Saturday 12 July 2008

Kittiwake ringing

Back from a good conference in Shropshire, totally whacked though - networking til the early hours....

Went ringing kittiwakes at Dunbar in East Lothian today with Ian Fisher and others. The colony is on the old castle walls by the harbour, so is easily accessible and a ringing study has been carried out for many years and I was lucky enough to go along and help. Fisher picked me up in the middle of the night to get to Dunbar for a 6am start, we started by the doing the chicks, then once all of the accessible chicks were ringed, we did some adults, some of which had been ringed in the previous years. I really enjoyed the morning, despite the wounds! great experience...kitti's are one of my favorite birds.

The colony by Dunbar Harbour

A chick and Ian up the ladder getting them

Ringed adult and an adult showing the wing - Fantastic Birds!

Called at Druridge tonight, 1900-2100 it was cold and wet at times. It was very quiet offshore, with probably only 50 terns in the whole bay and less auks. It has been quiet all month, by July standards, I wonder if the Coquet Island birds are feeding further north, I have heard that it is not a good year there, particularly for the terns. A red-throated diver was offshore, from the dunes I spotted a cream-crowned marsh harrier flying north from the pools, over the haul road towards East Chev......year tick! The rain had brought down a lot of swifts, at least 30 were hunting over the main pool and over 1000 starlings flew north in 30 minutes, presumably going to roost at Chev.

A barn owl was hunting over the Budge fields, even in the rain. I managed to photograph it from the Budge screen.

The mute swans have lost one of their young, the three mallard broods number less than they did, but the young are getting big. There was 3 large shoveler young with an adult duck, this is the first time I've seen them, so presume they've bred elsewhere.

132 marsh harrier


Kingsdowner said...

Love the photo of the youngster! Could you come down and ring some of our Kits please (but you might need a longer ladder).
I've often seen Druridge Pools on Birdmaps, now I know who posts - a good patch obviously.

Stewart said...

I used to do those Kits with John Coleman...

Canny Barn Owl pics, I like the top one best....

Ipin said...

KD Thanks, Druridge is a great patch, though it was quiet tonight.

BB - it was organised by Bert, John's dad - quite a character