Saturday 30th

A clear night followed by a lovely calm morning created great conditions. There were more than a hundred each of Blackcap and Chiffchaff around the Haven first thing. With only one senior ringer and one trainee we were careful to use just two net rides. One hundred and nineteen birds were ringed and there were no retraps or controls.

Chiffchaff reached 63 and Blackcap 49. They were supported by two each of Firecrest and Chaffinch and one each of Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler and Goldcrest. The fruit eating migrants continue to show healthy levels of fat. A Sedge Warbler showed its contempt for the nets by squeezing straight through.

Friday 29th

The wind ignored the forecast and started fresh and picked up through the morning. That and early drizzle appeared to deter any arrival. The few nets we could get up yielded 26 new birds - 13 Blackcaps and 13 Chiffchaffs. There were three retrap Chiffchaffs, all from two days ago. Until now retraps have been few and far between.

Wednesday 27th

Just a gentle breeze to start with and some cloud- good conditions. One hundred and forty four birds were ringed. This was made up from 75 Blackcaps, 63 Chiffchaffs, single Willow Warbler, Blue Tit and House Sparrow, plus, best of all, three Firecrests.

Tuesday 26th

A bit breezier but still okay conditions. Seventy birds were ringed; 40 Blackcaps, 26 Chiffchaffs and singles of Swallow, Lesser Whitethroat, Goldcrest and Great Tit.

As can be seen it is still departing birds mostly and in the House Martin nests there are still birds roosting but their numbers are reducing.

Sunday 24th

The breeze started fresh and picked up as the morning advanced ending ringing early. The team still managed 64 birds. Most notable was a doubling of the year total of Swallows with four ringed. The others were 39 Blackcaps, 19 Chiffchaffs, a Goldcrest and a Wren.

Saturday 23rd

A pleasant, calm, morning with a bit of autumnal nip to it. With a less experienced team netting was reduced to two rides. There were clearly lots of Chiffchaffs around and 41 were ringed along with 33 Blackcaps, 2 Goldcrests, 2 Great Tits, and singles of Wren, Blackbird, Willow Warbler, Blue Tit and, best of all, another Cetti's Warbler.

Friday 22nd

The night started with heavy rain but by dawn it was calm and clear and there was a big movement of birds. In a busy morning we ringed 350 birds and also had two control Blackcaps.

The big total included 229 Blackcaps, 103 Chiffchaffs, 2 grey continental-type Blackbirds, 2 each of Reed Warbler and Willow Warbler and singles of a good range of warblers. This included the first Grasshopper Warbler of the year, a late Wood warbler and Garden Warbler plus Sedge Warbler, Goldcrest and Firecrest.

Thursday 21st

Whilst I was away a combination of unsuitable weather and shortage of ringers meant there was no more activity. The forecast of early showers today proved correct and so the opportunity to check nest boxes later was taken. We were doing the final check for the year in the Elms and along Guilford Road. The results were disappointing, another four tit nests failed, mostly at late chick stage. This would line up with some of the cold spells in late May/early June. One interesting story came from a box at the entrance to the car park. Seven Blue Tit chicks were ringed there but there were six dead chicks today with a mouse nest on top. I assumed that the seventh had been consumed but when we checked the ringing records that one chick had clearly fledged as it had been retrapped twice!

Sunday 17th

A massive clear-out overnight meant only 14 birds were processed today. Quite the comparison from Friday.

Friday 15th

A fall of Blackcaps kept everyone busy all morning. The session ended with 117 new Blackcaps ringed, plus three re-traps. There were also 32 Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest.

Monday 11th

Calm, hot and humid to start with followed by a westerly breeze getting up mid-morning.

It was another steady Blackcap day. Seventy-three birds were ringed of which 59 were Blackcaps, which continue to carry plenty of fat. The other birds were nine Chiffchaffs, two Blue Tits and singles of Dunnock, Lesser Whitethroat and Willow Warbler.

Sunday 10th

Calm and very hot and this time the Blackcaps arrived. Seventy-eight birds were ringed of just three species - 64 Blackcaps, 12 Chiffchaffs and two Willow Warblers. One of the Blackcaps was a British control.

Saturday 9th

Calm and hot again but this time no obvious arrivals first thing. With the help of three trainees 20 birds were ringed - Sedge Warbler 1, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Blackcap 15, Chiffchaff 2 and Willow Warbler 1. The first few Blackcaps had plenty of fat and had probably been around a day or so. The last few did not have much fat and may have been new arrivals.

Friday 8th

Another glorious , calm, morning with only slight patches of mist. There was a decent size team out and 85 birds were ringed. Seventy-three of these were Blackcaps plus one Reed Warbler, three Whitethroats, seven Chiffchaffs and a Willow Warbler. As usual the birds were all birds of the year. There was also a Chiffchaff with a ring on from elsewhere in the UK (a control) only the second this autumn.

There were lots of hirundines but they were all feeding very high and had no interest in visiting us.

Wednesday 6th

The weather matched the forecast and it was so calm a thick mist gathered. With a minimal team much care was taken with the area of netting. Blackcaps were back today and 55 were ringed in a total of 65 new birds. The other new birds were Dunnock, two Robins, two Whitethroats, two Chiffchaffs a Great Tit and a Blue Tit. The Blackcaps continue to show healthy fat scores. The Great Tit, as is usually the case with southern juveniles, was moulting its tail and tertials.

Tuesday 5th

A bit more of an easterly this morning but conditions overnight must have been good as the majority of warblers had moved on and there were not many new arrivals. The first round held two surprises - a House Sparrow from the Oasis and the third Cetti's Warbler of the autumn. We have now ringed more Cetti's Warblers than Swallows and House Martin adults combined this year!

We were able to put more nets up but it was quiet and twenty two birds were ringed - 14 Blackcaps and singles of Reed Warbler, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blue Tit.

Monday 4th

Excellent conditions with just a gentle SE. With an inexperienced team catching was carefully limited and 39 birds were ringed. Twenty-nine Blackcaps led the way supported by three Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers and single Dunnock, Robin, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat and Garden Warbler. Still no controls.

Sunday 3rd

Calm, humid and overcast. Good conditions for ringing and so it proved to be. The first Nightingale of the year and a Spotted Flycatcher started the day well and 74 birds were ringed. Blackcaps started moving and 50 were ringed. The other birds were 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Robin, 1 Blackbird (juveniles are still appearing), 1 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 1 Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaffs, 8 Willow Warblers, 1 Goldcrest and 2 Blue Tits.

Saturday 2nd

After yesterdays damp squib it was a pleasant, calm, morning with some cloud. Fifty-two birds were ringed and only three retrapped. A Spotted Flycatcher was possibly one of yesterdays influx and a Sand Martin was one of surprisingly few seen in these conditions. The other birds were 2 Robins, 2 Sedge Warblers,3 Reed Warblers, 3 Whitethroats, 14 Blackcaps, eight Chiffchaffs, 16 Willow Warblers and 2 Chaffinches.

Judging by the healthy fat scores the Blackcaps are making the most of the good crop of Blackberries.