Craig, Ian and I arrived at the obs at 6.30 a.m and put 4 nets up bisecting the hedgerows. We trapped 34 new and 2 retraps as follows:
Dunnock - 4/0
Blue Tit - 8/0
Great Tit - 2/0
Robin - 1/2
Meadow Pipit - 1/0
Chaffinch - 3/0
Reed Warbler - 2/0
Whitethroat - 1/0
Wren - 4/0
Long-tailed Tit - 8/0
Blackbird - 1/0
Chaffinch - female
Chaffinch - male
Long-tailed Tits in bag prior to being released together
The Reed Warbler got a thorough grilling but it was still just a Reed Warbler and I don't mean 'just' as in boring or ordinary because juv Reed Warblers are stonking birds!
The wind was a force 2 NNE and I think this had an effect on the vis. Pink-footed Geese arrived throughout the morning in small numbers and in total we had 136 come in off the sea and head southeast. The Geese seem to prefer a tail wind for migrating whilst I think passerines seem to prefer a light head wind. A tail wind would mean that you could travel quicker, but a light head wind would create more lift, although your ground speed would be less. It's interesting to speculate!
By the way if you haven't read Ian Newton's 'Bird Migration' yet then just forget everything you know about migration, start again and read his book! On with this morning.
It's very difficult to log vis when you are ringing so the following totals are bare minimums and probably bare no resemblance to the actual numbers involved or indeed the totals you would record if not ringing. All of the passerines headed north into wind other than the Swallows; Grey Wagtail - 3, Chaffinch - 35, Meadow Pipit - 25, Skylark - 10, Swallow - 10 and Alba Wag - 12.
Raptors were represented by a Kestrel and Sparrowhawk. A Grey Heron arrived high from the north, circled in a thermal to gain height, and drifted south. We could have been at the straights of Gibraltar. Well, perhaps not.
It's looking good, albeit northerly again, for another morning at the obs tomorrow. I'll let you know how we get on.