Saturday, 10 July 2010

9th and 10th July 2010 - What a Way to Start a New Job

Day seven of my new job at Leith Hill began with my first weekly team meeting and by the time it ended it was a well deserved lunch break by all which very quickly changed to another rescue!

We were quickly approached by Jim Curtis who had been walking across the grounds of Leith Hill Place and found a BUZZARD trapped inside a tree protector! So Graham, Catherine, Sarah and myself jumped into a vehicle and headed off (rings at the ready of course). When we got there there were actually two BUZZARDS trapped inside! On approach they very quickly huddled down into a 'you can't see me' posture (below) and I was able to pick them up very easily.
It was immediately obvious that they were juveniles with the parents soaring and calling overhead and the wing feathers on inspection hadn't finished growing. But Jim then found the reason why they were inside the fencing in the form of half a dead rabbit that assumably the parents had caught and dropped in. The birds were then very quickly ringed and released. Photo above with Graham and Catherine and behind the offending tree protector!
Then this morning Eddie and I ringed at Chesworth Farm in near perfect conditions with grey cloud and no wind, but a relatively poor result in numbers although quality was very evident. Just 54 birds caught of 18 species including 39 with highlights being the first Swallow (above) roosting in the pond (autumn is here!), a Bullfinch, two newly fledged Reed Bunting (below), seven Whitethroat, a juvenile Reed Warbler, two juvenile Goldcrest (below) and an adult female Blackbird showing continental plumage.
But the two highlights of the day came in the form of retraps, first was a juvenile Chiffchaff that I had ringed at Warnham LNR just seven days ago which still hadn't started post juvenile moult. This is 3.5km as the crow flies straight through Horsham town centre, but more likely 5.5km following the river round the western and southern edge of the town. If this wasn't enough a juvenile Willow Warbler (below) was caught that had just started post juvenile moult that Wes had ringed in a nest of six at the Capel reserve on 10th June. This being a distance of 11km due south in exactly one month, although this bird probably still had at least a week in the nest to go and a sibling being retrapped there on 25th June could imply that the whole of the family was still in the area. Both very interesting signs of juvenile dispersal (see map below).
Interesting butterfly sightings included the first White Admiral and only the second Purple Hairstreak for the site.

Birds ringed: (Retraps in brackets)
Buzzard - 2
Reed Bunting - 2
Blackcap - 4
Bullfinch - 1
Robin - 2 (1)
Great Tit - 3
Blue Tit - 2 (4)
Dunnock - 2 (1)
Whitethroat - 7
Reed Warbler - 1 (3)
Chaffinch - 1
Goldfinch - (1)
Wren - 3
Chiffchaff - 2 (1)
Goldcrest - 2
Willow Warbler - (1)
House Sparrow - 4 (2)
Blackbird - 1 (1)

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