glimpse of a couple of birds, one skimming just over one of our nets.

There didn't seem to be a great deal of activity and after several unsuccessful tries earlier in the summer it wasn't looking too hopeful. However, our first capture was of a bird hatched this year,  The solid, irregularly shaped large markings on the outermost primaries provide an indication that it is male. It was in the net just a metre off the ground.


3M Nightjar

We were then surprised to catch a young Dartford Warbler, that had been moving around after dark, and glad that it departed readily after processing.

We expected these to be our only captures as we had decided that we would not continue beyond 11pm. On starting to take nets down a second Nightjar was captured.

5M Nightjar

Broad dark bands between light patterning on
underwing, indicative of second year.



Total: 3

Nightjar - 2
Dartford Warbler - 1