Monday, 11 October 2010

Holme Pierrepont - Sunday 10 Oct

Nobody else wanted to come out to play today so as I looked out of the window just after 05.30 to see the bushes blowing around in the garden I nearly changed my mind and went back to bed. As I drove along University Boulevard with leaves blowing across the road in front of me I was convinced I was wasting my time but still I carried on. On reaching the site it was dark, I spent ages searching for guys and poles for the first net and on subsequent nets (never did find some of the guys even when it got light!). Then a guy that had been there all summer decided to give way as I put tension on, throwing a 12m net into Hawthorn bushes, I nearly cracked at this point but persevered and continued putting up nets.

I finished with 6 nets up in the most sheltered sites, generally missing out the exposed reed bed sites. The net behind the base had the tape under it playing warbler calls and the first check produced a couple of birds including a Chiffchaff. Some other birds slowly found the nets, mostly tits, Wrens, Dunnocks etc but on one net round I noticed something different - a Cetti's Warbler - and it was in the same net as the one caught last October! Then I noticed a ring on it. Same bird, I thought, possibly returning to a winter territory? But looking closer, I saw the ring was not British! I took all the birds back to base and was processing them when Gary arrived, he had popped down after getting back from the Isle of May late on Saturday to see how 'we' were doing. His first question was "where is the rest of the group?"

When I got to the last bag I said I would need my close up glasses for this bird and surprised Gary by pulling the Cetti's out. We both had a turn at trying to make out the address on the ring (where are those trainees with the young eyes when you need them?) and eventually agreed it said 'Brussels'. A very nice record - but if it takes as long to get the ringing details back from the Belgians as it did for the Black-headed Gull, you had better check back here in four years time. The Migration Atlas lists only 4 foreign-ringed recoveries of Cetti's in the UK - 2 from Jersey, 1 from France and 1 from Belgium.

Later in the morning a young male Sparrowhawk found its way into the net and I finished on 25 including 19 new birds, the warbler count was 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap and of course the Cetti's - so in the end I was fairly happy that I had not gone back to bed!

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