Monday, 22 August 2011

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 21 Aug

Conditions were pretty much ideal this morning and we weren't disappointed with over 50 birds caught before 8 o'clock. The following two rounds were also good, though the sun came out after that and we began packing up at about 11:30 having processed 91 birds (78 new / 13 retrap).

Most numerous was Blackcap (18 new/2 retrap) followed by Reed Warbler (13/2) and Chiffchaff (10/0) but all the common warblers put in an appearance with a clear passage of Sedge Warblers, this being (somewhat unusually) the fourth most numerous bird of the day (7/0). 

A couple of unexpected birds included a young Goldcrest in post-juvenile moult with just the first few orange crown feathers emerging and indicating it a male.

But perhaps most unusual was an almost fully grown Great Crested Grebe caught on the muddy margins of a reedbed by hand.

The bird was still unable to fly, but fortunately big enough to ring. It was also an expert swimmer on release. It was fascinating getting a close look at a species rarely handled. The legs felt like they were in the wrong place, positioned right at the back of the body, rather than underneath and the toes were intriguing to see as well.

Other records included good numbers of hirundines overhead, Buzzard, Kingfisher, 2 Little Egrets, Shoveler, Teal and Gadwall. Single Greenshank and Wood Sandpiper were heard and a few Yellow Wagtails passed over too. A singing Coal Tit was a bit out of the ordinary. This must also be one of the best sites in the area for Hornets - we saw more of them than wasps today!

The water levels are now the lowest for as long as we can remember. If only the exposed mud was a little richer in invertebrate life to attract a few more waders! The back pit can now we crossed without getting wet at all and the side pit is getting very overgrown.



  1. My mum will be pleased - she spent ages choosing the material! I'll pass the compliment on...