Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Holme Pierrepont - Sunday 16 August 2009

A very similar session to last Sunday with 74 birds processed, 16 of which were retraps. Blackcaps and Reed Warblers are still dominating, though flocks of Blue and Great Tits are becoming increasingly regular. We also caught 2 Willow Tits (1 retrapped from last week) and another Treecreeper. A single Sedge was perhaps an indication of an early exodus for that species. Highlight was a young Kingfisher.
This is now officially Meisha’s second favourite bird after Barn Owl. As usual, it was very obliging and happily reclined on our balance.
For those of you who have not handled Kingfishers before, this behaviour is quite normal and birds generally remain still or seemingly move in slow motion when caught. After a few seconds on their stomachs they suddenly spring to life and speed off. It's a tactic that works surprisingly well with cats which invariably put them down on the floor once they go limp and before they know what's happened the bird has gone.
It was clear all morning, but windy and this prevented us from carrying on much after midday. There were few sight records of any note. Up to 200 Sand Martins appeared in a bunch at first light, clearly straight out of a roost somewhere nearby. A trickle of Swallows and House Martins also passed over but no Swifts. The only insects of note were 2 Hornets.
Riled by the rampant growth of birches, Gary heroically felled several hundred today in an attempt to maintain the site’s diversity and ringing potential. As the picture above shows, the water levels are back down again.

Pete

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