Tuesday 18 May 2021

Stanwell GP - 18th May 2021

 Following on from yesterday's post, in the early afternoon we visited Stanwell to do a quick reccie to see if hirundines looked possible as the cloud base was fairly low. They weren't and it was just too windy. However, we did see that the Starlings were bringing their young in to feed in decent numbers and elected to try this morning.

We put up three doubles in areas parallel to the perimeter fence with a single at an established net location - just in case the Starlings deserted the field due to our disturbance.

It wasn't long before some youngsters bowled into the net.


This bird is showing an unusual amount of yellow to the bill edges,
compared to the normally dark, black colouration in juveniles.

There were only three adults captured, all females.

Adult female Starling showing pale iris ring and synovial joint. This bird's tongue
is made up from 5 bones that together make up the hyoid apparatus.

The field has been empty for years but a little detective work revealed that, although currently vacant, animals have been in there recently and the presence of animal feaces is probably increasing the amount of insects available for the Starlings to feed on.

The bi-catch included a pair of Linnet, some Blackcaps, Whitethroat including a recapture from last year, and a Lesser Whitethroat.

Lesser Whitethroat age 5

Totals: 31 (1)

Starling - 24
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Whitethroat - 2 (1)
Blackcap - 2
Linnet - 2

Monday 17 May 2021

Park Lodge GP - 17th May 2021

 The weather has been conspiring against us lately with wind, rain or wind and rain that has been making ringing sessions impossible. It hasn't even been viable to travel any distance to check for dragonflies, damsel flies or butterflies with the risk of extremely heavy showers punctuating the brief spells of sunshine.

So, today we checked back to the local gravel extraction plant to see how the Little Ringed Plovers are progressing and look for any Lapwing pulli that we missed on our last visit.

There was no sign of LRP chicks with two adults, possibly sitting, so we'll have to try again later. We again saw the Lapwing chick trio that we'd marked  on our last visit and also saw two much larger chicks. We thought these were probably the pair that we'd ringed one of and lost track of the second. Luckily, as we only found one of these it was a chick without a ring. These well grown chicks, increasingly gangly and less cute every day, are likely to be flying when we are next on site.

Well grown chick with emerging primary feathers

One of the chicks ringed a week ago.
Totals: 5

10th May Lapwing pulli - 4
17th May Lapwing pullus - 1

There was a nasty storm later that afternoon with heavy rain and large hailstones so we were right to take advantage of the window in the weather.

Sunday 9 May 2021

Wraysbury GP - 6th May 2021

 A rare day when it wasn't too windy or wet to ring. As it seemed this would be the only opportunity this week, we did Wraysbury and captured 30 birds, a high proportion being retraps.

Returning age 5 Whitethroat

Garden Warbler back at Wraysbury again

Total: 12 (18)

Great Spotted Woodpecker - 0 (1)
Robin - 1
Dunnock - 0 (2)
Blackbird - 1
Whitethroat - 2 (5)
Garden Warbler - 4 (3)
Blackcap - 3 (2)
Chiffchaff - 0 (1)
Blue Tit - 0 (1)
Great Tit - 1
Long Tailed Tit - 0 (3)

Sunday 2 May 2021

Wraysbury GP - 30th April and 2nd May 2021

30th April

We were only here three days ago, but there was quite a different feel to the site from them. The Whitethroats seem to resolved all their territorial issues and there is now much less chasing around and more sitting at the territories highest point and singing. We also noticed that the male female ratio of Whitethroats has changed with more females having arrived now.

Of the captured Blackcaps we noticed that some birds were carrying fat and had not yet completed their journey while others had zero fat and would probably breed locally.

Total: 25 (12)

Wren - 1 (1)
Robin - 1 (1)
Blackbird - 1 
Sedge Warbler - 1
Whitethroat - 7 (3)
Garden Warbler - 4
Blackcap - 6 (3)
Chiffchaff - 1 (1)
Blue Tit - 1
Long Tailed Tit - 2 (3)

2nd May

An attempt at the other end of the site that bought 29 birds including 13 ret-raps. Having completed a Whitethroat RAS here over the past five years we are especially interested in the re-traps.

We have already encountered Z762092 (30/04), ringed on 29th July 2017 when a juvenile, AKE4779 (27/04) an adult when ringed on 18th May 2019 and AKE6140 (30/04), a 3J ringed 8th August 2019. There are also a further 7 second year birds returning for their first breeding season to date.

Returning 6M Whitethroat S489750 

A re-trap Robin Z956653 from 30/04 was ringed as a 3J on 18th September 2016, encountered in both 2017 and 2018 and then not seen throughout 2019 and 2020.

Total: 16 (13)

Robin - 0 (1)
Dunnock - 1 (4)
Blackbird - 1 
Song Thrush - 1
Whitethroat - 4 (4)
Garden Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 5 (3)
Chiffchaff - 0 (1)
Blue Tit - 2
Great Tit -1

Orange Tip, males and a female