Monday 30th

After two very windy days it was good to have such a pleasant morning. The birds appreciated it as well and 199 were ringed. Eighty seven Blackcaps and 73 Chiffchaffs made up the bulk but there was a supporing cast of 14 other species. It is a sign of the fast approaching autumn that the two Wrens and a Blackbird were the first this month. One Chiffchaff had a ring from somewhere else in the UK.

Friday 27th

The breeze dropped enough for some nets to go up and it was clear plenty of birds were moving through. Even with limited opportunity 70 birds were ringed before stronger wind and rain squalls set in. Blackcap (27) and Chiffchaff (22) led the way and a Firecrest added colour. The hirundines piling south were not going to stop and we only managed four Swallows.

Thursday 26th

Still no ringing possible due to the wind and occasional showers.

Monday 23rd

With much more unsettled weather forecast to be approaching it was a pleasant surprise to have a fairly calm start. The migrants had not taken advantage of this and only 21 birds were ringed, led by eight Blackcaps.

At the present rate we will struggle to make half the number of birds we have ringed in the last two Septembers. One of the big absentees are hirundines, there are still a few House Martins around the nests but there has been no significant movement yet and Swallows only got above 1,000 on one day. Lets hope they have followed a slightly different route this year, or maybe there are some still to come.

Sunday 22nd

A beautiful, calm, morning yielded 29 new birds to a very small team of ringers. This included three Song Thrushes and a Firecrest. The Yellow-browed Warbler calling nearby was not tempted to visit the catching area.

Friday 20th

The night sky remained clear as the wind shifted to SE and this continued to limit what was around. Twenty eight birds were ringed. Goldcrest (8) nearly caught up with Blackcap (8). The highlights were three Firecrests one of which was a glowing adult male.

Wednesday 18th

The cool, clear, north-easterly conditions restricted the catch to 47 birds. This did include a Lesser Whitethroat and the first Firecrest of the autumn.

Tuesday 17th

The main migration through here at this time of year is of UK birds heading south and therefore the breeze shifting to north-east actually often brings a fall in migrant numbers . It felt almost autumnal again this morning and the catch was down to 60 birds.

The vast majority of birds we catch are birds of the year but today we caught more adults (still in single figures) than we have in the last couple of weeks.

Monday 16th

It turned overcast overnight and so with a calm and muggy start it was good conditions for continuing arrivals. An even smaller team had to restrict to three net rides but still ringed 210 birds. 136 Blackcaps (plus another control) led the way followed by 53 Chiffchaffs. Thirteen Goldcrests were of note as we rarely get into double figures before October.

Sunday 15th

The few ringers able to help today benefited from a calm start developing into a lovely day. Over 170 birds were ringed, mostly Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs. Of note was a Blackcap with a ring from somewhere else in the UK. These have been extremely thin on the ground this autumn.

Friday 13th

After the excitement of last night when 10’s of thousands of Swallows were swirling around before roosting in the maize (too windy to ring) it was surprisingly quiet first thing, most of the hirundines must have left by first light. Despite the wind getting up it was possible to get some nets up and 83 birds were ringed. They were mostly Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs but six Goldcrests and a Garden Warbler were of note.

Wednesday 11th

Late news from yesterday when 88 birds were ringed with the undoubted highlight two more Cetti’s Warblers.

Today the wind restricted what could be put up but it was still worth doing with 98 birds ringed. Blackcaps continue to lead the way, this time there were 70. These birds seem to be in good condition with plenty of fat scores of four or five and weights above 18 grams. Two Coal Tits added variety.

Monday 9th

Frustratingly the forecast got it wrong. The day started calm and overcast as forecast but dark clouds gathered followed by rain. A meteorologist obviously put their head out of the window and where, last night, it had been 20% chance of rain it changed to 90%. Fortunately the calm start meant it was well worth putting the nets up until the rain arrived. One hundred and nineteen Blackcaps and 23 Chiffchaffs made the the bulk of the 164 new birds but the highlight was a Wryneck.

Sunday 8th

It felt like autumn this morning and with the breeze stronger than expected a total of 30 new birds was not too bad. The day started with a Cuckoo, much to the joy of one patient A ringer, and finished with a Redstart. Sixteen Blackcaps and seven Chiffchaffs made up the majority.

Friday 6th

After two mornings when the wind was too strong a small team was available to put a few nets up. They were rewarded with 72 new birds – probably a small sample of what dropped in. A Wood Warbler was a surprise and there was the 4th Cetti’s Warbler of the autumn. Blackcap (42) made up the majority followed by 13 Chiffchaffs and four Willow Warblers.

Tuesday 3rd

With unsettled weather approaching it was quieter this morning. Fifty-two Blackcaps and 19 House Martins helped increase the total to a respectable 91 new birds. There was also another Grasshopper Warbler.

Monday 2nd

The dam burst at last and it was the best mornings ringing of the year. One hundred and sixteen Blackcaps (68 males and 48 females) contributed to an overall total of 164 new birds. The missing Grasshopper Warblers appeared with four actually beating last years total. Kingfisher was also new for the year. A Redstart and another juvenile Cetti’s Warbler added further interest.

Sunday 1st

No-one available yesterday but if the two previous days and today were anything to go by not a lot was missed. Today 33 new birds relied on 22 Blackcaps to get well into double figures.

It is interesting to look at the monthly total for August this year compared to last year. This year it was 1,029 and last year it was 1,309. This surprised me as I thought this year would have been even worse. The biggest differences were in the warblers – the number in brackets is last year’s total. Sedge Warbler 32 (139), Reed Warbler 87 (139), Lesser Whitethroat 26 (38), Garden Warbler 34 (49), Willow Warbler 177 (213). The other species were all slightly up this year e.g. Whitethroat 74 (60) and Blackcap 262 (226). There have been no Grasshopper Warblers this year.