This morning I visited Manor Farm Museum to check on the House Sparrows, and get some colour-ring combinations as part of my BTO RAS project. I had intended to get up early and set a couple of nets, but an alarm clock malfunction, meant that I arrived later than hoped and therefore did not have the time to open nets before the farm museum opened. It was still a worthwhile visit, as I managed to get 11 different colour-ring combinations, and counted at least 20 breeding pairs.
|Un-ringed male House Sparrow|
|Colour-ringed male House Sparrow|
After the farm I stopped off in the woods and checked on a few next boxes. There are only seven boxes and within those there were three broods of Great Tit and one Blue Tit. My next stop was Botley Wood; I was hoping to catch up on a few butterfly species and also any new migrants for the patch.
The Common Buzzards were very active and one bird had a finely barred tail and therefore I presume it to be a 2nd CY bird. It was showing evidence of primary moult and as I understand it, spring moult is typical of a 2nd CY bird.
The warm and slightly breezy conditions were good for raptors, and as other species appeared the local buzzards engaged them in aerial combat. Two Hobby's were the first to drift over Botley Wood; they appeared not to be hunting but the buzzards were keeping a close eye on them.
|Common Buzzard (top) and Hobby|
A Eurasian Sparrowhawk also put in a brief appearance and this was immediately shadowed by a buzzard. With this level of activity I presume the buzzards are nesting nearby and are keen to keep an eye on any potential predators.
|Common Buzzard (top) and Sparrowhawk|
A surprise species for the day was a Turtle Dove; once a regular breeder at Botley Wood, I have not recorded this species for at least two years.