Friday, 10 June 2011

9th June 2011 - Jars and Lots of Different Youngsters

This week began with an evening on Leith Hill trying to catch Nightjars with the help of colleagues Catherine, Matt and Graham.  After 30 minutes two birds had just missed the net, so we moved the net to a new location and resulted in a catch within just two minutes (below).  It is always an experience catching a Nightjar, but this one turned out to be even better than normal as it was the juvenile bird that I had caught at this site last year!  This is a great event to know that this bird was almost certainly born at Leith Hill last year, migrated off to Africa for the winter months and then has come back to the same area for its first breeding season.  Hopefully he will find a mate!
This week has also been full of youngsters as the first birds start leaving their nests.  A couple of sessions at Leith Hill produced another 19 new juvenile Siskin and newly fledged Garden Warbler (below top), Great Tit and Whitethroat (below bottom).

Three newly fledged Wrens (below top), a juvenile Nuthatch (below middle), a juvenile Blackbird and a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker (below bottom) and the first large juvenile tit flock catch.
Also around home I made a visit to a few nesting possibilities including Stock Doves (two chicks ringed - below top) and the first Swallow nestlings.  And at Leith Hill I found my first Wood Warbler nest (below bottom) which the chicks were too big to attempt to ring to the point the first one fledged whilst I sat back and watched for 15 minutes!
Pam Mears joined me on Tuesday afternoon to go to Warnham LNR to ring the two pairs of Common Tern chicks that were nesting on the artificial rafts with only about five days difference between the two families (below).

And I just had to mention the very territorial male Pheasant that has been on Leith Hill for the last month.  Whenever I am doing a ringing session it follows be as I check the net rides, pecking at my shoes, jumping at my legs and clucking constantly with its colourful neck feathers raised.  I have finally managed to get a decent video below:
video
Birds ringed:
Siskin - 19
Great Tit - 21
Garden Warbler - 1 + 2 nestlings
Dunnock - 1
Swallow - 5 nestlings
Whitethroat - 1 nestling
Blue Tit - 1
Willow Warbler - 1
Wren - 3 nestlings
House Sparrow - 1
Nuthatch - 1
Blackbird - 4
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1
Stock Dove  - 2 nestlings
Common Tern - 5 nestlings
Jackdaw - 1

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