Friday 28 August 2015

Wraysbury GP - 28 August 2015

On a day that started off a little too breezy and within a few hours was causing some nets to billow, we were joined by SJ and processed a total of 60 birds.

Easterlies are never very helpful at this site and, as we expected ( although we always hope), there was no unusual species to grace the record sheet since the birds that are being seen all along the East coast have not made their way this far inland. Numbers of passerines were generally down.

Lesser Whitethroat, age 3 with post-juvenile moult completed.

There were plenty of Swallows with some Sand Martins feeding over the lake and around the trees surrounding the lake, but in spite of our best efforts none could be caught.

Totals: 57 (3)

Robin - 3 (1)
Dunnock - 1 (1)
Reed Warbler - 1
Lesser Whitethroat -1
Whitethroat - 12
Garden Warbler - 2
Blackcap - 21 (1)
Chiffchaff -9
Willow Warbler - 2
Blue Tit - 1
Goldfinch -4

Tuesday 25 August 2015

Broadwater GP - 25 August 2015

We (DKL, MRB, BC & Margaret) managed to get a session in before the heavy showers forecast for the afternoon began. We had seven nets up and the wind was lower than expected in the early morning. It seemed relatively slow with ones and twos coming in after rounds, except for two decent rounds as roving flocks connected with the nets set along the path. We took all but two nets down as some very heavy clouds came over, with a few spots of rain, at about 11am, not wanting to be in the position of having a lot of birds awaiting extraction if the rain were to start early.

We finished on 48 birds with Chiffchaff as the leading species. A Willow Warbler with a fat score of four was consistent with a bird well into its preparations to move on, but there has been no repeat of the bumper captures of Phylloscopus warblers in late August (and early September) of last year. If large numbers do pass through, the likelihood is that there will be no ringers available to catch them due to commitments abroad.

Totals:  37 (11)

Wren - 1 (1)
Dunnock -0 (2)
Robin - 1
Sedge Warbler - 1
Reed Warbler - 1

Garden Warbler - 1
Blackcap -10 (1)
Chiffchaff - 12 (2)
Willow Warbler - 4
Goldcrest - 1 (1)
Blue Tit - 4 (3)

Treecreeper - 1(1)

Thursday 20 August 2015

Wraysbury GP - 19 August 2015

There were no takers to join us for a morning at Wraysbury so we had to process all 93 birds ourselves. Today saw the numbers of Blackcaps caught edging ahead of Whitethroats that had been most numerous just two days ago. The number of retraps compared to new birds ringed had also reduced, indicating that there has been another influx of migrants.

One of two juvenile Lesser Whitethroats 

Lesser Whitethroat wing showing OGCs

 3M Blackcap

 Age 3 Whitethroat ( eye starting to lighten)

A single Reed Bunting was the first ringed for a few weeks, but the most unexpected feature of the morning, was the ease with which we managed to capture Goldfinches.

 3JJ Reed Bunting

Totals: 83 (10)

Dunnock - 0 (1)
Sedge Warbler -2
Reed Warbler - 1
Lesser Whitethroat - 2
Whitethroat - 21 (6)
Garden Warbler - 8
Blackcap - 27 (3)
Chiffchaff -3
Willow Warbler - 2
Goldfinch -16
Reed Bunting - 1

Wednesday 19 August 2015

Broadwater GP - 18 August 2015

A forecast for wind made Broadwater the perfect option today. We began setting up from 7am, erected the usual eight nets, and made an addition to the normal mist nets by siting one in the access road where birds are frequently seen to cross towards a residential garden.

3JP Blue Tit

It was a slowish start that continued the same way and never really picked up much. There were a few tits from the access road, some Goldcrests (leading species) and a couple of Treecreepers.

 Juvenile Treecreeper

This little guy wasn't keen to go when taken back where it was caught.

We still aren't getting the large flocks at the moment,but this could be linked to the presence of some young Sparrowhawks that have recently fledged, but are still being fed by the adults and are extremely vocal.

Totals:  27 (9)

Wren - 0 (1)
Dunnock - 1
Robin - 1
Blackbird - 1
Garden Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 4
Chiffchaff - 3 (2)
Willow Warbler - 2
Goldcrest - 7 (1)
Blue Tit - 4 (4)
Great Tit -2
Treecreeper - 1(1)

Stanwell Moor - 17 August 2015

After an early start at Wraysbury, CL & DKL went on to Stanwell for some evening ringing with the chance of hirundines. Our efforts netted 45 birds, with Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Hobby, Buzzard and Little Egret seen also with two Cetti's Warblers and a Water Rail heard.

The start was unusual with a flock of Chiffchaff almost lining up to leap into one of the reedbed nets.
We caught another Meadow Pipit from the ground trap and Sedge Warblers, for the second session running,  featured strongly. We then started to catch Reed Warblers and these included a couple of birds with D- prefix rings, one of our own and another that had been controlled last year.

 Reed Warbler, D624148 4F (BP4)a control returned for a subsequent year.

 Garden Warbler with stricking fault bar

There were few hirundines around but three caught of the seven present was a bonus, considering the affect of the planes taking off and drowning out the audio-lure.

Totals: 40 (5)

Swallow - 3
Meadow Pipit - 1
Robin- 1
Sedge Warbler - 5
Reed Warbler - 5 (3)
Garden Warbler - 2
Blackcap - 6
Chiffchaff - 15
Goldcrest - 1
Blue Tit - 0 (1)
Great Tit - 1
Long-tailed Tit - 0 (1)

Wraysbury GP - 17 August 2015

Today we were joined by MRB & Margaret, visitors to the group, to monitor C6. It seemed less busy than some recent sessions, but a total of 78 birds were still processed before we took down as the wind got up. Leading species is now Whitethroat.

Adult Whitethroat

Totals:  61 (17)

Blackbird - 1
Dunnock -1 (4)
Robin - 1
Sedge Warbler -1
Whitethroat - 16 (6)
Garden Warbler - 10 (4)
Blackcap - 13 (2)
Chiffchaff - 8
Willow Warbler - 4
Goldcrest - 1
Great Tit - 0 (1)
Blue Tit -1
Long-tailed Tit - 2
Goldfinch - 2

Sunday 16 August 2015

Chobham Common - 16 August 2015

For the first time this summer we made arrangements and finally got to the common. We were hoping to catch migrants as we have seen large numbers of Willow Warblers working through this area at about this time of year, but as it was, only managed two. It would have been a very slow morning if we'd not caught quite a few birds from a tit flock early on, and that, at least also brought some Coat Tits.

 Coal Tit aged 3

As the morning progressed we caught a couple of young Dartford Warblers, even 'though the area is not what we would consider as prime habitat for the species.

 Dartford Warblers hatched this year. The first was considerably less advanced in its post juvenile moult than the second.

 The double where the first Dartford was caught - mainly scattered trees and long grass.

There were lots of Graylings around, though this one settled on a 
dead tree trunk, rather than the ground.

Just for good measure we finished off with a young Stonechat.

Stonechat aged 3

Totals: 29 (1)

Stonechat - 1
Dartford Warbler - 2
Blackcap - 1
Chiffchaff - 3
Willow Warbler - 2
Goldcrest - 1
Long-tailed Tit - 12 (1)
Coal Tit - 4
Blue Tit - 1
Great Tit - 2

Saturday 15 August 2015

Stanwell Moor GP - 15 August 2015

This site has been somewhat neglected this year, what with the movements of HGVs creating a disturbance, the lake being drained to dampen dust on the access road, the ever expanding heap of bricks and the utter reluctance of hirundines to venture anywhere near the reed bed. So, we decided that we would try a weekend morning session when vehicle movements should be less intensive than on week days. We were fortunate that the correct runway was in use, that is to say we were not subject to planes taking off, every 90 seconds, directly over the lake.

We arrived just after 6am, put up six nets around the lake and also gave our newly constructed (courtesy of MRB) Mipit ground trap its first outing.

The mist nets were soon catching and we were pleased with the numbers of Chiffchaff caught. We also got a few adult Acros.

 Reed Warbler Z527983 showing severe plumage wear.


Juvenile and adult Sedge Warblers for comparison. 

 3O Sedge Warbler Z527976

Adult Sedge Warbler  Z527979

 The new trap caught a single Meadow Pipit and a new Cetti's Warbler from the reed bed was unexpected as none had been heard.

Cetti'sWarbler Z527980 (3J Male)

Totals: 35 (3)

Meadow Pipit - 1
Robin - 1 (1)
Cetti's Warbler - 1
Reed Warbler - 9 (1)
Sedge Warbler - 4
Whitethroat - 1
Garden Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 3
Chiffchaff - 11 (1)
Willow Warbler - 1
Blue Tit - 2

Broadwater GP - 14 August 2015

We were out with MRB and Margaret this morning to take a catch of 34 birds and this despite failing to connect with the tit flock. There was a high proportion of migrants and a few retraps to provide some information on the length of time that some birds remain in site.

 Adult Chiffchaff CNP803 looking far from its best in full main moult.

And a rather neater adult Willow Warbler for comparison.

 CNP783, adult Willow Warbler

Not too much drizzle and a good morning irrespective of the rather misty start.

Totals: 24 (10)

Wren - 0(1)
Robin - 1(1)
Blackbird - 0(1)
Sedge Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 2(1)
Garden Warbler - 1
Chiffchaff - 16(4)
Willow Warbler - 2
Goldcrest - 0(2)
Great Tit - 1

Wednesday 12 August 2015

Wraysbury GP - 11 August 2015

We returned to Wraysbury with a team of six, so were able to double our usual number of nets to ten. We made a 6.30am start but the birds didn't really start to show much activity until 7.45am or so and even then there was never the sense that the area was particularly busy from the number of birds that we could see flying around and feeding.

Having said that, there was a steady stream of birds to process and we completed the session with out highest total yet. We ringed 128 new birds and recaptured 37. Again, Sylvia warblers dominated with good numbers of Blackcap, Garden Warbler and Whitethroat. From the retraps, it seems that a lot of the Blackcaps and Garden Warblers from previous sessions are already moving on, whereas many Whitethroats are not ready yet, contributing to their higher retrap rate.

 Age 3 Willow Warbler

 3JM Goldcrest

Lesser Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler are also on the increase now.

Totals:  128 (37)

Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1
Blackbird - 0(1)
Dunnock -8(2)
Robin - 1
Reed Warbler -1
Lesser Whitethroat - 2(1)
Whitethroat - 19(16)
Garden Warbler - 22(6)
Blackcap - 39 (8)
Chiff-chaff -13(2)
Willow Warbler - 6
Goldcrest - 2
Great Tit - 5
Blue Tit -3
Bullfinch - 0(1)
Chaffinch - 5

Sunday 9 August 2015

Wraysbury GP - 9 August 2015

Just CL & DKL again as no one else was available at short notice this morning. On arrival we could hear a Willow Warbler singing nearby, a good sign as there have been so few of these birds through to date, but it turned out to be potentially the only one, as they do not seem to be going through here as yet. We put up the usual five nets and extracted 22 birds on the first round. The day was dominated, as have the other recent visits, by Whitethroat, Garden Warbler and Blackcaps.

 3JF Linnet

 3O Sedge Warbler

Among the retraps was adult Garden Warbler Y980418 that was first processed as a 3J on 14/08/2012 and retrapped on 16/08/2014.

Adult Garden Warbler Y980418

As it got warm very quickly with a few nets in full sun and numbers soon dropped off, we finished early and were off site by 11.45am. 

Totals:  67 (11)

Dunnock -1
Robin - 3 (2)
Reed Warbler -1
Sedge Warbler - 1
Whitethroat - 18 (3)
Garden Warbler - 14 (3)
Blackcap - 17 (2)
Chiff-chaff -5 (1)
Willow Warbler - 1
Great Tit - 1
Blue Tit -1
Goldfinch - 2
Linnet - 1

Saturday 8 August 2015

Wraysbury GP - 7 August 2015

Another productive morning on C6. Just CL & DKL with five nets added another 117 captures to the totals for the site. Blackcaps and Whitethroats were in roughly equal numbers today with Garden Warblers still around but far fewer Chiffchaffs about.

 Retrap 4F Blackcap L769890 - first recapture since 3/09/2011

Lesser Whitethroats seem to be staying about with three from previous sessions retrapped and an additional two.

 Z527441 retrap Lesser Whitethroat

Of the 60 or so Starlings coming to feed on the blackberries, only one, that just happened to be ringed already, was caught.

 LE42711 control Starling

Totals:  98 (19)

Dunnock -1
Song Thrush - 1
Reed Warbler -3
Lesser Whitethroat - 2 (3)
Whitethroat - 33 (9)
Garden Warbler - 20 (2)
Blackcap - 33 (3)
Chiff-chaff -1 (1)
Blue Tit -3
Starling - 0 (1)
Goldfinch - 1

Broadwater GP - 6 August 2015

The usual Thursday team started at 6.20am but after some very successful days it seemed much too quiet. The weather was very promising with lowish wind and 100% cloud cover but that doesn't help to catch birds when there's nothing much about. We have been catching quite a few retrap warblers recently but they didn't seem to be about any more. It seemed that there had been few new arrivals in.

 3JP Willow Warbler

Adult Blackcap D259474 in somewhat extreme main moult.

Totals: 16 (9)

Blackbird - 0 (1)
Dunnock - 1
Robin - 1 (2)
Blackcap - 1 (1)
Garden Warbler - 1
Lesser Whitethroat - 0 (1)
Chiffchaff - 10 (3)
Willow Warbler - 2
Blue Tit - 0 (1)

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Bedfont Country Park - 4 August 2015

Today we joined EP for a last ditch effort to complete CES 9. The other usuals were unavailable so the team was limited to EP, CL and DKL.

 4M Blackcap Y224537

It was a very windy morning but the site was sheltered and only one net was really affected. We processed 75 new and 10 retrapped birds including a Great Tit  X270726, known to be no less than five years old. Only nine of the birds came from a single non-CES net.

Totals: 75 (10)

Kingfisher - 0 (1)
Wren - 5
Robin - 3
Dunnock- 4 (2)
Blackbird - 1 
Reed Warbler - 12 (3)
Sedge Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 13 (1)
Garden Warbler - 2
Chiffchaff - 9
Blue Tit - 17 (2)
Great Tit - 3 (1)
Long-tailed Tit - 4
Treecreeper - 1

Stanwell Moor - 2 August 2015

A forecast for persistent infavourable weather seems to have a way of encouraging some ringers to grab the opportunities when they arise, hence the reason behind our second run out after a 5am start! It looked a bit windy, but less so than what was to come in the following week, so we went for it! Our aim was to try for a roost at Stanwell. The aircraft were using the best runway and the wind even dropped to next to nothing as the evening progressed - but sadly there were no hirundines of any numbers to entice.

We caught ringed Cetti's Warbler D860121. This bird was an adult in full primary moult. It was ringed at Bedfont Country Park in July of 2014.

 Cetti's Warbler D860121

It looked like we were going to finish on a really low count, but a late flurry of Long-tailed Tits and Chiffchaffs doubled the total.

Totals: 23 (2)

Robin - 1
ReedWarbler - 4
Cetti's Warbler - 0 (1)
Blackcap -  2
Garden Warbler - 1
Chiffchaff - 7
Willow Warbler - 1
Blue Tit - 0 (1)
Long-tailed Tit - 7

Monday 3 August 2015

Wraysbury GP - 2 August 2015

After a very successful CES at C4 on the first of the month, with 131 birds captured including a juvenile Redstart, CL returned to the adjacent area C6 to monitor migrational activity. He was joined by CHR & DKL while KT had suspension problems with the car and unfortunately couldn't make it.

Just five nets were put up and catching was fairly constant until the wind got up at around 10am or so. The catch was mostly Blackcap, Whitethroat and Garden Warbler. Phyloscoppus warblers were much less apparent.

 Willow Warbler

Lesser Whitethroat

Totals: 116 (14)

Dunnock -2
Robin - 1 (2)
Blackbird -2 (1)
Songthrush - 1
Reed Warbler -1
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Whitethroat -34 (6)
Garden Warbler -23 (2)
Blackcap - 45 (3)
Chiff-chaff -1
Willow Warbler -2
Blue Tit - 1
Goldfinch - 1

Wraysbury GP - 1 August 2015

Today was CES 9 and I tagged along to give a hand as there was only a team of four to do it. Fairly busy morning, with the highlight being a juvenile Redstart.

 Juvenile Redstart

 A total of 131 birds ringed, with 67 of these being in the CES nets. The majority of the birds ringed were Blackcaps with 46 new and 5 re-traps, of which 22 were from CES nets; followed by Garden Warbler with 25 new and 4 re-traps, of which 11 were CES; and Whitethroat with 13 new and 6 re-traps, of which 15 were CES.

Totals: 120 (21)

Wren - 3
Dunnock - 1 (1)
Robin - 2 (1)
Redstart - 1
Song Thrush - 1
Sedge Warbler - 0 (2)
Reed Warbler - 4
Lesser Whitethroat - 4
Whitethroat - 13 (6)
Garden Warbler - 25 (4)
Blackcap - 46 (5)
Chiff-chaff - 6 (2)
Blue Tit - 1
Greenfinch - 1
Linnet - 2   

Saturday 1 August 2015

Holme NOA - 30 July 2015

We visited Sophie on a morning with no rain forecast until the middle of the day but, consistent with our many previous ringing attempts there, the weather was against us. Intermittent heavy showers forced us to limit the nets opened and close the six in use for quite a lot of the morning.

Only 12 new birds were ringed but we were very pleased to catch a juvenile Grasshopper Warbler as captures are fairly infrequent here. The bird was not from the east bank where these are normally caught so was presumed to be a wandering youngster post fledging.

 Juvenile Grasshopper Warbler undergoing post juvenile moult.

By constrast there was a very scruffy looking adult Reed Warbler with extremely worn edges to all flight feathers.

Reed Warbler aged 4

Many thanks to Sophie Barker for a very pleasant albeit wet morning spent at the Norfolk Ornithological Association Holme reserve.

Totals: 12 (2)

Wren - 2
Dunnock - 2  (1)
Grasshopper Warbler - 1
Reed Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 2
Chiffchaff - 1 (1)
Great Tit - 3

The afternoon was spent at Titchwell, which produced a mix of early summer waders at the high tide, with the best of the birds being a group of six Spoonbills, a Garganey and a Wood Sandpiper, plus a couple of colour ringed Avocet to track down.