Saturday, August 22, 2009

CES 22nd August

A CES session, either the last visit or possibly an additional; this will depend on whether we ring here next weekend and how well we do.
21 birds today, 7 retraps, just 2 adults - a 2005 Dunnock & a 2006 Blackbird.

Wren 1, Dunnock (1), Robin (1), Blackbird 4 (4), Song Thrush 1, Whitethroat (1), Blackcap 5, Chiffchaff 1, Willow Warbler 1, Treecreeper 1. This seems a low catch but the weather was bright and sunny and migrant species may have left earlier in the week.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Mark Thomas & Ed Green went to Willington GP earlier in the week. They had 2 nets up between 7-9 pm in the reed-bed there. They caught nought! DK has remarked that the Reed Warbler numbers at Priory have also dropped significantly as he could hear very few, mainly in the SW corner.

I put 2 nets up in the 'crescent' from 5:30 to 8:30 this morning. The result - 3 juvenile Reeds trapped (1 a re-trap from the CES v.10), a Dunnock & a Blackbird. There was also a pair busy toing and froing, feeding young beside the main lake, just below my car/spit. So - it's true; the vast majority have done the biz and cleared off earlier than usual to warmer climes!.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

16th August 2009

It has been quiet for a few weeks now. The previous 2 weeks the Sparrowhawk family have kept us entertained but there was no sign this week. Treecreepers are popping up around the park on a regular basis in the last few weeks but they are tough to spot so you have to rely on the call. Listen out along the Spit and Crescent in particular, but keep an ear out all around the park. There was a male Gadwall (female also per DK) on west Fingers, getting more of his winter plumage now so easier to pick out. Previous 2 weeks there was a Grey Wagtail along the Canoe Slalom but no sign today. However a singing Goldcrest in the woods alongside the Slalom today was a nice surprise as was the flock of Mistle Thrush at The Barns, numbering at least 13 and possibly as many as 17! (and what a noise, sounded like half a dozen people with football rattles!).

Last week we walked down to the Tern Pool where we had at least 5 Yellow Wagtails in the surrounding crop fields. There were 91 Mallards and a single Tufted Duck on the pool itself. Back at the bridge by the STW we watched 9 large Chub feeding on the upstream side of the east channel.

A Red-eared Terrapin has been spotted in 2 of the last 3 weeks on west Fingers.

Chiffchaffs are still showing well but Blackcaps have disappeared off the radar in the last 2 weeks having been the most vocal the previous week. Terns were down to 2 or 3 today with numbers dropping off steadily over the last few weeks, following a brief surge.