We are back to mist-netting in a very limited way at some sites. The current restrictions remain frustrating for many ringers and especially trainees, but at least things are moving in the right direction and hopefully it won't be too long before we can resume more normal operations.
Gary and I held the first session at the Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont once we'd been given the go-ahead from the Notts Wildlife Trust. It's too far into the breeding season to cut back vegetation along net rides, but luckily very little clearing was required as the high floodwaters over the winter had killed off quite a few patches of brambles and such like. So it was a pleasant surprise to be able to put several nets up quickly.
As expected, we finished a little early due to the sun and heat, but not before processing over 50 birds including 5 Willow Warbler pulli. Interesting that people have been reporting a bad year for Blue and Great Tits as we did not catch any. The only tits we did catch were a party of about 8 Long-tailed Tits which were all adults, so possibly failed breeders. Juvenile Robins dominated the catch but we had a few warblers including returning retrap Lesser Whitethroats and Reed Warblers. A new Kingfisher was a nice surprise and we also caught a juvenile Blackcap that had been fledged long enough to lose a tail feather and half grow a replacement already!
Other interesting birds around were a low flying Bittern and a Hobby overhead.