Friday 21st

An enthusiastic team spent the morning getting on with the net 11 boardwalk replacement. All the supports are in and so it is on to the walk bit itself next week.

Do'nt forget it is the AGM at the observatory tomorrow.

Thursday 20th

Anybody who has looked at the moths sightings page will have noticed how poor the catches are at present, for instance the catch last night was about a tenth of that which would be expected. This is reflected in struggles the nesting birds are having.

Interestingly our MOTUS aerials  have turned up an batch of five detections of Nathusius' Pipistrelles from late April and May. As with all such research it will be fascinating to keep going. Are these movements typical for this migratory species or they imposed by a shortage of food?

The first bat was tagged at Bedfont Lakes in mid-April and was last detected there on April 30th. It was then detected passing our aerials on May 10th.

The other four were all tagged in the Minsmere area in late April/early May and then detected by our aerials  a few days later,apart from one which turned uo here the same day. Two then moved on to Dungeness.

An example is the one tagged in the Minsmere area on April 29th and last detected there at 0145 on April 30th. It showed up here on May 5th and hung around until the 9th at 2200 before moving on that night to Dungeness.

Wednesday 19th

Raising chicks is clearly proving hard at present. Yesterday the House Sparrow boxes were checked and development is very slow, only 13 were large enough to ring. The late brood of Starlings on the shed, which although very noisy, were not large enough yet.

Today House Martins showed a similar pattern. Only one brood has fledged so far and eight more were ringed but most were not at the right stage yet. Some more nests had eggs and a couple of these were up to four or five eggs. It has been a few years since conditions have allowed three broods in one nest and it will be interesting to see how many manage two broods this year.

Wednesday 12th

The brood of five Kestrel chicks were ringed today, all looked healthy. House Sparrows though are way behind with no more chicks ready to ring this week.

One of the House Martin broods which would have been ready to ring last weekend had been predated. Magpies have been showing an unhealthy interest in the colony.

Sunday 9th

A cloudless start allowed the sun to warm things up quickly. The trickle of fledged birds continued with eight birds being ringed - four Long-tailed Tits, two Robins and singles of Dunnock and Blackcap.

At least with it being quiet getting on with replacement of the boardwalk at net 11 will get going.

Friday 7th

The morning conditions remain benign until the breeze arrives. There are no new migrants arriving but chicks are starting to fledge. There were 11 new birds - a Wren, two Dunnocks, three Robins, two Blackbirds, two Song Thrushes and a Chiffchaff. All but one Robin were fledglings. The Cetti's Warbler male which was caught in the heligoland reappeared as well.

Wednesday 5th

The House Sparrows are slowly getting going but it is a very late season. We only ringed two chicks in May compared to 17 last year.

It is the same for House Martins. One group are now well under way but only three chicks were ready for ringing. The other group are still building or laying eggs.