Ringing: July 17
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The breeze was much less than expected to start with and so it was good to get 36 new birds. The highlight was a Wood Warbler and 24 Willow Warblers were notable. One of the re-traps was a Willow Warbler which has been hanging around a few days in these unsettled conditions.
A check of the House Martin nest boxes showed they had also been held up by the weather. Nearly 2 weeks ago they mostly had eggs and we would have expected them to have well developed chicks now but they were nearly all very recently hatched. It looks like productivity is going to be down on last year.
A drizzly, windy start meant no ringing today. One of our colour-ringed sparrows ventured out from the farm and got flattened for its troubles. BV3 joins the long list of birds taken out by cars along our roads.
Weather conditions have hampered catches recently though a trickle of Willow Warblers is evident. A Grey Partridge caught in the Heligoland was quite a surprise. One was caught in April this year but before that the last one was 14 years ago!
Despite the forecast of breezy conditions it started calm and slightly foggy before the breeze eventually arrived. Seven Willow Warblers, four Reed Warblers, a Sedge Warbler, two Lesser Whitethroats and a Whitethroat were a mixture of the first autumn migrants and local breeding success. Five more new Chaffinches continue to suggest a very successful local breeding season as did 12 more pulli House Sparrows.
The ringers have been hard at work the last few mornings catching a small number of a variety of warblers and tits. Three Jackdaws, a Collared Dove, and a Great Spotted Woodpecker provided some variation but most interesting were the four new Green Woodpeckers. That’s seven new birds in the last three weeks suggesting a reasonably productive breeding season.
The stiff breeze from last night continued and so there were no arrivals. Ringing yielded 17 new birds including six Long-tailed Tits, a |Whitethroat and a Lesser Whitethroat.
The main event of the day was colour ring related. A Great White Egret on New Downs was sporting a red Darvic ring and the code could be eventually read. Then by the wonders of mobile phones and a quick search of the CR website we were able to discover it was from the newly established colony in Somerset. A couple of emails later and it was confirmed as a bird of this year ringed at Ham Wall RSPB reserve on the 18th May. An amazing movement, made even more stunning by the fact it was known to still be in Somerset on the 10th. Perhaps a journey of a few hundreds miles in a week is nothing for a bird that size but really shows how data gathered by ring sightings can change perspectives on dispersal.
No ringing this morning but a good team effort with the Conservation team to clear paths and rides.
There has been quite a flood of informationn about birds ringed or caught by us. As usual most are local movements but there are some other stand out ones. I mentioned previously about the Robin found dead in an estate garden in May. It had been ringed at Eggegrund in Sweden on 23rd September 2016-1453 km NE.
Going in the opposite direction was a Willow Warbler ringed here on 30/8/16 on its way south to Africa and then found dead at Moss in Norway on 29/5/17 -1079km NNE.
Not dead but the ring read in the field was a Black-headed Gull. It had been ringed at Deal on 28/2/2000 and read at Poznan in Poland on the 8th July this year-1077 km to the East. It was wintering as an adult at Deal but even after 17 years of travelling still has a way to go to beat the Black-headed Gull longevity record.
Another steady morning with 22 new birds. Six more fledged Blackcaps were joined by five Chaffinches, three Reed Warblers and three Whitethroats. All this continues to suggest a successful breeding season which will help balance out the last couple of poor ones.
An inspection of the boxes around the observatory provided a surprise with six Great Tit pulli who will not be fledging for a few more days yet. The first broods of these fledged over a month ago. House Sparrows are now on their third broods in all the sparrow boxes. It was less good news for Starlings as all the second nests and broods seemed to have been deserted during the windy, dry spell last month.
A successful morning with 22 new birds. There was continuing evidence of successful breeding with six Whitethroats, six Blackcaps and a Chiffchaff.
Attached is a copy of our ringing policy: SBBOT Ringing Policy