A check of the House Martins showed most coming along slowly with only two broods (a five and a three) large enough to ring. One of the nests checked previously had three eggs but no nest lining at all. This time the nest was completely empty with no sign of eggs in it or below.
No ringing possible due to the rain and the strength of the easterly for the last few days.
This photo of a colour-ringed Greater Black-backed Gull on the Scrape was taken yesterday. The last one of these with a black colour ring had been ringed in Norway. We will let you know when we find out.
A huge thank you to the Conservation team who braved yesterday’s foul conditions to clear the paths and rides in the ringing area.
Notice how it is enjoying the mid-summer weather!
After yesterdays wash out a round of the House Martin boxes today showed that things are moving forward slowly. Only three boxes are now unoccupied and birds are still laying. The first chicks hatched last week but the clutch of six eggs is still just that, however, as most are just hatching there is still hope and the adult is still present.
The Barn Owl nest boxes around here are monitored under the appropriate government licence. Sadly this year is not a good one. The only active nest has only two of the four chicks left.
The overnight breeze persisted first thing and so 15 birds was not a bad return. One Chaffinch, two Dunnocks and two House Sparrows were new.
A check of the sparrow nest boxes showed more broods coming along and of particular note the clutch of six have all just hatched.
Almost the same as Tuesday but even warmer. New birds included five Goldfinches, a juvenile Chiffchaff and Dunnock, and another new Blackbird.
The hot, calm, daytime conditions mean good conditions for early morning ringing but also an early finish. Today there were nine new and eight retrap birds – the first time it has been that way around for a while. The most interesting aspect was catching four new, adult, Whitethroats. Where have they come from, surely not late arrivals (this is often noticeable with Reed Warblers). There was also another new adult male Chiffchaff. The other new birds were juveniles- two Robins, a Blackbird and a Dunnock.
This time it was the House Sparrow nest boxes which were checked and again it is a mixed picture. Two boxes each had one fat chick plus unhatched eggs. It would suggest the the cold nights a couple of weeks ago did not help incubation but the chicks that survived are reaping the benefit of being the only mouth to feed. There were also three broods of three chicks each, normally at this time there are four or five chicks. This might be direct affect of the cold or indirect. The latter resulting in less caterpillars to provide protein for the growing chicks as has been demonstrated by many tit broods. For the first time for three years or so we have some second clutches of Starlings one with four eggs and one with one egg, a third clutch have disappeared however.
A check of the House Martin nest boxes showed a very mixed picture. The positive is that where they are nesting there are healthy clutches of eggs. In the oldest group of seven nests there were two empty, one with three eggs, two with four eggs and two with five eggs. In the next set with nine nests it was much worse, six were empty, one was nest lined, one had four eggs and one had six eggs. The latter is the largest brood we have recorded here. Hopefully there might be some more to come as there is plenty of activity.
A lovely warm. calm, morning yielded four new and nine retrap birds. There was another juvenile Chiffchaff plus a new adult male. There was also an adult Reed Warbler and a Goldfinch. A check of some nest boxes yesterday showed that House Sparrows are trying to make up for lost time with plenty of broods on the way. Also for the first time for at least two years Starlings are thinking about second broods. The last couple of years have seen very dry spells and Starlings did not try but this year there is plenty of nest rebuilding and even an egg. Down the road a few more House Martins are appearing only a month late.