Despite the inevitable predictions of armageddon weather over the August bank holiday weekend, conditions were pretty much perfect and an excellent team of 9 members gathered for a good steady morning's ringing.
The site didn't seem particularly noisy or overrun with birds, but we managed 81, with the majority being migrant warblers. Totals as follows (new/retrap): Whitethroat 13/0, Lesser Whitethroat 8/0, Blackcap 11/0, Garden Warbler 5/0, Willow Warbler 13/0, Chiffchaff 1/0, Reed Warbler 5/0, Robin 2/0, Wren 4/1, Dunnock 6/0, Great Tit 2/1, Blue Tit 4/0, Bullfinch 2/0, Goldfinch 1/0, Reed Bunting 1/0.
Willow Warblers put in a particularly good showing in marked contrast to Chiffchaff with only a singleton caught. Sylvias helped make up the bulk of the catch whereas resident birds, notably tits, were a little thin on the ground. In fact there only seemed to be one substantial tit flock moving about the site. Perhaps the only other notable sighting was a flock of at least 200 Goldfinches feeding on the thick stands of thistle and knapweed. In contrast to previous years, such vegetation is particularly lush and the standing water everywhere a constant reminder of the damp season we've had.
One Willow Warbler showed intriguing plumage. A young bird that had apparently completed post-juv moult, it showed stark contrast between olive-green mantle and greyish wing coverts. It seems unlikely that it had retained all these coverts but we were left scratching our heads for a reason why it should look like this.
Insects were fairly uninspiring with a couple of Migrant Hawkers, a few Common Blue Damselflies and the odd Common Darter. A couple each of Meadow Brown, Large White and Speckled Wood were the only butterflies seen. Blackberries, however, were beginning to ripen in force...