Sunday, 29 July 2012

Swift exit

Another early start for a CES visit to one of our coastal ringing sites this morning. It was a pretty productive morning with 20 new and 4 retraps captured. Highlights were 3 chiffchaff, 2 bullfinch (retrap male), 5 reed warbler and a retrap female Cetti's warbler.

The main highlights was the westerly movement of swifts. Back in early June there was a similar good day and in a sample count I had just over 130 birds wesst in an hour. Today there were even more. In 30mins between 06:10 and 06:40 I had 320 birds west with groups of upto 40 at the same time and by the end of the morning (11am) I had recorded over 540 through. Also over were 15 crossbill, single tree sparrow (yeartick 179), 5 spoonbill and small numbers of linnet.

Just been entering my ringing data into my PC and there have been some decent numbers in the garden in July. Out of the 78 new birds ringed, 23 were blackbirds along with 2 blackcap and a whitethroat.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Cracking clearwing

Saw my first ever clearwing moth at work today. A visitor brought in a red tipped clearwing that he had caught on the Meadow Trail. Cool little thing.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

It's all rose!

Today was a mid-summer WeBS count and I wasn't really expecting much about. The large knot flock seems to have moved off and there is only a small number of migrant waders about. Being a counter down I headed straight for the beach and left Richard with the fresh marsh to do and I would help if he needed it.
I had only counted a few sanderling when he radioed to say he had a roseate tern on the fresh marsh! Being a reserve tick I needed to see but had to finish my count section. Thankfully it was pretty quiet although a roost of 52 sandwich tern, 130 sanderling and a common sandpiper!!! was nice. A couple of dark phase arctic skuas were also about chasing terns close inshore.
I headed back to the fresh marsh as quick as poss only to be stopped by a couple of people for a chat. Richard radioed to say the terns were getting restless and I made my excuse to get away. Thankfully, despite a short flight, the bird was still present although the Arctic tern that had also been there had flown off.
Having only seen one in the UK before I was keen to see how pale they are and it stood out like a sore thumb with the almost white upperparts, black head and all black bill, the underparts were even still flushed pink! The news was phoned out and it stayed around for a couple of hours before flying towards the sea.
Not bad to see 4 of the 5 breeding British terns together on one island!

Few waders also on the move, 19 spotshank, 11 greenshank and 15 dunlin on the fresh marsh and with white rumped sands at both Frampton and Snettisham, it can't be long before we get something

reserve tick 266, Norfolk tick 279, yeartick 178

roseate left, common middle, sandwich left

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Garden Tick

I knew it was going to be 'one of those days' when I got to my coast ringing site this morning. I had planned to get up early but I could drag myself out of bed, so it was about 6:30 when I left home. Got to site put my wellies on, opened the boot and I had left the net poles at home...arse!!! There was not point going back to get them so I decided to do the garden instead.

This didn't start well as all the top poles pulled out leaving nets on the floor and me swearing!! It has been pretty quiet recently so I wasn't expecting much. Now that the flowerbeds are growing up, some of the birds are now hiding in them when I check the nets so I have started to tap the plants with a cane to push them out. First bird to fly out was a dunnock but as I went to get it out of the net I realised that it was a juv whitethroat, a new bird for the garden! There are loads of juv blackbirds about at the moment and 5 managed to blunder into the nets along with 2 coat tits (1 re-trap) and a male goldcrest. 6 crossbills over east was a garden yeartick taking the total to 51.
Afternoon trapping was slightly curtailed by yet more heavy thunderstorms and after a while I get fed up with open, close, open, close and shut for the day.

The sun is shining now...bloody typical!

Juv coal tit

Juv whitethroat, 1st record for the garden
male goldcresy