Monday, 18 June 2012

Altitude Record for Egyptian Goose?

Apologies for the long delay since my last posting, but has been a very busy period with ringing, work and family!

North River

My CES site has continued to do well, with two visits highlighting with the first Garden Warbler and Bullfinch and the second Jay and Whitethroat, whilst the majority of the catches were of juvenile Robins and Tits.  Also, a breeding male Blackcap caught on 13th June was a control having originally been ringed in Capel, 7km away, on 9th September 2011 having gone to Africa in the meantime.
Adult Jay
A fly over Red Kite was also a bonus on 2nd June with another or the same individual seen on 16th.

Leith Hill

My three ringing sessions here were pretty well dominated by juvenile Siskin, although in the last session were completely over shadowed by juvenile Great Tits, with just two new Siskin caught.  Highlights here included the first Woodpigeon, Green Woodpecker and Jay for this site and amazingly all on 28th May, with this day also producing my best catch of Crossbill (15!).  This now makes 33 for the year, not bad considering only 174 were ringed nationally in 2011.  Other notables were my second Tree Pipit (breeding adult male) and two juvenile Great Spotted Woodpeckers.
Tree Pipit
A morning of nest hunting here produced just a single chick to ring, but it was a Redstart (new for me), in a box put up last year.  Also the Swallows in the tractor shed by my office were ready to ring and hopefully will be good for at least one more brood.
Redstart chick a week before ringing
A very unusual sighting on 5th June was of a group of geese flying south over the hill comprising one Canada, four Greylag and an Egyptian Goose!  This is the first Egyptian Goose that has been recorded up here, as pointed out by Martin Gray, could this possibly be an altitude record for this species in Britain?  At just shy of 1000 feet and the highest point in South East England I bet it is a real contender.  Let me know if you know of another record that beats it?

Warnham Garden

At home I have only done a single morning of netting which produced just one bird a new female Blackcap on 27th May.  My potter traps under my feeders have done much better catching three adult Jackdaws, a Woodpigeon, a Nuthatch and a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker (all new).

I have done some nests in and around my garden as well, with a brood of Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Jackdaw and a second brood of Great Tit.
Jackdaw chicks
Case's Yard

Not far from my house is a small industrial unit where I started ringing Swallows last year (8 pairs), but the numbers this year have fallen dramatically to less than half (3 pairs), but two nests were ready to ring today along with a nest of Collared Dove that I was shown.  Many thanks to Richard and Lyn Case and neighbours for their enthusiasm and keen eyes.

Birds ringed:
Crossbill - 15
Green Woodpecker - 1
Jackdaw - 3 + 3 nestlings
Jay - 1
Woodpigeon - 1
Collared Dove - 2 nestlings
Blackcap - 5
Dunnock - 5
Garden Warbler - 5
Great Tit - 16 + 6 nestlings
Siskin - 41
Chaffinch - 1
Redstart - 1 nestling
Robin - 11
Bullfinch - 1
Blue Tit - 6
Coal Tit - 2
Goldfinch - 1 + 4 nestlings
Whitethroat - 1
Swallow - 12 nestlings
Tree Pipit - 1
Wren - 3
Chiffchaff - 4
Willow Warbler -3
Greenfinch - 5 nestlings
Nuthatch - 1
Blackbird - 7
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 3
Song Thrush - 1

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