Tuesday, 27 September 2011

128 Birds Later

The last two weeks has gone by so fast and with a hectic work load of late have not kept up with the blog!  But I have still managed to do some ringing with four sessions at home and three sessions at Leith Hill which totalled 128 birds.
The sessions at home produced mainly Blue Tits and Great Tits, but a few highlights included the first Coal Tit here for the autumn (above), nine Goldfinch, six Long-tailed Tits, a Blackcap, a Goldcrest and two ChiffchaffMeadow Pipit migration is is full swing, but although I attempted to catch some of these on each session unfortunately came up with a big fat zero!  Will keep trying.  An interesting catch was a juvenile Greenfinch which had a partial amount of wing moult, having moulted primary feathers 5 and 6 with primary 4 just coming through (below)
At Leith Hill, I continued to try to catch some of the migrant Siskin that are coming through, but as with the Meadow Pipits, this proved far harder than expected as after three sessions only managed to catch eight!  One of these juveniles (below) looked as though it could have been a bird of northern origin as it had a darker plumage than the local birds and was further behind in its moult. Considering there were large numbers around including a flock of over 300, this was really poor, but they all seemed to be focusing on eating natural food instead of coming to feeders.  Although the Siskins weren't present in numbers ringing included 17 Chiffchaff and 7 Goldcrest.  Other migrants over Leith Hill included a few Woodlark, Yellow Wagtail, Tree Pipit, lots of Swallow and House Martin, but highlights were a Marsh Harrier and a Honey Buzzard.

Birds ringed:
Blue Tit - 40
Great Tit - 14
Coal Tit - 3
Dunnock - 4
Siskin - 8
Chaffinch - 2
Robin - 3
Goldfinch - 9
Blackcap - 1
Goldcrest - 8
Wren - 4
Long-tailed Tit - 6
Chiffchaff - 19
Greenfinch - 5
Blackbird - 1
Song Thrush - 1

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Chiffs and Hawk

This week I spent a morning ringing at home and a morning at Leith Hill.  Highlights from the garden included two Goldfinch, a Chiffchaff, a migrant Blackcap with a huge fat score and my first Sparrowhawk of the year (below - a second-year male).

Whilst at Leith Hill there was a big movement of Chiffchaffs through the site with 20 new birds caught in two hours from two nets as well as a Long-tailed Tit and another four immature Siskin.  There are large movements of Siskin coming out of Scotland at the moment which we will hopefully be seeing them down south soon.

Birds ringed:
Robin - 1
Blue Tit - 20
Blackcap - 1
Goldfinch - 2
Great Tit - 2
Siskin - 4
Chaffinch - 2
Coal Tit - 1
Chiffchaff - 21
Willow Warbler - 1
Goldcrest - 1
Long-tailed Tit - 1
Sparrowhawk - 1

Friday, 2 September 2011

August Catch Up

During the remainder of August three visits to the heathland at Leith Hill, a visit to Warnham LNR and a bit of nest ringing produced 163 new birds of 23 species.

A continued study of the Siskins at Leith Hill has slowed dramatically with just 12 new birds, whilst another six were retraps from previous weeks and a single juvenile male Siskin bearing another ringers ring - L867948 (above top).  Other species caught included two Coal Tit, three Blackcaps, two Whitethroats, nine Willow Warbler (including a northern 'acredula'-type above middle and bottom) and 15 Chiffchaff.  Although the highlight was a migrant immature Tree Pipit (below) which happened to be the last bird I caught on 22nd Aug as I was taking the last net down.

A last trip to my regular Swallow nests produced three more to be ringed which resulted in 12 nestlings, which brings my years total to 65.  Whilst Ruby managed to find a Bullfinch nest in the Rhododendron Wood which had four chicks ready for ringing.

The session at Warnham LNR on 27th Aug produced a Sedge Warbler, four Reed Warbler, a Reed Bunting, five Chiffchaff, three Willow Warbler and an amazing 32 Blackcap!  This is the largest count of Blackcap I have ever caught in one session and seems to match the high migration levels of this species that are being caught elsewhere.

Birds ringed:
Blackcap - 35
Dunnock - 2
Blue Tit - 22
Sedge Warbler - 1
Reed Bunting - 1
Bullfinch - 2 + 4 nestlings
Great Tit - 13
Robin - 4
Siskin - 12
Chaffinch - 2
Tree Pipit - 1
Whitethroat - 2
Coal Tit - 2
Blackbird - 1
Song Thrush - 1
Willow Warbler - 12
Chiffchaff - 21
Goldcrest - 2
Wren - 5