Saturday, August 18, 2007

18th August - another CES

Had a tickle early on Thursday at the crescent - apart from 6 Reed Warblers, 3 Lottis, a Wren, a Willow Warbler, a Robin and a Blackie, trapped the above Spot Fly, ... which DK had spotted the previous weekend? Reed Warbler total so far is 55, which beats the previous high. Also about, were a Hobby, a Lesser Whitethroat, two Shoveler, a Green Sand and a couple of Greenshank.

The best CES session so far this year in that we caught 43 juveniles and 9 adults of 12 spp. It rained as we put up the nets and for the next 2 hours, not heavy but enough to get wet. This didn't stop the birds and we spent most of the time clearing the nets. Processing took place in the drier interludes! The weather improved later. Three Swallows, six Swifts and plenty of House Martins up above and both woodpeckers travelling back and forth over the site.

Caught our third hybrid Phyllosc. of the year; like the others, it was more Chiff in shape and tone but with Willow upperparts, legs and wing formula. We have been getting these ever since the steep decline in Willow Warblers back in the late 1990s, but not every year. None have ever been retrapped - does this say something, like infertility, maybe?

Today's tally was 13 Blackcaps, 10 Goldfinch, 8 Greenfinch, 6 Blackbird, 4 Wren, 2 Chiff, 2 Willies, 2 Garden Warblers (their peak has passed), and single Robin, Chaffinch, Dunnock & Bullfinch. So far this year, we have ringed 57 Blackcaps; we hope to reach 75 at least. (The highest ever was 107 back in 1994).

The lower pic. shows the Phyllosc hybrid with the rounded Chiff-shaped wing with only the five outermost primaries emarginated. [It also has Willow secondaries, not obvious here]

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunday 12th August

A bit quieter today with the Warblers less evident than yesterday. The weather was a lot different with heavy cloud cover to start with although that began to break up by mid morning. Saw Tony P. on the way down to the finger lakes and he told me there was a Female Shoveler on Fingers. I soon located it as I walked along the spit and then I noticed 2 more, all on the west side of the spit.

Along the spit a Great Spotted Woodpecker posed on a dead branch, possibly the same one as yesterday.

Again the Great Crested Grebe chicks were very noisy and the Adult and chick in lilly pads were close enough to photograph.

Came across 2 new Moorhen families around the Finger lakes, one with 3 chicks at the Sedgewick seat and one with 2 chicks at the bend in the path nearest the steps. The Grey Wagtails in the Canoe Slalom numbered 6 today but they flew to the trees before I could determine how many adults and juveniles.

Nothing else out of the ordinary to report.