Monday, 5 September 2011

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 4 September

It was a strange morning, yet enjoyable and productive. We arrived in near perfect conditions - calm and overcast - at which point Ian ordered “a flock of Redstarts please”.

We had ten nets up swiftly, but then almost immediately it started to drizzle. This then came in waves throughout the morning and had us running backwards and forwards opening and closing nets. At 10:30, we threw in the towel and packed up after barely 4 hours of sporadic, damp ringing. (Actually a towel would have been useful at this point.) So it was somewhat incredible that during this period we managed to process 103 birds. It was a good job we had a big team with 9 members present.

Blackcaps made up half the total and we caught all the other common warblers in small numbers with the exception of Sedge. Blue Tit was the only other species caught in any numbers, with 14 new and 1 retrap and the remainder of the catch comprised all the usual suspects.

With the exception of 2 male Redstarts. Well we take our trainees’ requests very seriously you know. Better still, one was an adult and the other a youngster, allowing for useful comparison.

Note the adult’s blacker throat and whiter forehead. Also, its greater coverts are fringed grey and tipped orange, whereas the youngster has just a couple of the innermost feathers like this which it has replaced (barely visible here under the scapulars) and the rest are juvenile - brown, fringed buff.

And the final star of the show was a young Magpie – a species we catch surprisingly rarely.

Not many sightings to report, but 3 Little Egrets drifted over first thing, a Greenshank was heard, good Yellow Wagtail passage was noted and several hundred distant racing pigeons did their best to try to look like something more interesting.


Ian with half his requested flock.

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