Saturday, 28 July 2012

Titchfield Haven Bird Ringing 28th July 2012

After staying up to watch the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games the idea of getting up early to go ringing did not really fill me with enthusiasm, and it would seem that the birds weren't really up for it either since there weren't that many around. 

Juvenile Grasshopper Warbler

We had the nets open just before first light as usual, and were greeted with the usual first round dominated with Grasshopper Warblers, but that was about it. Reed and Sedge Warblers were again present in low numbers with only six and nine, captured respectively, and as has been the case recently the majority of the Reed Warblers were adults. We also caught two Song Thrushes, one was a retrap adult, but the other was a recently fledged juvenile, which was nice. Other birds ringed included a couple of Blackcaps, both of which was lighter than the heaviest Grasshopper Warbler, so they need to fatten up before they go anywhere. A few Wrens, and a couple of Robins made up the numbers and just as we were about to furl the nets, three Willow Warblers turned up, one of which was an adult.

By the end of the session we had ringed just under 40 birds of eight species; once again Grasshopper Warbler was the most numerous species, with 11 birds captured, bringing our total to date for the year to 38, a long way down on last year. Interestingly, many of the juvenile birds are showing very obvious fault bars, which presumably is evidence of the struggle parents birds have had feeding chicks this year in all the bad weather we have been having.

Fault Bar on Grasshopper Warbler Tail

We decided to call it a day and headed home, and once there was greeted with a text message reporting a European Bee-eater flying over the Visitors Centre at The Haven, how frustrating was that!!

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