Saturday, 16 October 2010

Having had a few birds there already this autumn, I decided to spend yesterday at East Hills near Wells. I was feeling good as there was a Pallas' and yellow-browed warblers close by and there had to be something out there.
Walking down the track there were a few thrushes and crests and it looked like there were a few birds in. On the way over there was a female marsh harrier but little else. Got over the main creek fine and headed out to the trees. The first few sycamores and pines held more crests, a good sign, but then things started to 'go wrong'. The main problem of the day was the numbers of raptors in the area. By the end of the day I had counted 3 marsh harrier, ringtail hen harrier, 2 merlin, kestrel and 3 sparrowhawks all hunting in and over the Hills! At one time there were 2 sprawks hunting through a peachy patch of sycamore - no bluetails today. The bushes and sycamores held a few migrants (3 chiffs, 4 blackcap) and there were still plenty of crests and robins but nothing of note. 3 lapland bunting and 7 bramblings added some quality.

After saying every week that the number of birds at our ringing should be dropping, today broke the site record for birds processed. By the end of the morning we had done 93 new and 64 retraps! As well as the numbers, the species variety was good with 16 species handled. Highlights were nuthatch, 4 redwing, 16 blackbird, 4 chiffchaff and 3 blackcap. The/another yellow-browed warbler was still on site but again evaded capture.

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