Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Woodcock and Rye Bay

A phone call from Jake on Monday 7th November, began 'How quickly can you get to Warnham LNR?'  I was luckily able to go and within ten minutes I was there and arrived to find Jake holding a box that he had been given by a local resident.  I quickly learned that the box contained a Woodcock (below by Jake Everritt) that the residents cat had brought into the house!  Although the bird was slightly shell shocked, it was completely unharmed so I ringed it, took a few photos and then released it.

The following day saw another session up on Leith Hill although with a much reduced amount of Redpolls present catching just 15.  One of which was a retrap from the previous winter ringed here on 1st February 2011 which shows winter site fidelity.  Other highlights were two male Chaffinch probably of a more northern origin, four Redwing and two continental male Blackbirds (below).
note thin yellow orbital ring and dark bill

note grey scalloped edges to breast and belly feasthers
Then I spent this weekend in ringing luxury with the Rye Bay Ringing Group at Icklesham.  The new accommodation here is great and a vast improvement on the caravans of the past.  The birds didn't disappoint either with about 600 new birds over Saturday and Sunday which is exceptional for this time of year.  The highlights were a Water Rail, a Teal (below top), three Firecrests, Meadow Pipits, the first Ring Ouzel here since 2005 (below bottom), c250 Redpolls, c40 Siskin and four species of warbler (Chiffchaff, Blackcap, a very late Whitethroat and two late Reed Warbler).

The incredibly warm and sunny weather on Sunday saw a good number of butterflies and dragonflies and the most unexpected catch of the weekend.  As I was checking one of the rides I flushed a dragonfly that was sunning itself into one of the nets.  As I got it out of the net I realised it was something different and after further investigation it turned out to be a female VAGRANT EMPEROR!!!  Although there have been a number of sightings this year there have only been about 20 records for Britain prior of this Mediterranean species (below).

note whitish frons and brown eyes

note sitting position and yellow blotch within wing

To finish, I had a short session in my garden this morning catching 53 new birds including a Coal Tit, 11 Goldfinch, a Treecreeper and four Dunnock.

Birds ringed (not including Rye Bay):
Robin - 2
Redpoll - 14
Chaffinch - 5
Blue Tit - 28
Coal Tit - 1
Goldfinch - 11
Great Tit - 3
Dunnock - 4
Wren - 1
Goldcrest - 6
Treecreeper - 1
Greenfinch - 2
Redwing - 4
Blackbird - 2
Woodcock - 1

1 comment:

  1. Incredible story of the cat and the woodcock!! I hate house cats in the nature they are a danger and kill wildlife only for playing....