Sunday, May 03, 2009

International Dawn Chorus Day

The alleged rain did not occur - so much for blanket met. forecasts for east anglia television area.

A small party congregated at 04:30 and were hailed by (songsters in upper case) BLACKBIRD, SONG THRUSH, ROBIN, CUCKOO, SEDGE WARBLER. A glimmer of dawn as we moved off and to be regaled by BLACKCAP, CANADA GOOSE, GREAT TIT, CHIFFCHAFF, WREN, WHITETHROAT, MALLARD.
By now we were leaving the New Meadow and approaching Fingers Lake: BLUE TIT, CROW, JACKDAW, LESSER WHITETHROAT, WILLOW WARBLER, GARDEN WARBLER.

After 05:00, we saw/heard Mute Swan, GREEN WOODPECKER, MAGPIE, WOOD PIGEON, Black-headed Gull, COOT, REED WARBLER, COMMON TERN, MOORHEN, Lapwing, Gt. Spotted Woodpecker, GOLDFINCH, Cormorant.
It was not until after 06:00 that we noticed CHAFFINCH, GREYLAG, SWALLOW, GREENFINCH, PHEASANT, BULLFINCH, Sparrowhawk, Long-tailed Tit, STARLING, DUNNOCK, Gadwall, Gt. Crested Grebe, Sand Martin, House Martin, Collared Dove.
The moderate NW wind stopped us from hearing certain birds with weaker calls and the much vaunted Grasshopper Warbler. Oystercatcher was another 'failure'. So was Swift.

Conclusion - spring is a little later this year than last.

A fine view of a fox, out in the open as the sun was breaking over the horizon, as it sat watching us watching it for about five minutes. Also a freshly dead mole later on.

This was the 23rd traditional D-C Walk at Priory CP; only one has had to be abandoned because of rain. This is normally held on the first Sunday in May.

Ringing / CES

This week's catches are as follows:
Wed. 29th (Fingers Lake) - Wren 1, Dunnock 1, Robin 1, Blackbird 2 (pr?), Reed Warbler 1 (ringed '07, retrapped '08; male), Blackcap 1, Treecreeper 1, Chaffinch 1, Reed Bunting 2 (pr, female ringed '07 as breeding adult).

Sat. 2nd - first of the (inter)national Constant Effort Sites survey for '09 using standard nets only. 17 adult birds of 9 species as follows:
Dunnock 2, Blackbird 2, Song Thrush 1, Whitethroat 3, Blackcap 4, Willow Warbler 1, Blue Tit 1, Great Tit 1, Bullfinch 2. The majority of birds were males. All retraps were from '08.

[Last year - 22 birds of 9 species. The long-term average over 12 visits is 27, but the first few visits average only 22 new birds for the year.]