Saturday, September 03, 2011

Recent bird ringing activities

The Constant Effort season is over at Priory Country Park. All 12 visits were completed (including the odd extra visit). I haven't posted CES totals for a while and on this occasion, for my ease, I'm going to lump visits 8-12 all into one (including non-CES birds/sessions).

238 new birds, 57 retraps (in brackets) of 23 species:

Wren 8 (1)
Dunnock 6 (6)
Robin 6 (7)
Blackbird 10 (8)
Song Thrush 8 (1)
Sedge Warbler 1 (0)
Reed Warbler 24 (1)
Whitethroat 25 (6)
Lesser Whitethroat 2 (0)
Garden Warbler 19 (2)
Blackcap 91 (8)
Chiff Chaff 2 (3)
Willow Warbler 2 (1)
Blue Tit 8 (5)
Great Tit 6 (3)
Long Tailed Tit 0 (1)
Chaffinch 3 (0)
Goldfinch 10 (0)
Greenfinch 1 (0)
Bullfinch 4 (3)
Treecreeper 0 (1)
Sparrowhawk 1 (0)
Wood Pigeon 1 (0)

We'll start with the standout total for Blackcap. This site has always been good for Blackcaps - more Blackcaps have been ringed than just about all other species in the park. The total above includes birds caught outside the CES. On Saturday 27th August I caught 26 Blackcaps (the majority new and the majority male). These birds must have moved on and another lot moved in as by the following Wednesday (31st August) I caught 30 Blackcaps (only one retrap from the weekend and only because it's from a late brood & not ready to go yet).

Above: Female Blackcap

Above: Male Blackcap

Above: This bag contains a big living ball of feathers (see below)!

Above: A Wood Pigeon (the big ball of feathers).

Above: A Lesser Whitethroat. This bird represents one of two ringed on 27th August. This species used to be more regular in the park but there have been very few records this year. I assume therefore that these two birds (juveniles) were migrating through the park (we would likely have caught the adults & juveniles earlier if they had bred).

Above: Normally seen in the skys above & normally too good at airobatics to be caught. This juvenile Sparrowhawk is obviously still learning then!

Saturday 3rd September 2011

Not quite the expected bright sunny morning, instead rather overcast and threatening rain at times, although it did remain dry throughout. I met up with JA along the main path as I was listening to a Cettis Warbler singing on the island, a good start to the morning. Five Gadwall were on the main lake albeit a little flighty. A Kingfisher was heard in the south west corner. It was positively buzzing with bird life along the Spit as a large mixed flock moved through the trees, feeding. As well as the usual Tits, there was also Treecreeper, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and at least 2 Goldcrests in the mix. Not many ducks on Fingers with just a couple of Gadwall and the usual Mallards. A Little Grebe was on east Fingers. At Kramer hide another 3 Gadwall were present. Just nine Cormorants in the Kingsmead roost this week and not much about on 100 Acre other than about 10 Little Grebes and a dozen Tufted Ducks. Met up with DK back in the park and walked around the south side. Good numbers of Coots and Great Crested Grebes on the main lake and the Mute Swan numbers had increased slightly to 50. Quite a few Chiffchaffs around with a particular hotspot in the south west corner of the main lake. Plenty of House Martins moved through during the morning with a peek count of 85. These were accompanied by a handful of Swallows and a small party of Sand Martins. Pretty quiet along the west side and we were back to the car park just in time for the sun to start breaking through!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Volunteer Task on 4th September CANCELLED

Unfortunately we have had to cancel the volunteer day on the 4th Sept as we have a music festival in the park that weekend. If anyone would like to come in the week after (11th Sept ) instead please let the rangers know, otherwise the next date is the 2nd October.