Sunday 30th

Another quiet morning which was enlivened by the first Jay of the year. Another new Blackcap suggested that although arriving a bit late they are building up to good numbers.

Saturday 29th

There was a bit of breeze but not enough to affect ringing. Seven new birds included a Willow Warbler, a Goldfinch, a Dunnock, two House Sparrows and two Blackcaps. There were also six retrap House Sparrows

Considering House Sparrows are the target of our Retrapping Adults for Survival project and do not seem to wander away from the immediate vicinity they must have a surprisingly large population to keep supplying new birds.

Friday 28th

It is a sad sign of the decline of Willow Warbler in the south-east that it took until today for the first ones (two) of the year to be caught. There were also two new Blackcaps, two House Sparrows and a Goldfinch.

Wednesday 26th

Overcast this morning but still a cold but gentle breeze allowing another session. There were only four new birds - a House Sparrow, a Chiffchaff and two Whitethroats. There was also a retrap of a Whitethroat which had been ringed as an adult last year.

Tuesday 25th

A lull in the strength of the breeze meant ringing was back on, although it remains cold.

There were 10 new birds and two retraps The new birds were two Goldfinch, two Blackcaps, one each of Whitethroat, Wren and Song Thrush, plus three Chiffchaffs. One of the Chiffchaffs attracted plenty of attention starting with a particularly long wing of 66mm. Close scrutiny of the wing formula and moult could only elicit Common Chiffchaff.

The main activity today was checking the nest boxes. It would appear to be a late season for most species with only a few clutches of tit eggs only one of which was probably complete. No House Sparrows had eggs and most nests were not complete.

It was interesting to hear on the local news from the nearby national fruit collection where it was reckoned that blossom burst was up to 10 days late.

The only exception to this appears to be birds which do a lot of ground probing probably as a result of the wet March. Blackbirds and Robins are already feeding young and some of the Starlings had complete broods.

Saturday 22nd

At last a brief respite from the nagging easterly. The morning started overcast and calm. Although the ditches are full of singing Sedge Warblers the bushes are not holding lots of Blackcaps and so six new ones today was pleasing. There was also a new Chiffchaff and the first Bullfinches (2) this year. Roll on spring!!

Sunday 16th

Calm and clear overnight followed by a sunny afternoon once the fog had cleared. Common migrants continue to arrive and three Chiffchaffs, five Blackcaps and a Song Thrush fell into that category. There were also two more new House Sparrows.

Friday 14th

Another brief window allowed two Blackcaps and a Song Thrush to be ringed. Two Robins and a Blackbird were retrapped.

Tuesday 11th

A bright and breezy start but we took the opportunity as the next couple of days do not look good. There was clearly a sprinkling of new migrants as we headed out with the first Willow Warblers singing near the ringing area. However all migrants remained on the fringes and we only caught one bird, a House Sparrow, before the increasing breeze brought the session to an end.

Sunday 9th

A lovely, calm, sunny morning with a sea mist rolling in as a gentle southerly got up. There were nine new and seven retrap birds. The best of the new were two more Firecrests along with two each of Song Thrush, Blackcap and Chaffinch plus a single Wren. A Green Woodpecker and a Redwing were of note in the retraps.

Friday 7th

Unexpected heavy overnight rain prevented any frost and it was a bright, sunny, morning. A few more Blackcaps are arriving and three were ringed. Siskins have been a daily feature flying over and today one was caught. The other new birds were singles of Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, House Sparrow and Chaffinch.

Wednesday 5th

A calm clear start with a heavy frost. It was fairly quiet but as a bit of high cloud gathered one or two migrants appeared. Ten new birds included the first Blackcap, three Chiffchaffs and two Firecrests plus a Chaffinch, another new Wren, a House Sparrow and new for the year a Green Woodpecker.

Tuesday 4th 

A clear sunny day cooled a bit by the easterly breeze. It was an interesting morning with 16 new birds. As is often the case at this time of year Chaffinch was most numerous with eight new and one retrap. Five new Redwings plus a retrap of a bird from a week ago was a good total. The other new birds were a Wren, a Song Thrush and a House Sparrow. There were two retrap Chiffchaffs but despite the number in the surrounding areas no new ones. More notable is the lack of Blackcaps so far.

Sunday 2nd 

Earlier in the week a bit of a south-west breeze had been forecast however the day delivered a stiff north-easterly. This limited what could be used but there was a bonus in the ringing of two Stock Doves. The other birds were four Chaffinches and two retrap Robins.