Saturday, 19 April 2014

Short But Oh So Sweet

It was a short ringing session at the Obs this morning but it was sweet because of a couple of cracking birds. I unlocked the gates at 0500 and drove down the track to the ringing station. The skies were clear and the wind was a cold 10-15 mph ESE. I knew there was a chance that any ringing would be cut short as it was forecast for the wind to pick up, and after a couple of hours I had to take the nets down.

The first bird that I caught threw me initially as it was completely out of context as I didn't expect to be extracting a Cetti's Warbler from a net dissecting hedgerow! This was the first sweet moment of the morning and it was also a first for this section of the Obs. We have ringed several Cetti's warblers at the Obs, but these have been over in the reedbeds and wet scrub where you would expect them.

 Cetti's warbler

In total I only managed to ring ten birds due to the increasing wind as these were as follows:

Cetti's Warbler - 1
Lesser Redpoll - 8
Willow Warbler - 1

 Willow Warbler

I also controlled a Lesser Redpoll, so it will be interesting to know where that has come from.

 Lesser Redpoll

The second sweet moment came in the form of a bird belting northeast under clear skies and this was a stonking Hobby! Even with the naked eye I could see its pale cheek and throat standing out. And through my bins it looked even more stonking with streaked underparts and 'red trousers'; top bird!

The Hobby's supporting cast on vis included an Alba Wag, 40 Lesser Redpolls, six Swallows, four Meadow Pipits, three Linnets, two Goldfinches, a Tree Pipit and two Siskins.

The only grounded migrants I had were two Willow Warblers and the two Whitethroats were likely the same birds as yesterday.

After I packed up I headed to the cemetery for a quick look and received a call from Ian to say that he had 'my' Hobby over the pools before he lost it belting south. Perhaps it had headed up the peninsula and didn't fancy the open expanse of sea in Morecambe Bay and turned round and headed south.

The vis was continuing over the cemetery and in the half hour I was there I had two Linnets, three Siskins, two Tree Pipits, four Meadow Pipits, a Redpoll, two Swallows and a male Sparrowhawk heading east fairly high with a bulging crop! I suspect with the crystal clear conditions most of the vis was high and out of the range of my eyes and ears.

Back at home in the moth trap it was a Hebrew Character fest with a total of eight and just a single Early Grey.

It's going to be too breezy for ringing tomorrow and the wind is swinging round northeasterly, so it will be birding only for me and a Sunday morning lie in until 5.00 a.m.!

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