Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Two Ringing Demos and Five New Species

A really busy fortnight of ringing which started with an early morning and late afternoon session at home on 22nd which although totalled 52 new birds only involved six species.  Although the vast majority was Blue Tits and Great Tits, the highlights were two Treecreepers and an adult male Spotted Flycatcher (below top)! After having not seen them in my garden for a couple of weeks I thought that they had gone, but was I wrong!  This then tempted me to make a renewed effort to search for a nest and stepping into the adjacent tree line was all it took as the female then started to scold me and I quickly found the nest in a seven foot high fork in a Field Maple with three ringable chicks (below bottom).  Later in this week I also ringed a new nest of Song Thrush with three chicks.

The 24th was the first ringing demonstration of the fortnight which was for the Friends of Warnham LNR and was very successful catching 19 different species.  This began with a Grasshopper Warbler (below top and with Jake) which was only the second record for the reserve after one was caught here in July 2008.  Other highlights included two Garden Warbler, two Bullfinch, two Willow Warbler, a Goldcrest, a Nuthatch, three juvenile Magpies (below middle with Gary) and a juvenile Moorhen that I managed to catch by hand right at the very end (below bottom).  Another session here this week was fairly quiet, but I did manage to catch four Willow Warblers, seven Reed Warblers, a very newly fledged family of Chiffchaff and a Sedge Warbler.

A big thank you to ringers Gary and Jake who assisted me with the demo and afterwards Gary and I visited one of my regular Swallow nesting sites and ringed nine chicks from two nests.

Leith Hill on the other hand, also had two sessions up on the heath and included another 27 new Siskin, four Willow Warbler, three Coal Tit, two Great Spotted Woodpecker and two Goldcrest.  The second of which was yesterday and was a ringing demonstration for the National Trust volunteers here which was very well received, especially the bacon butty after the early start!  Whilst at my office up here the late arriving Swallows were finally ready to ring and had five chicks.

And to top it all off I made one of my fairly regular visits to Cheshire to see family and stopped in for a bit of ringing with Dave Riley at Woolston Eyes in Warrington and finally managed to ring my first Willow Tit (below) for which they are doing a colour ringing scheme.

So five new species for the Horsham/Dorking ringing year - Spotted Flycatcher, Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Moorhen and Magpie. And a new bird for me - Willow Tit.

Birds ringed:
Blue Tit - 43
Great Tit - 36
Spotted Flycatcher - 1 + 3 nestlings
Blackcap - 12
Robin - 9
Garden Warbler - 2
Reed Warbler - 13
Grasshopper Warbler - 1
Chaffinch - 2
Bullfinch - 2
Dunnock - 2
Sedge Warbler - 1
Swallow - 14 nestlings
Siskin - 27
Coal Tit - 3
Whitethroat - 1
Treecreeper - 2
Wren - 8
Chiffchaff - 10 + 4 nestlings
Willow Warbler - 10
Goldcrest - 3
Greenfinch - 7
Nuthatch - 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 2
Song Thrush - 2 + 3 nestlings
Magpie - 3
Moorhen - 1 nestling

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