Tuesday 14 August 2018

Midweek ringing and news from the BTO

I had a well-earned day of flexi-leave today and as the weather forecast looked good, I decided to put some nets up at Druridge. Despite conditions being good for ringing, ti was a very slow start and by 8.30am I'd only caught four birds. Things did pick up a bit later and by the time I packed up at 11.30 I'd caught 14 birds -  all this year's youngsters:-

Six willow warblers, four blue tits, two great tits one blackcap and most unusual  - a treecreeper.

Treecreeper (iPhone shot)
This is only the fifth treecreeper we've caught at Druridge. The first was in October 2008, then 2011 and 2012 which were both October birds, we caught one last August and then this one. These August birds are a classic example of post-breeding dispersal. Treecreepers often travel about with roving tit flocks at this time of year so it wasn't a surprise to find this one in the net next to a blue tit.

Also of note today, two female-type goosanders flew south and on the Budge fields there were three greenshank, five ruff, two black-tailed godwit and handful of dunlin. A female sparrowhawk came through the waders and carried what looked like a dunlin off for a spot of lunch.

As I was packing up, I heard a strange noise beyond the path to the hides - so I investigated. I got quite close to where it was coming from when, probably the same female sparrowhawk, flew out past my ear. As I approached where she'd came from, a young magpie, looking a bit shaken, flew up from the ground. I investigated further and found a handful of freshly-plucked feathers. That magpie will never be as lucky again.

We had news back from BTO today of the reed warbler I caught in June which was already ringed (read about it here). It had been ringed as a juvenile almost exactly a year earlier by Ian Fisher at East Chevington which, on the face of it, isn't far, that little bird had been to sub-Saharan Africa and back since then.

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