August 30th

Although the weather has been warm and pleasant here ringing has been disappointing (where are the Willow Warblers?) possibly affected by the unsettled stuff to the west.

Today 23 birds were ringed. This included the first Jay of the year and 18 Blackcaps.

August 28th

First of all late news from yesterday when 65 birds were ringed. Of note were 37 Blackcaps and a retrap Cetti’s Warbler. The low numbers of Willow Warblers continued with just two new.

A cloudy start today plus a slight shift in breeze direction ensured a bigger catch. There were 142 new birds led by 88 Blackcaps. Willow Warblers crept up to 17. More of note was another new Cetti’s Warbler, a Spotted and three Pied Flycatchers plus a Goldcrest. Autumn is definitely on its way.

August 26th

The rising temperature meant ringing had to finish early but there were not a lot of new arrivals. One Willow Warbler made it one more than yesterday and another Cetti’s Warbler was indicative of the high number of territories nearby.

August 25th

The calm nights continue and so there are no big arrivals but there is a continual changeover.

The team put in an excellent hard days work to show the hundreds of visitors to our open day an interesting variety of birds. Eighty-nine birds were ringed. This included both Spotted and Pied Flycatcher and 51 House Martins but surprisingly no Willow Warblers.

There were also three retrap House Martins from the colony on Sandown Road. One had been ringed there three years ago.

August 23rd

The excellent calm conditions continue and this time there were ringers available to enjoy the weather. They ringed 58 new birds of which 24 were Blackcaps. Even more of a surprise were seven new Blue Tits. Although there were several flycatchers around the Oasis they did not venture in and were not caught.

The good conditions are forecast to continue but we will only be able to get a team out for Sunday- the OPEN DAY, and not the rest of the long weekend. Do call in and see what we are doing on Sunday, the ringing room will be open all day.

August 22nd

There was only one ringer available to make the most of the excellent conditions and the number of migrants around. They ringed eleven birds of which nine were migrants.

August 21st

Another calm, clear, night but this time more birds hung around. We normally think of Blackcap as a September bird but there is already an upsurge in their numbers. This in part reflects what would seem to be a successful breeding season here and also, according to reports, inland. It will be interesting to see if the passage goes on to the same sort of date .

Another noticeable feature today was the number of hirundines feeding around the Observatory and if we get enough ringers it would be good to sample these.

August 20th

With the weather settling and a calm start to the day a catch of just over 30 new birds was a little disappointing. I t would seem the clear skies overnight encouraged onwards movement.

We were able to check the House Martin nests and an interesting mixture of results were found. Some nests which were eggs at the start of the month were coming on very slowly, presumably due to the previous windy weather, but at least they were still plump and alive. One nest, which was a late starter, is now on its second brood with three eggs.

August 19th

It was a pleasant start to the day with no rain. The variety ringed reflected the good variety sprinkled around the Estate. Redstart was new for the year and there was another Tree Pipit.

The breeze increased through the morning and with showers arriving a visit to the House Martin nests had to be posponed.

August 18th

The forecast was way off and the nets spent most of the morning going up and down between showers. In the end 23 birds were ringed including another Tree Pipit and five Willow Warblers.

August 17th

An interesting field record of a Black-headed Gull. It was ringed as an adult at Swalecliffe on February 27th 2001 and read in the field on August 9th this year. So it is at least 20 years old.

August 13th

Following the weekend’s Ringing Course which was surprisingly successful, despite the weather, due to the hard work of the team, this is the only day I have any news of for this week. It was a successful day with 63 new birds and 23 retraps. The highlights were three Tree Pipits, 18 Willow Warblers and eight Goldfinch. Although many would not count it a highlight six new Blue Tits were a surprise.

August 6th

It was worth getting up early before the next belt of wind hit. A few birds had arrived including a Wood Warbler.

The first Linnet of the year reflected how the habitat has grown up, since they used to be very regular when it was more just patches of scrub.

August 5th

With the weather becoming more unsettled and the wind picking up the catch dropped to 13 new birds. This included three Willow Warblers and two Sand Martins. The adult female Pied Flycatcher from Saturday was retrapped. This was surprising considering the settled weather after its first capture when we would have expected it to move on.

August 4th

A calm, settled, night and the birds moved on. Today 33 birds were ringed. This included a selection of local breeders, such as six Whitethroats, but new arrivals were down with only five Willow Warblers.

August 3rd

A tiny shower at dawn was enough to bring in a few birds. In total 54 birds were ringed including three Pied Flycatchers, 19 Willow Warblers, seven Reed Warblers, six Whitethroats and four Garden Warblers.

August 2nd

A pleasant start to the day althought the breeze did pick up. Migrants are starting to arrive. Forty four birds were ringed including 17 Willow Warblers, five Whitethroats, four Reed Warblers,two Garden Warblers and a Lesser Whitethroat. The local Green Woodpeckers seem to have had a successful breeding season with another two ringed today.

August 1st

Great conditions but fairly quiet, probably not helped by the conditions where the migrants originate.

Nineteen birds were ringed including eight Willow Warblers, two Garden Warblers and the first Sedge Warblers (two) of the year. One of the latter was caught in the observatory Crow Trap.

The juvenile Coal Tit ringed a few days ago reappeared.