Sunday, 13 August 2017

Subtle autumnal changes

Middleton NR
6.5C and a whole load of dew all over the car when I left my house

A session using three nets in the western marsh was different to previous visits this month which saw a scatter of warbler species and very little else other than above average numbers of Reed Bunting for this time of year.   The catch of 53 new birds this morning saw far fewer 'scattered' warblers, with the night presumably more about departure than arrival, but quite a few warblers latched on to small tit flocks, mainly (as usual) Willow Warblers.   Noticeably absent were Sedge Warbler (one heard), Blackcap (just one ringed) and Common Whitethroat (only 9 ringed, mainly later in the session)

One "notable" feature was the first Sand Martin ever to be caught in morning mist-netting, as opposed to the small numbers as a by-product of Swallow roost ringing, of which two were ringed birds, both from the same artificial colony in Dumfries and Galloway.  The other notable feature is  more typical of here - all the common warblers ringed, including Grasshopper Warbler, with the exception of Sedge Warbler.  This species tends to 'dry up' at this site at the end of July unless the ringing session is during cloud cover ahead of a warm front, when there can be the odd decent late 'fall'

Vis mig
ONLY aerial feeders - where are all these early autumn Tree Pipit!
Swallow - difficult - minimum of 135 S
Sand martin - 2
Swift - 3+1+1
House Martin - H+ 4+18

Single Garden and Grasshopper Warblers caught at Middleton

Red Nab
At least 11 Meds but very heat-hazy

Swallow roost Middleton NR
Some good teamwork allowed 134 Swallow, 5 Sand Martin and a Reed Warbler to be ringed before dark.  Even better was a juv Cuckoo seen by two of the team and the Green Woodpecker calling again.  Thanks to Kevin, Richard, Jean and Malcolm for help