Saturday, 17 April 2010

Holme Pierrepont, Sat 17 April

It was another warm, quiet and fairly short session at HPP. The migrants are dribbling in, but far fewer phylloscs around this week. Perhaps their flights have been cancelled because of the ash... And no hirundines, raptors or waders overhead despite (or perhaps because of) the beautiful clear blue sky, free of vapour trails.
We caught 21 birds, the same as last week. The highlight was in the first round, the season's first Reed Warbler carrying an R613 ring. Look forward to finding out how old that is.We wondered whether it might have even been older than Archie.
Quite a few Blackcaps were singing and the first females were in evidence, including 2 of the 3 we caught. Note the moult limit in the male's wing that indicates that it was born last year. The outermost greater covert, carpal covert and possibly largest alula feather are all browner juvenile feathers.
Reed Buntings seemed to be everywhere and we caught several, though they remain a headache to age. For reference, this is a known adult female's tail. These can look surprisingly narrow, but not quite as abraded as the young birds.
Lastly, a Green Woodpecker was very nearly the catch of the day. Maybe next time...

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