Friday, 12 January 2018

Stanwell Moor GP - 11th & 12th January 2018

Over the past couple of years there has been a Barn Owl seen over Stanwell Moor and we had arranged for PW, not only a well respected 'owl man' but also an old friend of Chris' from his DEFRA days, to bring and site a couple of boxes for us. Chris and I arrived earlier and we worked a few nets. Then they went off to put up the boxes while I took down and packed away.

Inspite of all  the trees lining the south field, it was difficult to find a suitable tree and only one box could be put up. We may put the second up close to the Colne where a telegraph pole has stood unused for a number of years. One good thing was that PW was impressed by all the evidence of field voles in the water meadow, so different to the farmland where he usually works.

Totals: 14 (8)

Dunnock - 3 (2)
Chiffchaff - 2
Goldcrest - 0 (3)
Long-tailed Tit - 8 (1)
Great Tit - 1 (2)

After noticing a good number of Water Pipits on the wet meadows we returned the following day to see if there would be a better chance of catching there rather than on Staines Moor where we've tried on four separate ocassions, this winter, with no positive result.

We set a double, two panel, of 12m nets, a double 18m configuration and a 3 panel, 12m. There was also a single net at the end of the track to the south fields.

It was a very slow start with no birds in the first couple of hours, then we found several Reed Buntings along the Colne as we walked back from the Staines Moor end of the fied. There were also a couple of Stonechats and a Dartford Warbler moving through the weedy vegetation around the pool. At first we thought we had caught one of the Stanechats, but it was actually a Dunnock. A short time later we got another Dunnock in the track net.

There were a total of nine Water Pipits and the birds moved together as a loose flock, apparently very net aware. It began to rain lightly at around mid-day and while Chris went to see what was on the lake, I went to take the track net down, seeing a ringed Chiffchaff go into the net as I walked along the path. This bird turned out to be JDR838, a control.

Chris went to check the nets around the pool prior to processing the Chiffchaff and returned, finally, with one of the Water Pipit. This bird was also colour ringed as part of the project that we began in 2017, after catching two birds in 2016, although none were captured in the following year.

Finally we are able to fit our first colour ring on a Water Pipit.

Water Pipit age 5

The Water Pipits remained in the area but no more could be captured.

Controlled Chiffchaff JDR838 aged 4

Total: 4

Water Pipit - 1
Dunnock - 2
Chiffchaff - 0 (1 control)