Monday, 27 August 2012

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 26 August

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...


1 comment:

  1. It seems that a few others have noticed this phenomenon this year with Wilwa and one theory is that many young birds have not replaced any wing coverts in their PJ moult. The odd season continues...