Friday 5 September 2014

Wraysbury - 5 September 2014

We arrived to see the every increasing flock of finches feeding in the area where nets are usually put. There must have been at least 150 or so birds. Of course, they didn't hang around for us to set up nets and once all nets were up the area seemed much quieter than it has been over the last few weeks. The Whitethroats and Garden Warblers were right down in numbers, fewer Blackcaps too, absolutely no Willow Warblers but rather more Chiffchaffs than of late. We managed to get a few Goldfinches and a Goldcrest was unexpected. There was only one retrap.

Juvenile Goldfinch

During the session a Spotted Flycatcher and Redstart were seen - but were nowhere near our nets.

Totals: 27 (1)

Robin -1
Dunnock -2
Whitethroat - 1
Garden Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 8
Reed Warbler - 0 (1)
Chiff-chaff -5
Goldcrest - 1
Blue Tit -2
Long-tailed Tit - 2
Goldfinch - 4

Thursday 4 September 2014

Broadwater GP - 4 September 2014

With most of the Maple Cross team away in Portugal we managed to fit in one visit to maintain overage until they return and can continue monitoring during our absence.

The morning was misty and we were pleased to see that some nets had begun to catch before all nets were up. As usual, Chiff-chaff and Willow Warber numbers were good and a high proportion of the catch took 'AA' rings, but as the morning progressed,more and more tits were written on to the record sheet.

There were nine adult birds including some retraps. 

 Willow Warbler


There were also captures of species that are present throughout the year.



A juvenile Lesser Whitethroat was the bird of the day.

Lesser Whitethroat

Totals: 60 (10) 

Wren - 0 (1)
Robin - 1 (1)
Dunnock - 1
Blackbird - 1
Reed Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 9 (1)
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Willow Warbler -9
Chiff-chaff - 19 (3)
Goldcrest - 3 (1)
Blue Tit - 8
Great Tit - 6 (1)
Long-tailed Tit - 0 (2)
Treecreeper - 1

Stanwell Moor - 3 September 2014

This week we are making a concerted effort to cover the local sites that are good for autumn migration before leaving for Batumi, Georgia on a ringing expedition. The arrangements mean that we'll miss most of September migration in the UK, and be away well into October so there's something planned for every day this week and as it's Wednesday, it must be Stanwell!

There was no early start today but we were on site just after 8am. Nets were set in the reedbed and in the field adjacent to the River Colne. The field nets were all close to the perifery running through or along clumps of bramble, hawthorn or one particular clump of Japanese Knotweed that warblers seem to favour.

One of the first captures was a juvenile Sparrowhawk.

Then there was a decent number from the reedbed nets with a few Reed Warblers and Sedge Warblers.

 Sedge Warbler

The morning continued slowly, with no large flocks moving through the site and a lot of birds travelling high so as to avoid becoming caught in the nets. There were no birds processed after 11.10am, when the wind had become much fresher, and the session finished with just 25 birds caught.

Total:   23 (2)

Sparrowhawk - 1
Wren - 0 (1)
Robin - 2
Reed Warbler -4
Sedge Warbler - 2
Blackcap -6
Chiff-chaff - 5 (1)
Willow Warbler - 1
Blue Tit - 1
Greenfinch - 1

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Wraysbury - 2 September 2014

Another morning at Wraysbury with a team of CL, DKL, ESA, RMA & EW. The cloudy start soon cleared to blue skies and a breeze that freshed just a bit too much for our liking as the morning progressed. There were fewer birds than the 1st of the month and a large mixed flock completely bypassed our nets and that was a real shame. All the same 50 birds is reasonable and notably there was not a single adult amongst the whole lot. The Blackcaps appear to have pushed on and there has been an influx of Chiffs. One final Dunnock obligingly leapt into the net to give up a nice round total for the morning.

Total:  44 (6)

Song Thrush - 1
Robin - 1
Dunnock - 5 (3)
Whitethroat -5 (3)
Blackcap - 18
Reed Warbler - 1
Willow Warbler -2
Chiff-chaff - 8
Goldfinch - 3

Wraysbury - 1 September 2014

After years of trying to get places in other groups' sessions for diversity of experience and going to trainers outside our own group for permit upgrades, we were, for the first time, in the position to contribute something back to the system as CL undertook his first permit upgrade assessment. We were joined by DC and KCV at the site on a morning that was far from ideal.

By the time we met up at 6am they had already faced a 2 hour drive and negotiated the M25 so there was no question of cancelling the session due to the rather threatening cloud cover. The birds were about although not in huge numbers and catching was steady throughout the morning. There was much monitoring of the weather, nets, bird activity and the prospective A ringer as intermittent showers continued all morning. At 11am we were finally beaten by more persistent rain and the order given to terminate the session, by DC, and take down. In 5 hours we had successfully processed and released 75 birds during challenging conditions.

 3M Sparrowhawk

Congratulations to DC on successful completion of assessment for upgrade to 'A' permit holder, pending the approval of the ringing committee.

Totals:  65 (10)

Sparrowhawk - 1
Robin - 2 (1)
Dunnock - 5 (1)
Song Thrush - 1
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Whitethroat - 6
Garden Warbler - 2
Blackcap - 39 (4)
Reed Warbler - 0 (1)
Willow Warbler - 4
Chiff-chaff -  0 (1)
Blue Tit -1
Great Tit - 0 (1)
Long-tailed Tit - 0 (1)
Goldfinch -  1
Reed Bunting - 2

North Norfolk birding - 30 & 31 August 2014

We didn't manage an early get away but the day was glorious and after consultation with the birdguides update we decided to try Winterton Dunes, since the chance of three migrants ought to guarantee at least one being seen, and we had not visit the area for some years now.

 Winterton dunes

We tried for the Greenish Warbler first and were successful. We had some good views but a photograph was beyond the capabilities of my camera.

Then we headed back through the carpark and on to the farthest reaches of the dunes, in the opposite direction, in search of the Red-backed Shrike. The bird was very obliging and we were fortunate enough to see three Cranes off in the distance too.

Red-backed Shrike

A Corncrake had been claimed from the locale but we didn't even try in the long grass although we did watch 5 guys who fanned out and did a sweep of the area. It wasn't really practical doing it again with just the two of us, or maybe appropriate? On the way back we spent some time near the totem pole where a Wryneck had been seen. Chris relocated it and I was fortunate enough to see it as it flew around and into a bush.

The next day saw another late start and we went to Titchwell.

  Titchwell reserve
There were a few Eiders on the sea and some close views of waders on the scrapes.


Little Egret

 Black-tailed Godwit

We enjoyed seeing some Spoonbill and a flock of Golden Plover that arrived during our visit. We also watched the bird that had been claimed as a White-rumped Sandpiper. But when it came close to the path it looked very much like a juvenile Sanderling (below).

Juvenile Sanderling