Friday, September 17, 2010

Last of the summer

Ringing session after a 'cold' night (8C) yielded few birds, certainly none of note. A tad too sunny and the predicted breezy SW wind was actually W - not our favourite direction or strength!

An early Chiffchaff turned out to be an adult female that had recently completed her full moult; we know she had just started it on 27th July and we know she can only have finished it this week as she has not put on any fat at all.
A Long-tailed Bushtit was first caught on 12th August last year as an adult undergoing moult.
Apart from a juvenile female Chaffinch, showing a bit of fattening, the rest were 5 new, juvenile Blue Tits.

Overhead was a different story. 150-200 House Martins spent much of the early morning over the main lake and then some followed the tractor across the meadows as the flail disturbed insects. A 'white-headed' Hobby, 2 Jays and a male Kestrel spiced up the session. Feeding on the remaining berries and the nectar from the ivy, now in full flower, were 3 Chiffs, 3 Blackcaps and the fattest Graden Warbler I have ever seen; it gave off some scolding calls whenever a Chiff came too near. I also had fleeting glimpses of what I took to be an immature Pied Flycatcher, a pale brownish bird with striking pale edges to the tertials, sometimes uttering a quiet "fis, fis" call.

The feeders are up and filled, ready for the autumn!
PS. a Marsh Tit has found my nuts! (per DK)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday 12th

September rushes on, the birds move out, ready for the "winter lot".

Ringing today produced the following in the nets (retraps in brackets):
Blue Tit 3, Great Tit 1, Blackcap 6 (1), Blackbird 1 (2), Robin 2 (2), Dunnock 1 (1), Greenfinch 1, Goldfinch 2. That's 23 birds in total.
The Blackcaps are putting on a lot of fat for their journey south - all, that is, bar one, the retrap now caught on the last three sessions. Now that the tits "are back", we will have to think about reinstating the feeding station soon. The two Goldfinch were able to fly but could not have been out of the nest for very long.

Other birds seen by us included 4 Tufted, 4 Swift, 14 House Martin, a Buzzard, a Jay and a Spotted Flycatcher. A party of Long-tailed Bushtits passed close by, along with a couple of Chiffchaff.