18th August

A brief attempt before the breeze became wind showed there were Willow Warblers around but the main catch was of ten House Martins in the lee of the Haven.

A couple of recent recoveries show typical movements for birds moving through here. A Lesser Redpoll ringed as an adult on 8/11/16 was controlled in North Ayrshire on 24/4/18, 633 km to the north-west. A Reed Warbler ringed in the days when maize was grown on Worth (28/8/15) was controlled in Nottinghamshire, 270km NNW, on 8/7/18.

17th August

Although conditions were good it was very quiet which is probably just as well as we are short of ringers at present.

16th August

A valiant attempt to ring had to be stopped early due to the increasing wind. It did yield a Tree Pipit.

15th August

The cloud and the breeze built up but it was okay to ring for a while. There was a mix of migrants in the 30 new birds. Nothing made double figures but there were nine Willow Warblers. Two Tree Pipits added to the recent good run. Robins continue to indicate a good breeding season with two more new birds. A Reed Warbler from another site in the UK was controlled.

Juvenile Goldfinches usually only do a partial moult in the autumn but complete post-juvenile moult has been recorded as can be seen below.

Juvenile Goldfinch in full wing moult. 15/8/18. I Hunter

Juvenile Goldfinch in full wing moult. 15/8/18. I Hunter

14th August

A calm start but the breeze got up quickly bringing an early end to proceedings. Twenty six birds were ringed with six each of Reed and Willow Warbler vying for top spot. Another Tree Pipit was the highlight and the immature Coal Tit reappeared.

13th August

The birds were obviously fooled by the very wet BBC forecast which is a shame as the weather followed the Met Office forecast and the day started calm and warm. There were only a few migrants around and only 15 were ringed. This did include another Grasshopper Warbler. I do not remember an August when there have been three perfectly ringable mornings with no9 Willow warblers.

12th August

Much more breezy but no sign of threatenned rain. New birds were down to 62 due to the wind. The highlight was two Grasshopper Warblers. Seventeen Reed Warblers led the way but Willow Warblers dropped to a poor five- where are they all? The mix of species helped maintain the success of the ringing course.

11th August

Good conditions to start with and Acrocephalous warblers were on the move again. Four Tree Pipits were the undoubted highlight. Starlings and House Sparrows continue to provide invaluable experience for the course participants on studying moult. A final total of 138 new birds for the day was helped by 45 Sedge warblers and 15 Reed Warblers.

10th August

A busy mornings ringing which gave all the course participants a good range of experience. One hundred and twenty five birds were ringed. Sedge Warbler was the top species with 39. Fourteen Willow warblers was a slight improvement but still disappointingly low.

9th August

A busy day getting ready for the ringing course. The wind got up and it rained but it is expected to clear. It was possible to ring 37 birds. Willow Warbler took top spot but it was only six birds- a very poor showing for this time of year.

8th August

Overnight thunder delivered a small splash of rain and the unsettled weather seemed to prevent migration. Only seven birds were ringed but one of these was a Kingfisher.

7th August

Although there are rumours the days  30+ are limited it did not happen today and it was another hot day with a stiff breeze building up./Forty two birds were ringed led by seven Sand Martins and six each of Reed and Sedge Warbler. The bonus birds were another Pied Flycatcher  and a Bullfinch. Lets hope the lack of a Willow warbler again is not a reflection of a bad breeding season.

6th August

Another hot day from the start but at least the breeze held off until later. A small wave of hirundines appeared before the breeze picked up and although Swallows appeared most numerous only three were ringed. Fifteen Sand Martins included a bird ringed elsewhere in the UK. Acrocephalous warblers are also starting to move and the seven Reed and five Sedge Warblers were ringed. The final total of 51 new birds did not include a single Willow Warbler. This is probably a reflection of the easterly component of the wind. The majority of birds we catch at this time are UK birds and appear more when the wind is light and has at least some part of west in it.

5th August

The onward movement continued overnight and so ringing was quiet. Sixteen new birds included four each of Reed and Sedge Warbler but only one Willow Warbler

4th August

After a hopeful start a strong breeze quickly increased and brought an end to ringing for the day. Twenty seven new birds included 13 Willow Warblers. Three Lesser Whitethroats and three Whitethroats continued to suggest a successful breeding season.

3rd August

A calm, hot, day but less ringers. They still managed 34 birds of which 27 were new. Pied Flycatcher was again the highlight with two more.

2nd August

Good conditions again and 64 birds were ringed. This included 27 Willow Warblers, eight Reed Warblers and, best of all, two Pied Flycatchers.

People are still often surprised that return migration is getting going but it is typical and not a result of the heatwave. It is not unusual for summer migrants to spend less time here than further south. After all as the BTO project has shown some of the Cuckoos are already back in Africa.

1st August.

The wind dropped and it was good conditions for ringing. The total of 86 birds included 63 new ones.Migrants were led today by eight Whitethroats, they appear to have had a successful breeding season around here. New House Sparrows continue to appear and six new Greenfinches give hope for a bit of a recovery from them.