Friday 4 May 2012

Thusrsday 3rd May: Feels like spring but only just.

Unfortunately the Swift that I rescued didn't make it. I thought it was making some progress and took it to work with me yesterday so I could give it some regular feeds but it wasn't to be.

I went out for a meal last night and over indulged, particularly on the food front but had a few beers too. Not in work now until next Tuesday so hoping to get some birding in and ring a few birds in the next few days.

The moth trap still isn't producing much but a Red-green Carpet found resting on the garage window this morning was the first Geometrid recorded in a long time and the first sign of a slight improvement.

Red-green Carpet (Chloroclysta siterata)
Checked the nest box near the chicken run in the garden as the young Great Tits are getting noisy. There only appears to be 4 or 5 chicks at most and they are still too small too ring. Their eyes haven't opened yet. The young Chaffinches in the nest opposite the back door are only slightly bigger and still a bit too small to ring too.
Young Great Tits (Parus major)
This afternoon I went for a mooch at the Wigan Flashes and the area between Scotmans Flash and Bryn Marsh in particular. Mainly went to check out net rides and see what was about but put up a net here and there on my way round. A few Orange Tips were on the wing along with the odd Peacock and it was good to see plenty of St Mark's Flies, Alderflies and other insects which will provide a welcome food source for recently arrived migrants.

Many of the Alders were infested with Alder Leaf Beetles. These beetles have been quite prolific in the past few years and the way they were behaving you can see why.
Alder Leaf Beetles having fun (Agelastica alni)

Alder Leaf Beetles having fun (Agelastica alni)

Swamp dog
I was greeted by a singing Cetti's Warbler at Scotmans Flash but Sedge Warblers and Whitethroats are still thin on the ground. A few Reed Warblers are in but many more have yet to arrive. This spring has the potential for some big arrivals yet to come or migrants may continue to arrive in dribs and drabs depending on what the weather will allow.

Retrapped a Reed Warblers ringed as an adult in 2004. This bird is now in its ninth year at least. Not our oldest but still a good age for a small passerine.

R444191 Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Bird of the day for me was a Cuckoo, my first of the year. They are increasingly scarce and I have been following the fortunes of the satellite tagged birds on the BTO website. Seeing one makes you think of the amazing journey the tagged birds have revealed !!!!

Ringing totals for the day were:
Blackcap 5
Chiffchaff 3
Willow Warbler 2
Reed Warbler 1 (+1 retrap)
Total 12

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