Friday, 17 October 2014

Another Eastern Surprise.....well not really!

With the weather forecast for the weekend looking wet and windy I decided to ring at the Haven this morning (17th October). Unfortunately being a weekday there was no one else free, although Barry did suggest that he might pop by at some stage. With the numbers of birds per session dropping right down now, and the overnight weather conditions not particularly good for a fall, I decided to open all the nets. The first round was as predicted and produced a measly four birds, but as I was approaching the ringing station I heard the distinctive call of a Yellow-browed Warbler. I quickly processed the birds I had and headed out for another round. This time it was slightly better numbers wise, with 13 birds made up of Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, Robins, Goldcrests and, yep you've guessed it a Yellow-browed Warbler. I have been watching the bird news over the last couple of weeks and there have been good numbers around the country, so it was not a major surprise to catch one, but they have been proving more that a bit elusive in Hampshire. I think Barry must have a sixth sense as just as I got the bird out of the bag to ring it he appeared around the corner.

Yellow-browed Warbler, Titchfield Haven - October 2014

The bird was in excellent condition, the plumage was immaculate and it was carrying a lot of fat (ESF score of 4). This is only the fourth Yellow-browed the be ringed at the Haven, the first was in 1978, but the last three have been in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Yellow-browed Warbler, Titchfield Haven - October 2014

The tail feathers on this bird were pointed indicating that it was probably a juvenile.

Yellow-browed Warbler tail - October 2014

The session continued with nothing else notable to report and only 37 birds ringed of which five were retraps. The total included 13 Chiffchaffs, five Blackcaps and five Goldcrests, two Robins and single Song Thrush, Blackbird and a lingering Reed Warbler.

A sad looking Goldcrest

After ringing I wandered along the boardwalk looking, and listening for the yellow-browed but there was no sign which was a shame as it would have been nice to see it in the field. 

A quick scan over the beach was also worth while as a mixed flock of gulls were roosting there. The flock included seven Common Gulls, 14 Herring Gulls, 96 Black-headed Gulls and 1 each of Lesser Black-backed and Mediterranean Gull. The Med was sporting a red colour on its left tarsus with the inscription PPP9. A quick look at the colour ringing website here suggests that this bird was ringed in Poland, I will let you know the details when I find out.

Adult Mediterranean Gull with its red colour and the alpha-numeric code PPP9 (honest)

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