Saturday 31 July 2010


We had a pre-work ringing session this morning, a 4.30 start for seven birds.....time well spent?

Well it was to a see a truck turn up and unload 14 cows and calves onto the wet meadows, at last, some positive management, it might be too late for wader migration and certainly too late for breeding waders, but it's progress! The beast weren't the sturdy highlanders from last year, more a meek looking crowd of continental beef breed, a bit thin in the skin, this might be a good thing though, there's plenty of feeding for 'em!

The new cooos, looking a bit lost - well they would, wouldn't you?
That includes a re-trap and a bird we had to let go. The rules of ringing state that you have to be sure of the species before you ring the bird.

This morning, we caught a willow warbler, an adult, undergoing it's main moult. It looked like a willow warbler, it had willow warbler legs and face. But, it was moulting its primaries and the sixth primary was still 'in pin' on both wings.

Now, with willow warblers and chiffchaffs, the only 100% method of identifying the species is whether the sixth primary is emarginated or not (chiffchaffs it is , willow warblers it isn't). So what to do, well the only thing we could do was let it go.....

We also caught...

this adult male blackcap - looking rather tatty

tatty male blackcap
and this nice, fresh, juvenile willow warbler.

nice... juvenile willow warbler
There were plenty of birds in the bushes, but few of them landed in our nets, some of these birds were certainly migrants, we saw a garden warbler, which certainly didn't breed at Druridge this year.

offshore, at least 150 gannets were plunge-diving no more than 25 metres from the shore, obviously a shoal of  mackerel or sprat had been caught by the outgoing tide.

Dark-green fritillary
131 garden warbler

Ringing totals

wren 1
robin 1 (retrap)
chaffinch 1
willow warbler 2
blackcap 1
(willow/chiff 1)

1 comment:

Ghost of Stringer said...

Yeah.... wot he said ?!

Congratulatons on the cows !