Sunday, 6 June 2010

Holme Pierrepont, Sat 5 June

After several days of scorching weather, our only concern was how quickly it might become too hot to ring. In the end it was getting that way by about 10:30, and we started taking down, dripping with sweat, soon after 11:00. It's incredible how quickly the water levels have dropped too, with the gravel pits already being much lower than when we opened up in April.

Anyway, we finished up on 81 birds in about 3 hours ringing. A couple of flocks of young Long-tailed Tits helped boost this figure, though only a handful of other youngsters were caught including Reed Bunting, Dunnock, Robin, Blue Tit and Chaffinch. Two Whitethroat 1Js were together high up in a mist net and appeared to fly strongly, despite having barely half-grown wings! A couple of retrap Reed Warblers and Blue Tits will be worth looking up as they were several years old and many other adults were looking battered and worn thanks to the trials of parenthood. I know how they feel...
All eight common warblers found their way into the nets (including this Lesser Whitethroat above), though Grasshopper Warblers have eluded us so far this year, though they would appear to be breeding on site as we heard reeling regularly through the morning. Whether or not any Cetti's Warblers survived the harsh winter remains to be seen as we still haven't heard or seen one yet. A single Cuckoo called from time to time, but there have been no multiple sightings yet this year. A few Black-headed Gulls were knocking about, possibly failed breeders, but we've not seen and Common Terns yet.
Lastly, the first big flush of Common Blue Damselflies was in full swing with thousands in amongst the grass and many busy mating.
Pete

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