Ringing: May 2022
A Black-headed Gull with a darvic ring was photographed on the Scrape on the 17th. It turns out to be the first sighting of this bird since it was ringed at Pagham Harbour on July 21st last year. As ever thank you to those who take the trouble to get these records.
The morning was spent sheltering from the increasing wind in sheltered spots such as the Elms where we checked nest boxes. Although there is a relatively poor rate of occupancy this year, following last years very bad season, the success rate seems to be good this year and indeed some chicks have already fledged. House Sparrows around the Observatory are already starting their second broods.
House Martins had a poor year last year and although there are a few more around now the occupancy rate has not improved yet.
The main activity recently has been trying to catch up with all the nest boxes. The initial visits suggest things are going well so far, lets hope this continues as it is needed to make up for last year. There is still a lot to check. Interestingly a female Barn Owl ringed last year in the Rest Harrow box is now nesting elsewhere on the Estate. A special licence is required to visit any Barn Owl nest and one of our team is the holder of such a licence.
Ringing yesterday yielded six new (Dunnock, Song Thrush, Chaffinch and three Robins) birds and ten retraps. The first juveniles are appearing but the Song Thrush was a bit of a mystery as it was a bird of last year but did not show any signs of breeding.
On a bright warm morning there were lots of singing migrants but as seems the norm for May only 12 birds were caught. There were four new birds; singles of Reed Warbler, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and Goldfinch. The retraps consisted of a Dunnock, two Robins, two Blackcaps, a Great Tit, a Chaffinch, and interestingly a six year old Blue Tit.
Not quite as nice but there was still time for the first Lesser Whitethroat of the year and three Whitethroats to be ringed.
It was a delight to have calmer, overcast conditions. The catch improved to ten new and ten retraps. Nine of the ten new were warblers with four Chiffchaffs, three Blackcaps, a Whitethroat and the first Reed Warbler of the year. The other new bird was another House Sparrow.