Friday, 28 April 2017

Chobham Common - 21st April 2017

Today Chris and myself visited Chobham. This was our first visit after the fires on the common and we were not sure exactly what we'd find. It looked as though some damage had occurred on the hill area on the southern section of the area north of the M3, but we believe most of the damage is on the area south of the M3. It's unclear how many nests will have been lost but adult birds may have had a chance to escape into the surrounding common in the fire that happened overnight. The same cannot be said for insects and the Grayling butterflies, mostly found on the hill area, that would be in their larval instar stage at this time of year.

We employed our usual strategy of using a couple of nets, using calls for a short while, then moving on. All appropriate tape endorsements are held.

There were quite a few Dartford Warbler about, however precisely none came to tape. The densities on the common are really high now and it seems that birds have become more tolerant of other Dartford Warblers in close proximity. Perhaps territories will be smaller, or non exclusive as a result. We did catch two, but these were on one net with Wood Lark playing and another playing Lesser Redpoll. We didn't really expect to get any Redpolls, simply used that call to limit the time that we played for our target birds.

We only got five birds but with one Tree Pipit, one Wood Lark and the two Dartford Warbler these were really interesting captures.

 Tree Pipit 5M

Part of the charred area - paths provided vital firebreaks

Total: 5

Wood Lark - 1
Tree Pipit - 1
Dartford Warbler - 2
Chiffchaff - 1