Sunday 19th

The exploration of the southern end has come to an end and effort returned to the Whitehouse. There were eight new birds- Robin two, Lesser Whitethroat one, Chiffchaff one, Chaffinch one, Goldfinch two and Bullfinch one(plus a retrap). Of more importance was the fact that the Robins and the Chaffinch were all new fledglings.

Saturday 18th

It is one rollercoaster of a year so far. The tits seem to be making good with more broods hatching and being fed, lets hope the food keeps going. Today 20 more Blue Tit and 16 Great Tit pulli were ringed.

On the downside the House Martins which appeared at the start of the week seem to have moved on and we are back to just four pairs around all the time.

Monday 13th

It would seem the House Martins had been waiting for the weather to improve. There are at least 20 around at present.

Sunday 12th

The ringing at the south end continues in warm, calm conditions. There were seven new birds. Two Whitethroats were expected but two new Chiffchaffs were less expected there. One of these showed no signs of breeding development and so may have been new in. A Blackbird ringed in 2018 was retrapped.

Saturday 11th

A more satisfactory follow-up check of nest boxes with all the occupied ones advancing. Great Tits are still ahead of Blue Tits. Today we rang 22 Great Tits (following 24 on the 8th) and 21 Blue Tits (nine on the 8th). We also did two broods of Starlings and the House Sparrows have finally started laying eggs.

Friday 10th

In search of some new birds the team set up at the south end of the estate. There were only three new birds but one of these was the first Sparrowhawk for the year. The other two birds were a bit more expected, both being Whitethroats. In fact with the number of singing birds around there they had hoped for more.

Wednesday 8th

Two mornings of checking the nest boxes did not raise the spirits. Away from the Observatory less than half the boxes are occupied. We did ring three Great Tit broods today and Great Tits seem to be 7-10 days ahead of the Blue Tits. So far there have been no late layings detected.

A check of the House Martin colony on Sandown Road showed only four of 16 nests occupied (none with eggs yet). Lets hope the birds have just delayed their arrival rather than been hit by some of the unsettled conditions further south.

Saturday 4th

And so it was, the morning was calm and warmed up quickly. There were a few new birds including the first Lesser Whitethroat of the spring plus two Common Whitethroats and a Blackbird (where has that one come from?).

In the afternoon the first pulli of the spring were ringed. These were four Robins found in a nest in the Observatory garden.

Friday 3rd

Whisper it quietly but the next two days may have nice conditions for ringing which is in contrast to todays breezy and then soggy start.

We have received an interesting set of Blackcap movements. The first two involve birds ringed here but found dead elsewhere in the UK. One was ringed here on September 1st 2020 but found well to the west in St Austell (444km WSW) on April 5th this year. The second was ringed here on September 21st 2022 and found dead on April 12th this year at Horsecastle Bay in the Scottish Borders (565km WNW). I wonder if these two were victims of the blast of cold air in April. The third travelled much further and is still alive. The ring was read in the field 872km NNE ay Revtangen in Norway 0n April 8th this year. This is the 17th BTO ringed Blackcap to Norway.

Wednesday 1st

A calm, mild, start made it a pleasure to be up early and out and about. Ringing remains quiet with most of the birds busy in territory now. The three new birds were an unusual mix - the first new Whitethroat of the spring plus a new pair of Moorhens (meaning we have now had eight this year).