Sunday, 8 August 2010

Holme Pierrepont, Sun 8 Aug

Already apprehensive, we arrived on site knowing that the Nottingham triathlon was taking place and sure enough, we weren't allowed into the car park, but we were directed to a temporary car park that was even closer to the ringing site and told we were welcome to park there, however, it was already full and knowing how these events can descend into chaos we opted for plan B and headed round to the other site.

Unfortunately this meant we were starting from scratch as no net sites had been opened up and there were no poles or guys ready. Furthermore, the sun was already starting to burn fiercely, so our expectations were not particularly high. But to the team's credit, we had 12 nets up in just over an hour and birds pouring in before we'd even returned to base. In the end we caught 125 birds by lunchtime, only 4 of which were retraps!

The vast majority (84) were new warblers of all common species except Sedge. Perhaps most notable was the number of Garden Warblers (12) several of which already had fat scores of 4 and 5 and of all of them were stained with blackberry juice.This species in notoriously unpredictable when it comes to moult and we discussed one adult bird at length trying to determine what moult code to use. It had replaced 2 tail feathers and 4 tertials but had no other signs of active moult. I've settled on 'O' but I've thrown it out to the ringers' forum and we'll have 5 different 'right' answers by next week I expect...

Other birds of interest were and retrap Willow Tit and a Kingfisher - Libby's new favourite.
Away from the nets, at least 2 Curlews were around and a single Crossbill flew over calling among a small group of Greenfinches. There was a trickle of hirundines and good numbers of Black-headed Gulls. Common Blues and Peacocks were both particularly noticeable and the usual Brown Hawkers.


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