Ringing: April 2017
We are running a ringing course for the BTO. It is from the evening of Thursday August 10th until lunchtime on Sunday August 13th. The course is designed for people who are already ringers but want to gain extra experience, or, a permit upgrade. Cost will be £110 full board. Details from I.Hunter email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Another bright, sunny, day although the strength of the wind was a suprise. We were still able to get a few nets up and caught three new birds- a Whitethroat, a Chiffchaff and a Blackcap.
It is often the case that with clear night conditions the migrants just keep on to their breeding spots, no need to stop here. It is consolation to hear lots of Common and Lesser Whitethroats plus Sedge and Reed Warblers singing lustily around areas such as Worth marshes and the Green Wall.
Eight new birds this morning including three Willow Warblers and three Blackcaps.
An interesting Starling movement shows how electronic communication has speeded up the exchange of data. The bird was ringed here on the 20th March 2016 and found dead, sadly, 716Km North-east in Denmark on the 25th of this month.
Seven new birds included another Bullfinch plus two Collared Doves and two House Sparrows to colour ring. Yesterday three juvenile Collared Doves went into the trap, the first juveniles to be ringed on the Estate this year.
So far this year there have been at least ten colour ringed gulls reported from the Scrape. The latest involves a Lesser Black-backed Gull whose rings were read on the 22nd. It had been ringed as a nestling on Havergate Island, Suffolk, on June 26th 2014.
On a sadder note I know of at least four Blackbirds found as squashed remains around the Estate and road leading to it this spring. It is probably one of the main observed cases of mortality nationally and also reflects the speed with which some drive along here.
What a difference a day makes. Yesterday, ahead of the threatenned front, ten new birds included our first two Whitethroats of the year, three Willow Warblers and most interestingly three more Yellowhammers.
Today the weather was dry and sunny but with a much stronger than forecast north breeze. The Whitehouse area was very quiet and nothing was caught. Four Rooks were tempted into the trap though.
Yet another interesting colour ring sighting this time from Pegwell. A colour ringed Bar-tailed Godwit had been ringed in Texel in May 2009. Unfortunately one ring has been lost so we do not know the individual history. Keep on reading those rings!
As for the 21st!! This time it was Blackcap three Chiffchaff one, plus another new Yellowhammer.
The trickle of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs continues ( three and two respectively). A new Great-spotted Woodpecker was a bit of a surprise and another new Yellowhammer made it 19 different individuals this year.
An early frost cleared in the dry, sunny, conditions leaving only blackened grass footprints. An short session yielded eight new and ten retrap birds. Blackcaps led the way with four new ( three more males) and three retraps ( including a returning female). As young thrushes are being fed in the nests it will not be long before these start appearing as well. Where are the other sylvia and acrocephalus warblers? Still only Blackcap ringed.
Back to dry and still cold and sunny. The wind dropped enough to allow more nets to be used. It was definitely a morning of quality with the only two new birds being a Firecrest and yet another Yellowhammer.
For the second day in a row there was wet stuff very early. This time there was enough to create puddles on the road. It was clear by dawn and a biting easterly restricted which nets could be used.
Early risers noted an increase in Blackcap song but this may not have been due to lots of newly arrived males, rather their excitement at the arrival of females. Four of the five new Blackcaps were female.
A Woodpigeon was a new species for the year.
A shower very first thing was the only major rarity- the first hint of moisture for over a month. Suprisingly it did not appear to have grounded any migrants and new birds remain stubbornly in single figures.
Confusion caused by mistaken data entry has finally been resolved and we have details of the Latvian Goldcrest we controlled in 2015.
It was ringed at Pape, Latvia on 4th October 2105 (oops but at least one person read this and asked to have a flight in my tardis, it should be 2015) and was caught by us seven days later. A movement of 1399 km WSW, not bad for a five gram bird. This is only the second control of a Latvian Goldcrest, the first was from the same place 17 years ago
There were a few more migrants around today despite another clear night. Migrants included six Blackcaps and three each of Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff. All the sexable birds are males which suggests that there has been a delay in arrivals since the first, early, migrants showed up. Resident species were not to be out done and included a Mistle Thrush and a Yellowhammer It is rare to see more than one or two of the latter in the Whitehouse but new birds and retraps indicate there is a regular change over of birds coming to feed there.
A visit to the Gullies yielded a new Jay and two Blackcaps.
New Yellowhammers continue to appear and two were amongst the ten new birds today, along with a Willow Warbler and two each of Chiffchaff and Blackcap.
Over the last few days ringing has continued but there is only a trickle of new birds. However persistance was rewarded today with a Stock Dove, a species that is not annual. There was also another new Bullfinch.
Early fog is the nearest we get to wet weather at the moment. Migrants clearly did not fancy it and flew straight over as no new warblers were caught. A female Bullfinch and a retrap of a Yellowhammer from two years ago were the highlights.
The trickle of migrants continues as the warm spell holds fast. Four Blackcaps, four Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers and a Yellowhammer made up todays variety.