Monday, 23 August 2010

Holme Pierrepont, Sun 22 August

Despite the unsettled weather over the last few days, we fluked a beautiful morning and had another cracking morning's ringing. The vast majority of birds were in the first 2 or 3 rounds, and we finished on 114 birds processed.
Off this total, 102 birds were new and 12 retraps. However, even more notable was the fact that 93 were migrant warblers (like this adult Whitethroat - note the pale eye, a juv has a much darker eye).

Blackcaps may have headed up the league table with 37 caught, but the bird of the day was without question Lesser Whitethroat, of which we caught 14.
It was great to handle so many of these little beauties and we noticed considerable variation, with some juvenile birds being particularly white on the forehead and crown. Many juvs had a single old greater covert and one individual had three:
And one had a striking fault bar:
Note also the lack of white on the second outermost tail feather and the rather dirty white outer tail feather - both features of young birds.

The rest of the league table looked like this:

Whitethroat = 12
Reed Warbler = 12
Chiffchaff  = 9
Garden Warbler = 5
Willow Warbler = 3
Sedge Warbler = 1

An increasing number of birds were carrying fat reserves and this Chiffchaff had two particularly obvious old greater coverts.
We hardly had time to look at anything else, but overhead were Yellow Wagtail, Common Sandpiper, Buzzard and a couple of Sparrowhawks. Insects included Migrant and Brown Hawkers, Brimstone and Common Blue.

Pete

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