It was a bit of a blustery start to the day this morning, but nonetheless we popped down to the nets to see whether ringing was possible. Fortunately our ringing area is set within an area of tall scrub and so the nets were hardly moving, however no sooner had we opened the nets and the heavens opened. After a short, but heavy downpour, the sky began to look less ominous so we decided to carry on.
The first net round was pretty poor, only two Grasshopper Warblers, a few Reed and Sedge Warblers and a couple of Blackbirds. The second round was not much better, although we did catch an adult Garden Warbler, a few more Sedge and a Song Thrush. The next round was much the same, only this time we retrapped an adult Garden Warbler, that we first ringed as an adult on 26th July 2011.
|Adult Retrap Garden Warbler|
An interesting retrap, and since this species does not breed at The Haven, we presume it must be a local breeder, possibly from Botley Wood, which is the nearest known breeding location.
|Abraded Wing tip|
It is always good to catch a bird of known age because it gives us the chance to reaffirm the ageing criteria. This adult bird had bleached and abraded wing tips, and the tail feathers were broad and less pointed at the tip.
|Broad and not so Pointed tail Feathers|
The number of birds being captured had now dropped right off, so we thought we would do one final round before furling. in the meantime things must have woken up, as two Willow warblers, one Chiffchaff, one Whitethroat, four Sedge Warblers, a Dunnock and a Cetti's Warbler, were in the nets. We ended the day on 48 birds of 13 species, Sedge Warbler was the most numerous with 16, Reed Warbler with 10 and surprisingly seven Blackbirds. Once again it was a slow day, and nowhere near the numbers of last year.
After popping home for a quick break I picked up Izzy, one of my trainees, and headed up to a site near Greatham, where there was a late brood of Kestrels in a box. There is a camera in the box and so we knew there were two chicks, and they were the right size for ringing. On reaching the box I was surprised to see that there was only one chick in it, the other must have fledged this morning.
The one chick that was left was a feisty little thing and had real attitude, but eventually calmed down a seemed to be content to watch the proceedings as it was ringed.
This is the latest brood of Kestrels that I have ever ringed, and it was a shame to miss the other bird, but nice to ringed our third brood of Kestrels of the year.