Monday, 23 September 2013

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 23 September

Kev, Gary, Duncan, Tom, Alex, Sue and I spent most of the final session of the season sun-bathing on an unusually warm and still September morning. The site didn't feel particularly busy with birds and it may be that many summer migrants have left. A few small flocks comprised mainly Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, with a sprinkling of Blue and Long-tailed Tits, but there were no enormous flocks.

The total number of birds trapped was 24 (18 new/6 retrap), comprising: Robin: 4/2, Blue Tit: 2/1, Blackbird: 1/1, Dunnock: 2/1, Wren: 0/1, Chiffchaff: 3/0, Blackcap: 4/0, Whitethroat: 1/0, Reed Warbler: 1/0. The oldest retrap was the Blackbird at 3 years.

Chiffchaff (Pete Leonard)

It's been an odd season and despite the lack of gales and floods that we've become accustomed to, many species don't appear to have had a particularly good year. But as always, it is difficult to gauge this sort of thing until a much broader data set is available.

Away from the nets, Meadow Pipit passage was regular throughout the morning and a handful of Swallows were the only hirundines. A couple of Buzzards soared over and Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Green and Great-spotted Woodpeckers were all around. Snipe bombed over on a couple of occasions and wildfowl numbers are already building with good rafts of Tufted Duck and Teal, Shoveler, Gadwall and Wigeon all present in small numbers. Butterflies included Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Speckled Wood and what were probably a couple of Small Coppers whizzing by. Good numbers of hawker dragonflies were most likely Migrant Hawkers. And just as we were leaving we watched a Hobby circling near the A52.


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