Monday 30 August 2021

The Two That Got Away

It was a good start yesterday, when Alice, John and I arrived at the Nature Park under clear skies and a light easterly wind, as we had seven Little Egrets roosting in a dead tree between the two pools. As I unlocked the last gate, I could see several 'white blobs' perched up in the said dead tree, and of course I knew straight away what they were. A roost of Little Egrets at this site is a first as far as I am aware, and long may it continue.  
Six out of seven of the Little Egrets. Apologies for the quality, but they were 
some distance away.
We put three nets up with associated MP3 players, and on the first net I was playing Tree Pipit song, in the hope that we might be able to ring a few of these red-listed species. On our way back to the ringing station we checked the first net, and I could see a Pipit species directly above the MP3 player, and knew what it would be. However, as I approached the Tree Pipit to extract it from the net, it flipped out of the pocket, and flew off. That was the first species that got away.

At about 8:15 a.m. we encountered the second species that would get away from us, but this species got away from us more figuratively speaking. I heard the unmistakable sound of a Common Crane, or Cranes, calling somewhere to the east of us. It/they called several times, and it sounded as though the calls were drifting south. All three of us were under no doubt as to what we heard, but it's just a shame that we couldn't see it/them. Where we have the ringing station in the reedbed/scrub, is very low down, and although we are only 300 metres from the estuary and saltmarsh, we can't see on to them. In fact, I often hear birds that are on the estuary, from the ringing station, without seeing them. So, that was the second species that got away from us yesterday morning.
After this bit of excitement, the morning was quiet. We ringed just 5 birds as follows (recaptures in brackets):
Robin - 1
Goldfinch - 3
Cetti's Warbler - 1 (1)
Reed Warbler - (1)
I always do complete counts for BirdTrack at all of my patches, but I won't trouble with you all the mediocre details. The only highlight, excepting the above, was the 6,000 or so Starlings that entertained us as usual, as they exited the roost. 
Later in the morning Gail and I had a walk along Jubilee Quay, adjacent to the estuary, and had a few common butterflies on the wing. We counted at least 12 Small Whites, 4 Common Blues, a Green-veined White and a Red Admiral. The muddy creeks just held a single Little Egret and twelve Oystercatchers.  

            Common Blue

It looks like being a tad breezy for ringing tomorrow, so as there is a morning tide, I will probably have a look on the sea from the coastal farm fields instead.

Saturday 28 August 2021

Heading In The Right Direction

This morning Alice, John and I were back at the Nature Park, in the reedbed and scrub, for another ringing session. We had clear skies, and it was flat calm at first, but after a couple of hours there was a very light easterly breeze. The clear skies were probably an issue, but it seemed that we were heading in the right direction.
As usual, we were putting the nets up when the Starlings exited the roost, and I am repeating myself here, saying that there were about 5-6,000 birds roosting. Always a spectacle, and I have on occasions been next to the birds in the reedbed when they leave the roost, and the noise from those thousands of wings, is like waves gently crashing on the shore. 
There is now just a puddle on the scrape, and when I say a puddle, it really is a puddle, probably just a few metres square. Nevertheless, two Greenshanks were interested, and flew around calling, looking as though they would land, but then headed off. A Little Egret was more than interested and landed at the puddle, but realised foraging opportunities on such a small area of water were limited to say the least, and it too lost interest and headed off. 
An early Peregrine heading southwest, and a pair of Sparrowhawks utilising the wider area flew the raptor flag, and once again there was no vis! Under the clear conditions, any vis would have been beyond the range of our sight and hearing.
The ringing was an improvement on recent days, and like I said earlier, hopefully moving in the right direction, and we ringed 14 birds as follows (recaptures in brackets):
Reed Warbler - 4
Robin - 3
Blackcap - 3
Cetti's Warbler - 1
Greenfinch - 1
Willow Warbler - 1
Long-tailed Tit - 1 (3)
We're back tomorrow, so I hope we have another pleasant morning.

Thursday 26 August 2021

Marginally Better

I was back at the Nature Park this morning for another ringing session in the reedbed/scrub, and I was a little more hopeful, because at first light I had full cloud cover, although the wind could have been a better direction than north-easterly. In the end, I did only marginally better than yesterday, and ringed just nine birds, although I had one less net up this morning.
The nine birds were:
Greenfinch - 3
Blackcap - 3
Sedge Warbler - 1
Willow Warbler - 1
Chiffchaff - 1
I ringed four species yesterday, and five species today, and only one species, which was Greenfinch, was common to both days. Indicative of the turnover of birds at this time of year. 
I was putting the nets up as the Starlings exited their reedbed roost, so I am guessing that there were similar numbers to yesterday, somewhere in the region of 5,000 birds. 
I had a good number of Goldfinches moving around to forage in different areas of the site, and in total my count was 126. There was no vis at all this morning, and just like yesterday I had few birding highlights. 
A number of Brown Hawkers were on the wing, as were several male and female Common Blue butterflies. The forecast is looking okay again for tomorrow in terms of the wind strength, but it will still be north-easterly with clear skies. I'll probably still have another ringing session though, just in case....
Faded female Common Blue
Male Common Blue (above & below). None of the males were playing ball, 
and were refusing to show their gorgeous blue upper-wings. Having said that,
the underwing is nearly as stunning, and I like the querky angle of the male 

Wednesday 25 August 2021

At last a ringing session...

 ...but alas a quiet one, was the text that I sent to members of our ringing group after Alice and I packed up this morning! We arrived on site at the reedbed/scrub at the Nature Park just before 6:00 a.m. and it was clear, crystal clear in fact, and my first thought was that it would be another 'clear-out' type of morning, and I was right. 

However, we put the nets up and kept everything crossed, but after a couple of hours we had only ringed eight birds as follows, so we packed up:
Reed Warbler -4
Goldfinch - 1
Greenfinch - 2
Dunnock - 1 

The birding was even quieter, if that is possible, and I suppose the birding highlight were the three Tree Pipits that we had head south on vis, and they were my first of the autumn. About 5,000 Starlings exited their roost at first light, a Sparrowhawk flew past carrying prey, and that really was about it. Let's hope that it's better tomorrow!
On this date in 1992, c. 2,000 Swallows roosted close to this site, and we managed to ring sixty, and that was a fairly quiet Swallow roost session for those days, but I'd be happy to have a catch like that now!

Monday 23 August 2021

The Weather Plays The Joker

Many of you will face the same dilemma as me, trying to decide what the title will be for your latest Blog post, and today it was going to be 'Two 4 One', but the weather put paid to that by playing 'The Joker'. I was going to use 'Two 4 One', because I never got round to posting yesterday, and the plan was to do some ringing this morning, so I thought I would Blog about both days in one post, hence 'Two 4 One'.
I got up this morning at 5:00 a.m., and started to load a few bits of ringing gear into my car that I hadn't put in last night, and it was raining, nothing heavy, but a constant light drizzle. The forecast had advised me, that this morning there was just a 5% chance of any rain, that 5% must have been over me! I went back indoors, and gave it twenty minutes, and still the drizzle fell. So, I decided to call off my planned ringing session, and try again in the next couple of days. 
Rewind to yesterday, when the weather had played the Joker card once more. In fact, it rained so much, that I was forced to abandon my seawatching position and retreat to my car, but not before I had recorded a few bits and pieces. Again, it wasn't forecast to rain. 
Going back to the start of the morning yesterday, I walked along the embankment behind the sea wall at the coastal farm fields towards my seawatching position, and I had 7 oktas cloud cover, with a light north-westerly wind. At about 7:30 a.m. the wind picked up to a moderate north-westerly, and by 8:30 a.m., a squally weather front had moved in, and put paid to my seawatching.
At first the tide was quite a way out, but it is possible to seawatch here, even on a low tide. There were no terns or waders on the beach, mainly because of a gaggle of people fishing on the tide-line. There was very little vis this morning, probably as a result of the north-westerly wind, and on and off it was murky out in both Liverpool and Morecambe Bay. All I had were six Alba Wags, 17 Swallows and two House Martins.
The sea was similar to yesterday, with mainly just Sandwich Terns and Common Scoters on the move, but I did have a few other species. Species recorded under the 'seawatching' category included 229 Sandwich Terns, 24 Shelducks, 556 Common Scoters, three Gannets, 20 Cormorants and a dark morph Arctic Skua
Waders were once again fairly thin on the ground, but I did have two Bar-tailed Godwits flying along the tide line, which has become a notable species in recent years, and the best of the rest were an Oystercatcher, three Turnstones, 19 Ringed Plovers, two Redshanks and a Curlew
The only grounded migrants I had were the five Wheatears that made their way slowly south feeding behind the sea wall as they went. 
As I mentioned before, that squally weather front that moved in introduced some heavy rain, and that brought the morning to a close. The forecast is looking good for the next twelve days or so, as long as it doesn't decide to play the Joker again!

Friday 20 August 2021

Plagued By Flying Ants

Perhaps plagued is too strong a word, but I was certainly visited by numbers of flying ants this morning whilst attempting to seawatch! They seemed to find my telescope attractive, and were continually landing on it and distracting me from the job at hand. I can only assume that they enjoyed the elevated position that my scope afforded them. I found that if I moved several metres north of where I wanted to be along the embankment, for some reason, the numbers lessened. So, I moved until the numbers were tolerable, and then they seemed to disappear, and I worked my way south back to where I was! The ants were attracting the attention of a few avian predators, and some of the Swallows that were heading south, were doubling-back to take advantage of this winged-protein snack, before continuing on their journey!  

I was at the coastal farm fields at the Obs by about 6:15 a.m., and the plan was to seawatch on the incoming tide, and monitor any vis going over. That is, if there was any! I had full cloud cover, with a light south-easterly wind. In fact, it would have been calm enough to do some ringing this morning, but a few hours yesterday in a good friend's real ale pub put paid to that! 

I had very few waders this morning, just a handful of Oystercatchers south and a Curlew north, and the most numerous was 36 Turnstones that were pushed on to the stone breakwaters as the tide ran in. 

Plague proportions of flying ants aside, it was a continuing theme of quantity and not quality in terms of the seawatching. Only three species were involved, and these were 34 Cormorants, 124 Sandwich Terns and 713 Common Scoters (all south). 
I mentioned earlier that some Swallows were moving south, and in total I had 58. The supporting 'vis' cast to the Swallows, included five Alba Wags, two Grey Wagtails, four House Martins, 15 Swifts and two Meadow Pipits. I did have a group of 16 House Sparrows go over also heading south, but I think they were just a feeding flock of local juvenile birds moving between foraging areas.
A Wheatear that slowly made its way south along the fence-line behind the sea wall, made it into the 'grounded' category of migrants, as did a fresh juvenile Whitethroat that I encountered in one of the hedges along the farm fields.
Wheatear (above & below)


Walking back to my car I was serenaded, if serenaded is the correct word when referring to stridulation, by at least ten Roesel's Bush Crickets. They are fantastic looking beasties, but are more often heard than seen. 
After I packed up here, I called in at the cemetery to see if there were any grounded migrants, and the quick answer is that there wasn't. A Sparrowhawk drew the attention of half a dozen southward bound Swallows away from their journey, but after they had escorted the Sprawk off the premises, they continued on their original flight-path.
Yarrow is a common plant that is flowering at the moment, and it is one of 
my favourites. This individual was growing between two headstones, and had 
been missed by the over zealous local authority botanical terminators, armed 
with their strimmers and mowers
During the week, we received notification from the BTO that one of our Reed Warblers from the Nature Park had been captured elsewhere by another ringer. Reed Warbler ALJ4086 was ringed by me as a juvenile on 6th August 2020, and had been captured 329 km to the south by another ringer at Squire's Down, Dorset on 11th August 2021. See Google Earth image below. The juvenile that I ringed was now an adult female. It is highly likely that when I ringed her on 6th August 2020 she was a migrant from further north, and on that morning, she was one of ten Reed Warblers that I ringed. Interesting stuff.

Talking about ringing, the forecast is looking good for ringing for about 10 - 12 days at the moment, starting from Sunday. So hopefully, we'll be able to catch up a bit before we run out of August!

Saturday 14 August 2021

Few Birds = Few Words

I was unsure where to go this morning, as the tides are high at the moment, 9 metres plus, and high tide was at 3:32 a.m., so that meant looking for waders on the river was out, because at first light the tide would still be covering all the mud. It was breezy, but not blowing a hooley, and it didn't really feel like a morning for grounded migrants, or any vis. So, at 6:00 a.m. I found myself at the coastal farm fields at the school, under 7 oktas cloud cover, with a 15-mph westerly wind having a look on the sea. 
My view out to sea
My scope didn't see much action this morning

 As my blog title suggests, it was quiet, it was very quiet in fact, even quieter than very quiet, whatever that might be! As I said before, it wasn't blowing a hooley, but nevertheless I thought I might have a few birds on the move; a few Gannets perhaps, some Manx Shearwaters, even the odd Skua maybe? It wasn't to be, and all I had on or over the sea were, three Cormorants, a Common Scoter, twelve Sandwich Terns and five Eiders! And a walk round the farm fields and hedgerows produced diddly-squat! 
 It must have been quiet if I am posting pictures of the clouds!
I was surprised that I managed to eke it out for nearly two hours! 
On the 14th August 1989, I was volunteering at Long Point Bird Observatory in Ontario, Canada, and I was out at the field station at the very tip of Long Point. On this particular day, the wind was a light south-westerly, and we had clear skies with a maximum temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.
In no particular order, my notebook reminds me that on this day I encountered 8 Lesser Yellowlegs, a Short-billed Dowitcher, 6 Great Blue Herons, an Osprey, 2 Northern Harriers, 15 Killdeers, 82 Bonaparte's Gulls, 12 Ring-billed Gulls, 85 Common Terns, 3 Belted Kingfishers, 15 Least Flycatchers, 25 Eastern Kingbirds, 12 Purple Martins, 10 Tree Swallows, 2 American Crows, 85 Cedar Waxwings, 20 Yellow Warblers, 4 Northern Waterthrushes, a Canada Warbler, 100 Red-winged Blackbirds and 4 American Goldfinches. 
I also managed to ring (band in Canada) a Barn Swallow, a Least Flycatcher, 2 Eastern Kingbirds, 7 Red-winged Blackbirds and 3 European Starlings.
Now, that was a proper August morning!

Thursday 12 August 2021

Surprise Shortie

Since my last ringing session on 3rd August, the weather hasn't been fit for any further sessions in the reedbed and scrub at the Obs, and this has been a tad frustrating. I've also had a bit of work to do this week as well. I'm not going to complain, but I went from no work this week, to working on three days! Like I said, I'm not going to complain, as most of my work is really interesting, so I am very fortunate that way.
On Tuesday (10th), I was doing some more work on my client's exciting Curlew project on his farm in Bowland. We are putting the steps in place to hopefully have a very positive impact on the breeding population on the farm. There are at least ten pairs of Curlew that nest on the farm already, but the measures that we have put in place should hopefully increase the number of breeding pairs, as well as making sure that the nesting attempts lead to positive outcomes, as best as we can anyway.
We are employing a mix of habitat creation, and changing some of the farming practices. The changes in farming practices that will benefit the Curlew breeding population on the farm include:
- no livestock grazing during April and May.
- light cattle grazing in June and July.
- no machinery operations from March - July e.g., no chain harrowing or rolling.
- predator control (mainly Corvids) in the wader priority areas between February and July.
- no slurry or fertiliser applications.
- all meadows to be cut no sooner than the end of July.

One of the big issues for Curlew productivity is the date that meadows are mown for silage production. We will be cutting late, and doing all the meadow management in-house, so there should be no losses of Curlew chicks to machinery. 

Some of the habitat creation/management options that we will be putting in place include:

- felling an area of conifer plantation to open up breeding areas for Curlew. The felling of the 
   plantation will remove the existing displacement effect of the trees.
- creating additional scrapes & small open ponds.
- blocking drains.
- restoration of traditional hay meadows.

Alongside all of this, the grazing regime on the farm will be there to manage the habitat to support the breeding wader population, that in addition to Curlew, includes Lapwing, Snipe, Redshank, Oystercatcher and Common Sandpiper. All very exciting stuff! 

The plan was to head down to the river this morning and have a look and see what waders were on offer, but there wasn't any room where I normally park my car, so I headed to the coastal farm fields at the school instead. 

As I walked up the slope to walk along the top of the embankment, I heard two Carrion Crows alarm calling, and I could see they were mobbing something. Through the 'naked eye' that something looked remarkably like a Short-eared Owl, and when I lifted my bins, it was indeed a 'Shortie'. A surprise Shortie at that! The Crows mobbed the Shortie as it climbed to get away from the aggressive Corvids, and it headed off east, continuing to climb, until I lost it from view. 
Not this morning's Shortie, but one from the same site nine years ago
It might possibly be the earliest that I have recorded locally, or for some time at least, and I wondered whether it was a failed breeder that has come down from the uplands. Then again, they are amazing birds, and an on-going tracking study by the BTO has revealed some fantastic and unusual movements. I can heartily recommend having a read about it HERE. 

After that bit of early excitement, the next couple of hours were fairly quiet. A couple of Little Egrets feeding in some of the tidal pools entertained for a while, and waders were thin on the ground with just four Turnstones, three Oystercatchers, two Whimbrels south, two Dunlins, a Redshank and a Curlew.
One of this morning's Little Egrets (above & below)

The sea was quiet, and viewing conditions were affected by a heat haze, and all I managed to enter in my notebook were 16 Sandwich Terns, five Cormorants, three adults & five juvenile Shelducks and a Gannet.

It certainly wasn't a grounded kind of morning, nor was it really a 'vis' kind of morning, as the only species that I had winging south were a group of six Swallows

So, a morning that really failed to get going, but at least that Short-eared Owl livened things up. Looking ahead at the forecast, I'm not sure when I'll be out ringing again, but hopefully there'll be lots more birding if that pesky work doesn't get in the way. I'm not complaining.....

Thursday 5 August 2021

Spotted Flycatcher Update - Part 3

This will be the last Spotted Flycatcher update for this year, as yesterday evening Gail and I ringed the second brood of the second pair. When Alice and I checked them last week, there was one very small young and three warm eggs. Yesterday evening there was just two lively chicks that I would code 'FM' under the Nest Record Scheme (NRS), meaning that their primary feathers were medium; 1 third - 2 thirds emerged from the sheath. In about a weeks' time they will be off, and heading south to Tropical Africa.

Why there was just two chicks, I don't know for sure. It might be that two eggs were infertile and didn't hatch, or it could be that they did hatch and two of the chicks died. These two were very lively, and looked nice and healthy, so I am confident that they will fledge okay.
I didn't get any pictures of the chicks yesterday, well I did actually but they were out of focus, so I have recycled some previous ones below to illustrate this post. 

Spotted Flycatcher (above & below)

As I've mentioned before, Spotted Flycatchers are on the red list, and lifting directly from the BTO Bird Trends pages I can tell you that, Spotted Flycatchers have declined rapidly and consistently since the 1960s. It is among a suite of species that winter in the humid zone of West Africa and correspondingly are showing the strongest population declines among our migrant species.
Demographic modelling provides evidence that a decrease in the annual survival rates of birds in their first year may have driven the decline. The ecological causes of the decline are uncertain as good-quality, direct evidence is sparse. This effect on survival may operate in the pre-migration period, during migration or in the wintering quarters. The number of adult Spotted Flycatchers caught at CES ringing sites was found to have declined drastically, providing further evidence that post-fledging and overwinter survival may be important factors in the population decline. 
Interestingly, and frustratingly, there is very little evidence for the ecological causes of the decline. It has been hypothesised that declines in large flying insects that are food to the flycatcher, or conditions either on the wintering grounds, or along migration routes may be involved. In short, we don't know. There certainly has been a greater decline in the lowlands of the UK, and upland areas have become more of a stronghold for Spotted Flycatchers. And my own observations over 45 years would support this. I no longer find nesting Spotted Flycatchers in lowland areas, but regularly encounter them in the uplands. This would fit in with the hypothesis that declines in large flying insects that are food to Spot Fly's are part of the ecological cause of the decline. There are certainly more invertebrates in upland areas where agricultural intensification has been slower. Whatever the cause of the decline, we need to turn it around before we lose these enigmatic little birds!

Wednesday 4 August 2021

Chalk and Cheese

Yesterday morning, I finally managed a ringing session at the Obs in the Willow scrub and reedbed, but driving there at 0500 alarm bells started ringing, as it was clear, very clear. In fact, so clear that there was an Autumnal nip to the early morning, with the temperature barely registering 10 degrees Celsius. It was what I describe as 'clear-out' conditions, in that any migrant birds on site will have departed in the clear conditions. A fellow student of migration, Alan, at Middleton (15 km north-east of my site as the migrant warbler flies) had commented on Tuesday that, conditions were far from ideal for ringing (as) it seemed that most birds had moved on during the last two clear nights. 
I only put two nets up under the aforementioned clear skies, and a strengthening south-easterly wind. It felt quiet, and that's because it was quiet. I ringed six birds as follows (recaptures in brackets):

Whitethroat - 1
Robin - 1
Reed Warbler - 2
Willow Warbler - 1
Blackbird - 1
Wren - (1)
Willow Warbler
Most certainly 'chalk and cheese' compared to my last ringing session here when I ringed 54 birds!
There's an Atlantic low-pressure system moving across the UK from tomorrow through the weekend, so this will stir things up a bit. It will slow migration down over the next few days, so the secret will be getting the timing right, and getting out on the first decent migration morning after this, and in theory there should be birds about. We'll see. 

Back to yesterday, and I have very little to report. The scrape has now dried up, so some rain over the weekend will be welcome, and therefore there were no birds on there. Grasshopper, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers were still singing, and there looks to be at least 7,000 Starlings in the roost now. A couple of House Martins, Swallows and Swifts were foraging for aerial insects later in the morning, and other than my first Lesser Redpoll for the autumn motoring south, that was it. Interestingly, late yesterday evening over the garden, high in the sky, I had a group of 15 screeching Swifts swirling around and chasing each other. Another sign of autumn. 

Looking at one of my notebooks from 1982, on 3rd August 1982, I spent four hours birding at Marton Mere Local Nature Reserve. It was a pleasantly warm evening, with a light westerly wind. Looking at the list of species that I recorded, 41, two stand out because of their status, locally and nationally, today. They were five Corn Buntings, and two Grey Partridges with young. Two classic farmland bird species that have declined alarmingly, and both on the red list of the Birds of Conservation Concern (BoCC). 
 Corn Bunting
Corn Buntings declined very steeply between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s, with local extinctions across large sections of their range. The decline then continued at a reduced rate until around 2000, and numbers have remained fairly stable since then, but there have been no signs of recovery. Changes in farming practices are believed to have been responsible for declines, mainly through impacts on reduced seed and/or invertebrate abundance. In addition to this, a switch to autumn sown cereals, with the resultant earlier harvests, means that there is loss through the destruction of nets.  
It's a similar story for the Grey Partridge, with steep declines over the same period, and sadly the BTO sates that the continuing decline shown by Common Bird Census (CBC)/Breeding Bird Survey (BBS), suggests that all efforts to boost the population in the wider countryside have so far been unsuccessful. And again, similar to the Corn Bunting, the main cause of decline is the deterioration of the bird's agricultural habitat. During the first couple of weeks of a Grey Partridge chick's life, they are dependent on invertebrate food, and this is now in short supply because of agricultural intensification. 
I think as a young birder in the early 1980s I was perhaps blind to what was happening to some of our farmland birds, and looking back at old notebooks it reminds me of how widespread these birds once were, and how sad it is that it is now difficult to find these species. There are just pockets where they are hanging on. 
Hopefully I will have some more positive news about another red-listed species later.

Monday 2 August 2021

Thwarted Before We Started

Alice and I met at 0515 yesterday at the Willow scrub and reedbed at the Obs to attempt a ringing session, but alas we were thwarted before we started. I only have a five-minute drive to the site, but as I was driving there, I could see rain on my windscreen! All three forecasts that I checked had assured me that it would be fine, with just a 4% chance of precipitation at most! Alice was already there, and as I got out of the car to have a moan about the weather, it was the wind strength that hit me. It was easily double figures north-westerly, and as our net rides all run NW - SE, the decision was easy, but frustrating, and we called it off. There's always next time.

I, and many other Bloggers, have been having issues with 'Blogger' of late, with the main one being the image behind the blog title changing size when changing the image. The other issue that I was having, was not being able to edit the ringing totals in the side bar. I got round the header image issues by changing the template, but actually I now quite like not having an image behind my blog title, so I haven't bothered. I thought the new template had solved my editing issues, and it sort of has, as I can now edit the ringing totals, but for some reason it won't list them in a column, as you can see if you look to the right. I am still working on it, but for now it will have to do!
Below you will find the top 3 ringed in July, and the top ten 'movers and shakers' for the year. Only one new species ringed during the month was new for the year, and that was Barn Owl.
Top 3 Ringed in July

1. Blackcap - 29
2. Whitethroat - 13
3. Reed Warbler - 11

It's nice to see a trio of warbler species top of the table for a change. It seems like it's been a good year for Blackcaps, and our totals are reflecting this.

Top 10 Movers and Shakers

1. Lesser Redpoll - 158 (same position)
2. Sand Martin - 123 (same position)
3. Blue Tit - 112 (same position)
4. Linnet - 60 (same position)
5. Great Tit - 57 (same position)
6. Chaffinch - 50 (same position)
7. Blackcap - 46 (straight in)
8. Goldfinch - 38 (down from 7th)
9. Robin - 29 (same position)
10. Coal Tit - 27 (down from 8th)
      Blackbird - 27 (down from 9th)

So, not much movement at the top of the table, but nice to see Blackcap straight in at number 7. Depending on how August turns out, it could easily climb to 4th during the month. Fingers crossed!