I didn't get there too early and had a couple of nets up just after sunrise. There was no sight or sound from any Whitethroats and the pair of Willow Warblers that usually breed there were similarly conspicuous by their absence. The only warblers present were a couple of pairs of Chiffchaffs with one of the females busily nest building and a singing male Blackcap. A pair of Linnets were also back on territory and it wasn't long before I noticed that the female was carrying nest material to a small conifer.
The first bird caught was totally unexpected and came in the form of a cracking male Kestrel. It had a bulging crop and had obviously just eaten something, I then noticed the back end of a fresh Field Vole on the ground below the net. The Kestrel had presumably eaten the best bits of the vole (brains, heart, lungs and liver) while on the ground and then had flown into the net while carrying off the remaining part to be eaten elsewhere.
|The remains of the Kestrel's breakfast.|
|Control Goldfinch D308986|