Sunday 12 October 2014

Long weekend

I took Friday off work so I had a nice long weekend to do some ringing and birding on the patch.


An early morning, pre-work visit. There seemed to have been an arrival of birds overnight with more robins, goldcrests and wrens than the previous day. There were also three great-spotted woodpeckers, blackbirds, lesser redpolls and a single blackcap - all new arrivals.

grey heron over

Work beckoned though....


I spent Friday morning checking the bushes, from the plantation in the south, up to the north end. Robins, wrens (over 32 counted), goldcrests and chiffchaffs were really evident. Thursdays redpolls had been joined by a flock of siskins and blackcap and great-spotted woodpecker were still present.

I finally got my yellow-browed warbler, just off the 'Mike Carr' path. picked up on call and found with goldcrests and a chiff in the willows. It didn't hang about. The birds were moving in waves like you get in the tropics.

One of many  robins
 There was at least nine stonechats in the dunes - showing how good a year this species has had.

Male stonechat
Vizmig was obvious with a constant movement of skylarks (35+) and meadow pipits (24+) moving south in small groups. A juvenile marsh harrier flew south, low over the bushes.

Pink-footed geese were also on the move. I estimated this skein at 150 when they flew over, I counted them on the photo and there were 151 - how's that for accurate guesswork?

151 pink-footed geese headed south


We put some nets up on Saturday. It was 3 degrees C when we arrived and there was light frost, first frost of the year on the patch.

We caught 43 new birds, including an incredible 16 wrens. We also caught five song thrushes, which must have been freshly in. We didn't catch any chiffchaffs, but we did ring a single willow warbler, which is quite late. A great tit was a control (meaning that it had been ringed elsewhere, it had a larger 'B' ring on, so it was probably ringed as a pullus from a nestbox.

Goldfinches eating last years alder cone crop - this years very good crop is not quite ripe yet.
Yesterdays yellow-browed warbler called from the bushes. Skylark and mipit migration was still evident.


Today was WeBS count day. My attempt at an early start was thwarted  with car problems. After a jump start and a trip to Kwik Fit for a new battery, I got down to patch at 15.40, £110 lighter.

An interesting wader on the far bank of the big pool had a few of us guessing for a bit. It looked a bit like a dunlin, but the jizz was wrong and some features didn't tally. It looked 'rounded and compact' and small, but difficult to judge size at such range with no comparison. It had no pectoral band, with colouring only reaching the throat. We decided that it was just a odd-looking dunlin. Interesting though.

Notable on the WeBS count was 18 little grebe, 26 gadwall and a great-crested grebe.

164 lesser redpoll
165 siskin
166 yellow-browed warbler

PWC Score - 258

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