Thursday, August 18, 2011

Well Sorted

Firstly my apologies to readers for the messy appearance of the blog for the last two days when the right hand column ended up below all the posts. This was caused by the simplest of problems, a stray piece of HTML overlooked in my last post Slightly Cuckoo. In the end the post title proved more accurate than envisaged. In due course and to compensate for this dreadful mistake, more new Cuckoo pictures will follow soon on Another Bird Blog.

I fixed the Blogger glitch this morning at 5am, just before I made tracks for Out Rawcliffe and a spot of ringing. On such a fine, wind free morning I suppose Will and I hoped for a big catch this morning, the first one for some time where we could use a full spread of nets. The overnight clear skies may have moved birds on ahead of us, our excuse for not catching enormous numbers. However we achieved a great variety of birds with yet more warblers plus witnessed clear signs of autumnal visible migration with our in-between net rounds birding.

We totalled 32 birds, 29 new, 2 recaptures and 1 “control”, an adult female Chaffinch ringed elsewhere – ring number R988282 other ringer bloggers out there? New birds: 9 Willow Warbler, 6 Chaffinch, 3 Blackcap, 3 Whitethroat, 2 Tree Pipit, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Robin, 1 Treecreeper and 1 Blackbird.

Tree Pipit

Tree Pipit

Treecreeper

Lesser Whitethroat

Blackcap

Garden Warbler

Our recaptures: 1 Willow Warbler and 1 Whitethroat. As we are now well into the month of August the Whitethroats moving through the site are almost exclusively juveniles, i.e. 63 of 68 Whitethroat captures in the last 30 days have been young birds of the year. That is because most of the adults migrate earlier than the juveniles, young of the year which in August can be correctly aged but not sexed. Adult Whitethroats can be difficult to accurately sex at most times, in fact it is probably impossible in the field in August when they undergo moult. We thought today’s moulting adult may have been a male, until at home a check on IPMR records from May and June showed it to be a breeding female.

Likewise, autumn Willow Warblers are difficult to age and it is only in the hand that anyone can say with certainty that an individual is an adult or a juvenile.

Whitethroat moult

Whitethroat adult

Willow Warbler

More signs of autumn appeared this morning with visible Chaffinch movement – circa 30 birds passing overhead, contact calling as they headed south, then of course the capture of another ringer’s Chaffinch. Tree Pipits also fell into the “vis mig” category with 2 caught and a minimum of 4 birds overhead. The morning also saw a marked passage of Alba wagtails with upwards of 18 individuals heading west, the appearance of more Sylvia warblers and the early morning sound of Robin sub-song, a species that proved to be first in the nets.

Other birds this morning: 80+ Swallow, 4 Corn Bunting, 4 Grey Partridge, 1 Kestrel, 2 Buzzard and 50+Goldfinch. I almost forgot – the female Sparrowhawk that flapped from the net before we could reach it. Oh well there’s always another day.

On the non-birding front, Will who is a bit of a wildlife sleuth found the footprints of a Stoat where we often see one running alongside our plot, but we didn’t see the animal today, just Brown Hares and Roe Deer.

Stoat tracks

2 comments:

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Hmmm...was I not paying attention to have missed a glitch, or was I paying attention to the beauty of the photographs and interest of the writing more than taking notice of such a glitch...either way, I must say, I missed it altogether and I am glad that whatever it was, it is now taken care of.
Ohhhh, Stoat tracks...cool, love the looks of the Stoats!

La sonrisa de Hiperión said...

Siempre estupendos los posts que nos dejas. Un placer haber vuelto por tu espacio.

Saludos y un abrazo.

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