Saturday, May 23, 2009

CES ringing 23/05

A better day's ringing with 33 birds of 12 species caught.
9 of these were new adults and we caught 14 new juveniles, including a brood of 7 Gt. Tits, plus 'mum & dad', all in the same net.

Birds of interest seen whilst working were pair of Cuckoo (very noisy), several Swifts (maybe 20), a pair of Sparrowhawks, a pair of Gt. Spots., Collared Doves and several Starlings busy with their imminent offspring. Highlight was a passing 2CY Hen Harrier.

Wren 5 (1 juv), Dunnock 4 (1 juv), Robin 3 (2 juvs), Blackbird 2 (1 juv), Reed Warbler 1, Whitethroat 1, Garden Warbler 3, Blackcap 1, Chiffchaff 1 juv, Blue Tit 2, Gt. Tit 9, Chaffinch 2 ( 1 juv).

One of the Garden Warblers was first ringed in early spring 2003 (as an adult male). The retrap Blackbird, a male, was ringed in 2005, caught again several times in 2007 and now; all these records have been during the breeding season - so where does it go to in the winter? [We (Ivel Ringing Group) work the site all year].

Saturday 23rd May

Highlight of the morning was a purring Turtle Dove at Meadow Lane GP, my first of the year. There were at least 9 Tufted Ducks on the Tern Pool and we had 3 or 4 Yellow Wagtails in the adjacent fields along with a couple of Linnets. An unidentified raptor was seen at distance over the STW before it glided straight towards the Tern Pool but veered off behind the trees before we got a good look. Was it EN's immature male Hen Harrier? We'll never know, possible though, initial thoughts were it was a Buzzard but it wasn't big enough as it glided towards us but we didn't get a good enough look for a positive ID.

We tested the new path to Castle Mill pits which looks like a great wader habitat. Oystercatcher, Little Ringed Plover, Tufted Duck and Lesser Black Backed Gull were present. As we headed back along the path a large Carp leaped, Marlin like, in the river downstream of the weir.

Back at the park we caught up with EN ringing in the Rough, just in time for the last few of the Great Tit family. We checked out the Mute Swan nest on Fingers and were lucky enough to see the head of a single cygnet over mums back, so it shouldn't be long before the family gets out and about around Fingers. The family on the main lake are already out and about with 6 cygnets, all seen down by the beach this morning.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Last couple of weekends

Saturday 9th May:

Highlights were Common Sandpiper on the north side of the main lake. ~20 Swifts over the main lake on arrival, all gone by the time I left. My first Garden Warbler of the year, one in the Sheep Pen and another in the Rough. Plenty of Reed Warblers in with at least 6 singing in the main lake reed bed along the north side, as well as a number singing in the crescent.

Checked out the Tern Pool, out along the cycle track and had a Yellow Wagtail and a Linnet along the fence line of the field next to the pool.

Saturday 16th May:

Nothing out of the ordinary this week. Again the Swifts were about over the VC and main lake, seemingly more than last week but I didn't get a good count. A few more Reed Warblers in along the north side of the main lake, right up to the VC. Sedge Warblers were harder to come by but the STW reed bed still came up trumps. A Garden Warbler was still singing strongly in the Rough. All the other Warblers heard/seen except the Grasshopper, just too windy assuming it's still there!

Both Saturdays had great views of a male Sparrowhawk in the Willows opposite Kramer hide. Also heard the female calling nearby and the male was very aggressive seeing off all comers in it's air space.