Thursday, 4 September 2014

1st to 3rd September

Three very different and rewarding days but on the downside it looks like my Tree Pipit bubble has finally burst. The 1st started very wet but the rain was forecast to stop at around 09:30 so I decided to go out in the hope that it would dry up earlier than forecast. Unfortunately my optimism wasn't rewarded and I had to sit in the car and let the rain pass before setting up. However I can't complain as I was adequately compensated with an Osprey going south just as the cloud started to break up, a local patch tick for me. It was followed by a single Tree Pipit and a few Meadow Pipits but little else seemed to be moving with any purpose. The rain delayed ringing session produced 22 birds (retraps in brackets) - Chiffchaff 3, Blackcap 1, Garden Warbler 1, Goldcrest 1, Treecreeper 1, Robin 1, Coal Tit 3, Chaffinch 7, Long-tailed Tit 2 (2).

The 2nd was a glorious day with a very light easterly breeze and clear skies for much of the day. There was much more in the way of visible migration with quite a few Meadow Pipits going south along with a trickle of Swallows and House Martins. Only 7 Tree Pipits were recorded which was fewer than I had hoped given the conditions and strongly suggests that they had not been held up by the poor weather in the second half of August as I had thought could have been the case. A full morning's ringing produced 71 birds - Meadow Pipit 13, Tree Pipit 2, Whitethroat 3, Blackcap 6, Willow Warbler 5, Chiffchaff 5 (1), Goldcrest 4, Robin 4, Chaffinch 14 (3), Yellowhammer 8, Dunnock 2, Sparrowhawk 1. Other sightings of note were 3 Spotted Flycatchers, the first I have seen this year! and butterfly interest came in the form of a Clouded Yellow making its way north while numerous Red Admirals were going in the opposite direction.

Juvenile male Sparrowhawk. 

This Meadow Pipit stood out as being paler and appearing more washed out than the all the others.
The 3rd was largely overcast and the south easterly breeze was slightly stronger than forecast. It soon became apparent that there were a lot more Goldcrests around and moving through the site. Eleven were subsequently caught and ringed which is a good total this early in the autumn and suggests they have had a very good breeding season. There was very little in the way of visible migration; the few Meadow Pipits around didn't seem to be going anywhere and only 1 Tree Pipit was recorded. A single Snipe was also heard going over and was the first of the autumn. A total of 44 birds were caught as follows - Goldcrest 11, Chiffchaff 4, Willow Warbler 2, Blackcap 6, Tree Pipit 1, Robin 1, Bullfinch 5, Goldfinch 4, Chaffinch 4, Yellowhammer 4, Reed Bunting 1, Long-tailed Tit (1).

Goldcrest. Could this be a bumper autumn for this species?

All of the Yellowhammers ringed were juveniles like this bird and at various stages of the post juvenile moult.


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