Friday 7 August 2020

Ringing related

Janet and I set some nets up at Druridge this morning to catch and ring birds. An early start at this time of year is required as the birds tend to go quieter mid morning when it warms up. It was already T shirt temperatures at 5am!

We caught steadily until 10am when it tailed off and we were packed up shortly after 11. We caught 46 'new birds', re-trapped eight birds and controlled one bird. 

We mostly caught warblers and they were mostly this years young and were mostly Willow Warblers. The first bird that we caught was a juvenile Lesser Whitethroat, I caught a female with a brood patch back in June so I presume this juvenile was one of hers. Willow Warblers were still singing and that was reflected in the fact that we caught 14 in total including this bird which was already ringed but with a French ring. It was an adult, but really fresh having almost completed its main moult. We'll wait with interest to hear back from the French ringing scheme.

French-ringed Willow Warbler

 Interestingly we didn't catch any Sedge Warblers but they are still around. A single Reed Warbler was carrying a lot of fat indicating it was on migration.  We caught a few of Robins and Wrens which we were sure were all local birds.  A sign that autumn is here was a Redstart - a lovely adult male that was just completing his main moult. 

Male Redstart
Male Restart showing tail

A Cuckoo was seen in flight when I arrived and  I noted a lot of Swifts heading south at first light.   

We've heard back from BTO recently with some news of birds ringed or re-trapped elsewhere. A Whitethroat and Reed Warbler that I ringed at Druridge were later caught at by Ian Fisher at East Chevington and I caught one of 'his' Blue Tits. More interesting was a Reed Warbler that I caught on 9th June that had been ringed at Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve in August last year, it was ringed as an adult  so had already crossed the Sahara at least four times by the time I caught it at Druridge. 

I've had a walk on the patch every morning this week. Willow warblers have been evident all week and I am sure some of these are passage birds. yesterday, particularly, was good for butterflies with eleven species noted before 9am!

Looking south on Thursday morning

And North - zoom in and you will see the flying ant swarm

Fly-by adult Magpie in 'main moult'
Juvenile Stonechat on the Coal Road

Small White butterfly
Small Copper butterfly

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