Sunday, 27 August 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Saturday 27 August

Alex, Gary and I held another ringing session at the Blott’s end of Holme Pierrepont today. A small team again meant we had to limit the number of nets on a clear, still and cold morning, although as the sun got up the temperature rose rapidly. We set a couple of MP3 players going as usual.

Catching started quite well but tapered off as the sun got higher and the numbers of people out for a walk increased. Reed Warbler numbers dipped again this week but Whitethroat and Phylloscopus warbler numbers were similar to last week.

We ended with a total catch of 67 including 7 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 2/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Wren 1/1, Robin 2/0, Reed Warbler 3/1, Blackcap 29/0, Garden Warbler 4/0, Whitethroat 8/4, Chiffchaff 4/0, Willow Warbler 1/0, Great Tit 1/1, Bullfinch 2/0, Chaffinch 2/0.

The oldest retrap was a Whitethroat from 2016. Overhead was pretty quiet just a couple of Buzzard a few Swallows and a Raven.


A young male Blackcap going through its post-juvenile moult. (A. Phillips)

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Tuesday 22 August

The forecast was for perfect netting conditions, overcast and still. So Duncan, Gary and I decided to make a visit to the Grange end of Holme Pierrepont. The forecast proved to be correct and we set most of the usual nets on a warm, muggy and overcast morning. Not a breath of wind, two MP3 players going but a very quiet site did not bode well.

Catching started slowly but then it picked up and then kept going all morning. At last we caught a party of Long-tailed Tits this summer, only 6 to start but they had a bunch of warblers travelling with them and the same with another three later in the morning. Four new juv (3JJ) Song Thrush were a surprise and may well have been from the same brood.

We ended with a total catch of 86 including 9 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 1/1, Song Thrush 4/0, Wren 5/1, Dunnock 3/0, Robin 2/2, Blackcap 19/0, Garden Warbler 2/0, Whitethroat 1/0, Chiffchaff 12/0, Willow Warbler 3/0, Reed Warbler 9/0, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Blue Tit 3/2, Great Tit 2/0, Long-tailed Tit 9/0, Bullfinch 1/2, Reed Bunting 0/1. The oldest retrap was a Reed Bunting from 2014. Overhead were Buzzards and a Swift.


Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 20 August

Duncan, Gary and I held a ringing session at the Blott’s end of Holme Pierrepont today. Just a small team so we limited the number of nets and set the two MP3 players going. The weather was quite calm to start but with clear skies we expected the catching rate to drop after the first few rounds and it certainly did.

Reed Warbler and Whitethroat numbers dipped this week and the fall in Phylloscopus warblers mentioned last week continued but Blackcaps were still around in numbers. A couple of Greenfinches was unusual for this site and another juv Goldcrest was nice to catch.

We ended with a total catch of 81 including 5 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Wren 1/0, Dunnock 0/1, Robin 2/0, Reed Warbler 6/0, Blackcap 39/1, Garden Warbler 4/0, Whitethroat 8/2, Chiffchaff 2/0, Willow Warbler 2/0, Goldcrest 1/0, Blue Tit 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 1/0, Bullfinch 5/1, Greenfinch 2/0, Chaffinch 1/0, Reed Bunting 1/0. The retraps were all recently ringed birds. Overhead were at least 3 Swifts and a couple of Ravens.


Sunday, 20 August 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 13 August

Duncan, Alex, Trish and I made another visit to the Blott’s end of Holme Pierrepont this morning. We were also joined by Jim who came out for a catch up with some ‘small’ birds. It was good to see Jim, having not been out mist-netting with him since we were at Brackenhurst last winter. We put up the same 11 nets we used the previous week and set three MP3 players going with warbler calls. The morning started clear, cool and quite still but the breeze did increase as the morning went on, unfortunately no cloud cover came to help us. Gary also came along later for the middle part of the session.

Catching started very briskly again but dropped as the sun got higher and stronger, again warblers made up the majority of the catch. We ended with a total catch of 108 including 10 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 1/1, Wren 4/1, Robin 3/0, Blackcap 32/3, Garden Warbler 3/1, Whitethroat 15/3, Lesser Whitethroat 4/0, Chiffchaff 2/0, Willow Warbler 4/0, Goldcrest 1/0, Reed Warbler 19/0, Blue Tit 5/0, Long-tailed Tit 1/1, Bullfinch 3/0, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was from 2016.

Plenty of birds about again, particularly Sylvia warblers but the Phylloscopus warbler numbers have dropped significantly in the last couple of weeks.


Ramsdale Park Golf Centre, Thursday 10 August

Duncan and I made a visit to Ramsdale and set the usual line of 8 x 18m nets on a clear but still morning. The site sounded quiet and the vegetation was still wet through from the rain that fell all day on Tuesday. Catching started slowly and never really picked up. Where are all the warblers that were at this site? A female Sparrowhawk added a bit of interest early on. We ended with a total catch of 39 including 3 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Sparrowhawk 1/0, Blackbird 1/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Wren 2/1, Robin 3/0, Blackcap 11/0, Garden Warbler 2/0, Whitethroat 1/0, Lesser Whitethroat 2/0, Chiffchaff 5/1, Willow Warbler 0/1, Blue Tit 2/0, Bullfinch 4/0, Linnet 1/0. The oldest retrap was from 2015.


Sunday, 6 August 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 6 August

It was a beautiful, clear and still morning as we put up the nets. I joined Kev, Gary, Trish and Jake for my annual catch-up in the school holidays and having not been to the site for a year I couldn't quite believe how much it had changed with many of the net rides moved because of the increasingly tall trees and shrubs and impenetrable bramble thickets. The site is also getting more and more popular with visitors (birders, dog walkers and the like) so a fair amount of time has to be dedicated to public relations.

Despite the temperature rising fairly swiftly, we caught well until late morning and processed a total of 104 birds including 6 retraps and 1 control Reed Warbler. The total comprised (new/recapture): Kingfisher 1/0, Blackbird 1/0, Song Thrush 2/0, Dunnock 3/0, Wren 3/0, Robin 4/0, Blackcap 18/2, Garden Warbler 8/0, Whitethroat 18/1, Lesser Whitethroat 2/0, Chiffchaff 5/0, Willow Warbler 3/0, Reed Warbler 18/1, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Blue Tit 2/0, Chaffinch 1/0, Goldfinch 4/0, Bullfinch 2/1, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was a Bullfinch from 2016.

As well as the good numbers of young warblers, a large flock of Goldfinches was around, a couple of Buzzards were overhead and a handful of Swifts came over. Common Blue Damselflies were abundant and a few Migrant and Brown Hawkers were patrolling. Butterflies were not in huge numbers, but by the time we left around lunchtime, good numbers of Common Blues had started to appear. 


 A juvenile Goldfinch in full wing moult - once rare, but apparently increasing in frequency. 

 Kingfisher (P. Leonard)
 Garden Warbler (P. Leonard) 

 Lesser Whitethroat (P. Leonard)