Saturday, July 04, 2009

CES ringing - 04/07

Now into the second half with Visit No.7. A good total today and a new species for the year.

Green Woodpecker 1, Wren3, Dunnock 8, Robin 6, Blackbird 1, Song Thrush 1 (a female from 2003), Reed Warbler 2, Whitethroat 2, Blackcap 9, Chiffchaff 5, Gt.Tit 2.

The Gt Crested's have at least 1 "humbug" at long last (prob. hatched Thurs.). I noticed 2 large terrapins on 'lilypads' the other day that, together with the Coot, are the cause of the delay in 'production' and also the likely cause of low success for the GCG's.

Gull passage has started but no Common Gulls yet.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Thurs 2nd July

As the heatwave continued, this demanded a 5am start. Temperature was 20C by then and not a cloud in the sky. The reeds that were cut last winter are as tall as those that weren't and the whole of the small reed bed (the crescent), which is a mere 0.16 hectares, is taller than I have seen it for many a year. This meant that shortly after arrival, a Kingfisher passed over the net.

Yesterday, there was a Little Egbert on 'lilypads' but not today. A juvenile Gt. Spot was trapped (see photo), a young Willow Warbler, a fledgling Wren plus a 4-year (or more) old female, a male Blackcap that was first ringed down by the 'sheep pen', and 5 tits that were just starting their moult into adult plumage.

Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker - the red cap is diagnostic of a young bird.
Adults have their "patches" on the nape. This bird also has a 'dull' eye.

Out of the 10 Reed Warblers, only one, unusually, was a re-trap; they comprised 3 females, 4 males and 3 juveniles. An old male (on features and wing-length) was already thinking of "packing it in" (going by the amount of 're-feathering') and returning south in the not too distant future.

There were many small flocks of young birds, with or without their parents feeding in the willow trees. At one point, a (male) Buzzard followed by a mewing juvenile flew across the 'Fingers' at tree top height. By 8am, the temperature was beginning to soar and the heat was beginning to become unbearable, meaning that catching was coming to an end.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Guided Walk - 28/06/2009

Arrived a little early, in the mizzle, and scouted the hedges around the car park but the only thing of note was a Jay squawking over towards the Woodland Walk. While we stood waiting outside the VC a Common Whitethroat sang down by the main lake before moving off east. The fog had lifted as we started the walk proper and a quick scan of the sailing club returned 60+ Canada Geese (pretty similar to yesterday), and later we noted broods of 2 and 4 goslings, the 4 were trying to evade the male Mute Swan which had taken a disliking to them and the parents. The Mute Swan family on the main lake is down to 5 cygnets from the original 6, not sure when the sixth one disappeared.

The first surprise was a singing Lesser Whitethroat which sounded like it was down at the east end of the main lake although it was difficult to pin point. Then a bubbling female Cuckoo was heard, pretty sure it wasn't the mimicking Song Thrush as it was a longer burst and not accompanied by other notes before or after. However the Song Thrush was up to his old tricks as we walked along the edge of the Rough!

It was really tricky getting decent views of the birds this morning with the greenery getting in the way but a singing Chiffchaff obliged opposite the Rough gate. As we rounded the next corner a churring Common Whitethroat was heard and tracked down to the opposite side of the fenced area where a family were seen with at least 2 youngsters being fed by the adults. A Chiffy was also seen in the same tree along with Blue Tit which were both seen off by the Whitethroats.

As we continued along towards the Sedgewick Seat I noticed several froglets trying to cross the path and others were seen later along the Spit. Just before the Woodland Walk a Meadow Brown butterfly was seen and EN pointed out that it was newly emerged, denoted by the very dark colouration on the side away from the sun. Into the Woodland walk and an Obliging Green Veined White butterfly gave excellent views to everybody. Little else of note other than 2-3 singing Blackcaps at the north end.

Out of the woods and back along the navigation channel we worked hard for views of a singing Sedge Warbler but although glimpsed in the rushes he never gave decent views. Kramer hide was very quiet with just a Mallard family and a couple of Coots.

Not much along the east side of Fingers so we checked out the Crescent where Reed Warblers were singing and showing themselves as they moved between the reed bed and the Willows. Better views were had later, up on the Spit, as adults fed young in one of the Willows.

The sun broke through as we reached the VC and the temperature increased quickly as we departed for the air condition comfort of our cars!