Sunday, 23 October 2011

Ringing on 30th Sep 2011

George was again ringing at the Observatory on the last day of the month and with just 15 Birds processed including 11 New birds and 4 Retraps, the month finished in unspectacular fashion!

  The days catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (0/4) Dunnock, (1/0) Chiffchaff, (9/0) Goldcrest and (1/0) Reed Bunting.

  Hopefully October will be better than Spetember, one of the worst Autumn months ringing for many years!...

Ringing on 29th Sep 2011

A double effort day today with Mike Polling ringing at Aylmer Avenue and George ringing over at the Observatory. They processed 59 Birds between them including 38 New birds and 21 Retraps.

  The combined day catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/0) Sparrowhawk, (1/0) Wren, (2/2) Dunnock, (1/0) Robin, (1/0) Song Thrush, (2/0) Blackcap, (1/0) Chiffchaff, (6/1) Goldcrest, (1/0) Coal Tit, (0/7) Blue Tit, (1/5) Great Tit, (0/1) Treecreeper, (2/0) Chaffinch, (15/3) Greenfinch, (0/2) Goldfinch and (4/0) Reed Bunting.

  A fairly low total with two sites being operated. 59 birds processed is well below average for the time of year but then this September has been incredible quiet!

Ringing on 28th Sep 2011

Ringing by George at the Observatory today resulted in 13 Bird processed including 12 New birds and just 1 Retrap.

  The days catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (2/0) Wren, (1/1) Dunnock, (1/0) Robin, (1/0) Blackcap, (1/0) Chiffchaff, (3/0) Goldcrest, (2/0) Blue Tit and (1/0) Reed Bunting.

The miserable September looks like it will finish in the same style that it started - high winds and few birds to ring on the days when opening nets is possible. It has certainly been one of the worst Septembers that I can remember at Gib in the last two decades!...

Ringing on 27th Sep 2011

More ringing at the Observatory today with George processing 27 Birds including 26 New birds and just 1 Retrap.

  The days catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (8/0) Meadow Pipit, (0/1) Robin, (3/0) Chiffchaff, (11/0) Goldcrest, (1/0) Great Tit, (1/0) Goldfinch and (2/0) Reed Bunting.

  Also reported from the 26th and 27th September 2011 were -

x3 Red Throated Diver
x1 Great Skua
x5 Artic Skua
x1 Common Buzzard
x3 Grey Partridge
x20 Brent Goose
x2 Pintail
x3 Grey Heron
x50 Sandwich Tern
x8 Ruff
x60,000 Knot
x250 Golden Plover
x1 Wheatear
x15 Siskin
x7 Crossbill

Ringing on 26th Sep 2011

George was ringing again today at the Observatory and processed 46 Birds, which included 43 New birds and just 3 Retraps.

  The days catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/0) Sparrowhawk, (24/0) Swallow, (1/0) House Martin, (1/0) Wren, (4/1) Dunnock, (0/1) Whitethroat, (2/0) Blackcap, (2/0) Chiffchaff, (2/0) Goldcrest, (3/0) Tree Sparrow, (0/1) Chaffinch, (1/0) Linnet and (2/0) Reed Bunting.

  A reasonable September days catch then, the year total is slowly creeping up but doesn't look like being anything spectacular at the moment.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Ringing on 25th Sep 2011

Again today was a double effort day with Mick Briggs training his trainee "The apprentice" Dave Vincent at Aylmer Avenue whilst George Gregory was continuing his prolonged ringing session at the Observatory. This resulted in 102 Birds processed, including 70 New birds and 32 Retraps.

  The days catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/3) Wren, (5/3) Dunnock, (1/0) Lesser Whitethroat, (0/2) Whitethroat, (19/1) Blackcap, (4/2) Chiffchaff, (1/0) Willow Warbler, (11/2) Goldcrest, (14/4) Long Tailed Tit, (1/3) Blue Tit, (2/4) Great Tit, (1/0) Chaffinch, (9/7) Greenfinch, (0/1) Goldfinch and (1/0) Reed Bunting.

  A long over due Long Tailed Tit flock was caught at Aylmer Avenue whilst another 19 New Blackcaps ringed was an incredible result after 14 New Blackcaps yesterday, that makes 33 different Blackcaps present over the weekend, just around the ringing sites which are tiny in comparison to the size of the reserve. There must literally be hundreds present across the reserve as a whole.

  Also reported on the 25th September 2011 were -

x3 Red Throated Diver
x20 Brent Goose (South)
x2 Pintail
x1 Common Pochard
x7 Teal
x11 Common Scoter (South)
x3 Grey Heron
x1 Mediterranean Gull (Adult winter plumage into roost with Black Headed Gulls)
x6 Gannet (South)
x3 Guillemot
x1 Great Skua
x2 Artic Skua
x2 Common Tern
x50+ Sandwich Tern
x250 Golden Plover
x1 Wheatear
x2 Yellow Wagtail

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Ringing on 24th Sep 2011

A double effort day today with George ringing at the Osbervatory and Mick Briggs, on an increasingly rare day off work, ringing at Aylmer Avenue. The two sites produced 101 Birds processed including 74 New birds and 27 Retraps.

  The days catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (0/1) Sparrowhawk, (0/2) Wren, (5/1) Dunnock, (4/1) Robin, (0/1) Blackbird, (14/0) Blackcap, (1/0) Chiffchaff, (26/2) Goldcrest, (0/1) Long Tailed Tit, (3/4) Blue Tit, (2/2) Great Tit, (11/7) Greenfinch, (5/5) Goldfinch and (3/0) Lesser Redpoll.

  The Lesser Redpolls were just the 5th to 7th of the year whilst the Retrap Sparrowhawk was the young male originally ringed on the 6th of August 2011 on the Storm Ridge and retrapped today for the second time at Aylmer Avenue, where it would seem to have taken up residence.
  Goldcrest numbers are now starting to really build up whilst the 14 Blackcaps ringed in a single day just go to show what a cracking couple of breeding years that this species has had, it would seem now that the Blackcap record year total will certainly be broken this year.

  Also reported on the 24th September 2011 were -

x14 Brent Goose
x18 Pink Footed Goose
x1 Spoonbill
x7 Snipe (In off the sea)
x1 Swift (South)
x1 Red Rumped Swallow (South) per Darren Mathews
x5 Goldcrest
x5 Chiffchaff
x3 Crossbill


Still small numbers of finches including Linnets, Redpolls and Siskins, along with House Martin and Swallows moving South.
1st Year Male Blackcap - 1 of 14 ringed on the 24th September 2011.
Note the sharp/pointy tail feathers indicative of a first year bird that has grown all the tail feathers at one time in the nest.
Photo - Mick Briggs
1st Year Male Blackcap - 1 of 14 ringed on the 24th September 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Ringing on 23rd Sep 2011

Ringing at the Observatory today by George Gregory provided the Obs totals with 20 Birds processed including 17 New birds and 3 Retraps.

  The days catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (3/1) Wren, (3/0) Dunnock, (0/1) Whitethroat, (3/0) Blackcap, (1/0) Chiffchaff, (6/0) Goldcrest, (0/1) Blue Tit and (1/0) Reed Bunting.

  Also reported on the 23rd September 2011 were -

x1 Spoonbill
x1 Curlew Sandpiper
x1 Common Buzzard
x3 Marsh Harrier
x5-7 Wheatear
x1 Redstart
x1 Spotted Flycatcher
x1 Bullfinch

Several hundred House Martin South along with smaller numbers of Swallow also heading South. Mixed flocks of finches and good numbers of Linnet South whilst sea watching produced various SKuas and some divers.

Ringing on 22nd Sep 2011

Another quiet day at the Observatory for George today with just 11 Birds processed including 7 New birds and 4 Retraps.

  The catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/0) Sparrowhawk, (1/1) Wren, (0/1) Dunnock, (1/0) Robin, (0/1) Blackcap, (1/0) Chiffchaff, (1/1) Goldcrest, (1/0) Blue Tit and (1/0) Greenfinch.

  The Sparrowhawk was a young male and was the seventh of the year, still a long way short of the 15 that were ringed in 2010, but the years total is slowly creeping up as is the Grand Total for the year.

Also reported on the 22nd September 2011 were -
All records of birds "South" were from a Visible Migration Watch from 06.15am untill 08.15.

x1 Barn Owl
x1 Marsh Harrier
x1 Spotted Redshank
x1 Turtle Dove
x1 Lesser Spotted Woodpecker per Richard Doan (flew over East Dunes at 7.33)
x870 House Martin (South)
x45 Swallow (South)
x1 Swift (South)
x5 Skylark (South)
x305 Meadow Pipit (South)
x4 Wheatear
x1 Redstart
x1 Chiffchaff
x36 Goldfinch (South)
x69 Siskin (South)
x12 Chaffinch (South)
x23 Greenfinch (South)
x23 Tree Sparrow (South)
x215 Linnet (South)
x25 Redpoll sp (South)
x2 Crossbill (South)

Ringing on 21st Sep 2011

A somewhat better result today for George, ringing at the Observatory resulted in 43 Birds processed including 30 New birds and 13 Retraps.

  The catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/0) Wren, (2/6) Dunnock, (0/1) Robin, (2/0) Wheatear, (3/0) Lesser Whitethroat, (1/2) Whitethroat, (6/3) Blackcap, (5/0) Chiffchaff, (1/0) Willow Warbler, (5/0) Goldcrest, (1/1) Blue Tit, (1/0) Magpie, (1/0) Linnet and (1/0) Reed Bunting.

  The two Wheatears were just the fifth and sixth ringed this year, it is surprising just how few Wheatears we ring when you consider that many hundreds must pass through the reserve during an average year. They just don't seem to often be found in areas where we have nets set up. So well done to George for these two today.

It was another good morning for overhead migration of pipits, finches and hirundines etc. Also offshore, good numbers of Gannets, Sandwich Terns, Artic Skuas and Gull were moving South - the highlight though was an Adult Sabines Gull moving slowly South.

Also reported on the 21st September 2011 were -

x1 Sabine's Gull
x1 Short Eared Owl
x5 Wheatear
x1 Stonechat
x2 Yellow Wagtail
x5 Chiffchaff
x5 Lesser Redpoll
x2 Crossbill

Monday, 17 October 2011

Ringing on 20th Sep 2011

A much quieter day, today for George with the wind speed again increasing! Just 15 Birds were processed including 14 New birds and just a single Retrap.

  The catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (2/0) Wren, (1/0) Blackcap, (7/0) Chiffchaff and (4/1) Goldcrest.

  The Chiffchaff total for the year is now starting to build up slowly as is the Goldcrest total. Will it be another "classic" Goldcrest year? You would think not with the two severe winters that we have just experienced but at Gib, a large number of the Goldcrests that we catch during the Autumn are actually continental migrants and there is a "lot" of continent from which they can come from!

Also reported on the 20th September 2011 were -

x1 Spoonbill
x4 Ruff
x1 Curlew Sandpiper
x2 Artic Tern
x2 Black Tern
x1 Wheatear
x1 Stonechat
x40 House Martin (South)
x5 Siskin
x14 Tree Sparrow 
Will this be a "Classic" Goldcrest Year?
Only time will tell - fingers crossed...
Library Photo - Mick Briggs


Ringing on 19th Sep 2011

George was ringing at the Observatory today as usual and was rewarded with 59 Birds processed including 55 New and just 4 Retraps!

  The days catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (15/0) Meadow Pipit, (4/0) Wren, (1/2) Robin, (1/0) Lesser Whitethroat, (3/0) Whitethroat, (4/1) Blackcap, (7/0) Chiffchaff, (10/0) Goldcrest, (4/1) Blue Tit, (1/0) Great Tit, (1/0) Chaffinch, (1/0) Goldfinch, (1/0) Siskin and (2/0) Reed Bunting.

  This was a much more typical September catch at the Observatory today and long overdue it is. These are the sort of numbers that we normally expect everyday through out September but this year the excessively prolonged westerly winds have dramatically reduced the numbers that George has been able to catch.
  Hopefully these sort of days will carry on now through to the end of the Autumn?

Also Reported on the 19th Sep 2011 were -

x1 Spoonbill
x1 Water Rail
x2 Marsh Harrier
x1 Merlin (Female)
x1 Short Eared Owl
x1 Barn Owl
x12+ Goldcrest
x4 Lesser Redpoll
x2 Brambling
x3 House Sparrow
x9 Carrion Crow
and a small nuimber of Swallow and House Martins passing through - today felt very Autumnal!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Ringing on 18th Sep 2011

The winds dropped overnight and this morning George was ringing at the Observatory whilst Mick Briggs was ringing at Aylmer Avenue with the ever ready young apprentice, David Vincent!.
  Over at the Observatory, George processed 27 Birds including 24 New birds and just 3 Retraps whilst Dave and Mick processed 122 Birds processed including 71 New birds and 51 Retraps, which made a combined day catch of 149 Birds processed including 95 New birds and 54 Retraps.

  The catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/1) Great Spotted Woodpecker, (3/0) Swallow, (2/2) Wren, (8/6) Dunnock, (8/0) Robin, (1/0) Whitethroat, (1/0) Garden Warbler, (11/1) Blackcap, (6/3) Chiffchaff, (7/0) Willow Warbler, (12/1) Goldcrest, (1/0) Spotted Flycatcher, (0/2) Long Tailed Tit, (5/10) Blue Tit, (4/3) Great Tit, (0/1) Treecreeper, (4/5) Chaffinch, (12/15) Greenfinch, (7/4) Goldfinch and (2/0) Reed Bunting.

Not a bad day then after the miserable run of high winds we seem to be having through most of September so far, especially seen as they seem to be from a largely westerly orientation, which is clearly not great for bringing any scarce migrants or impressive numbers of common migrants ariving on the coast.
  September's ringing totals are looking to be some of the lowest in the last decade at the present rate of knots!

  Also reported on the 18th September 2011 were -

x1 Redstart
x1 Barred Warbler (East Dunes)
x1 Stonechat
x2 Spotted Redshank
x1 Manx Shearwater
and a scattering of Goldcrests.
Spotted Flycatcher ringed at Aylmer Avenue on the 18th September 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs
Spotted Flycatcher ringed at Aylmer Avenue on the 18th September 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs
Two Great Spotted Woodpecker's 1 New & 1 Retrap caught on the 18th September 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs

Reported 17th Sep 2011

Still the high wind speed stops any nets from being opened but the following were reported on the 17th Sep 2011 -

x4 Pied Flyctacher (Mainly around the plantation)
x1 Spotted Flyctacher
x1 Honey Buzzard
x1 Common Buzzard
x2 Whooper Swan
x3 Spoonbill
x7 Chiffchaff
x1 Short Eared Owl
x7 Marsh Harrier
x1 Whinchat

also a "smattering" of Crossbill, Siskin and House Martin were also noted.

Reported 16th Sep 2011

No ringing today due to the high winds which are back with avengence! however -
  Not strictly on the reserve but just to the North of the reserve by Nigel Lound on the beach at Skegness today (16th September 2011) sea watching produced the following between 0645 and 1200 -

x2 Red Throated Diver (North + x2 South)
x1 Black Throated Diver (Back and forth close in, seen on 7 occasions, last seen heading North)
x14 Manx Shearwater (North + 2 South)
x7 Sooty Shearwater (North)
x1 Balearic Shearwater (North)
x1 Cory's Shearwater (Probable went North at 11.30 though not enough on it for positive ID)
x5 Fulmar (North)
x490 Gannet (North + x135 South)
x220 Sandwich Tern (North)
x12 Common Tern (South)
x8 Commic' Tern (South)
x1 Kittiwake (Juvenile North)
x16 Great Skua (North + x3 South)
x14 Artic Skua (North + x5 South)
x2 Long Tailed Skua (North)
x5 Skua sp. (North + x1 South)
x254 Teal (South)
x110 Wigeon (South)
x4 Common Scoter (North + x9 South)
x7 Pink Footed Goose (East)
x3 Brent Goose (South)
x2 Guillemot (North)
x5 Auk sp. (North)

Ringing on 15th Sep 2011

An amazing ringing result was the order of the day today! with Tim Bagworth ringing at the Observatory on a "very rare day off" whilst George had a day off from ringing, and Mike Polling had a day ringing over at Aylmer Avenue. The combined result was an impressive 284 Birds processed including 220 New birds and 64 Retraps.
  Tim processed 140 Birds at the Observatory including 125 New birds and 15 Retraps whilst Mike over at Aylmer Avenue processed 144 Birds including 95 New birds and 49 retraps.

  The days impressive catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (48/0) Meadow Pipit, (2/0) Wren, (13/4) Dunnock, (11/1) Robin, (3/0) Redstart, (0/1) Blackbird, (1/0) Sedge Warbler, (2/0) Reed Warbler, (8/0) Lesser Whitethroat, (12/1) Whitethroat, (1/0) Garden Warbler, (24/3) Blackcap, (31/1) Chiffchaff, (22/3) Goldcrest, (0/1) Coal Tit, (5/12) Blue Tit, (1/6) Great Tit, (0/2) Treecreeper, (1/0) Tree Sparrow, (5/5) Chaffinch, (23/19) Greenfinch, (4/5) Goldfinch, (1/0) Linnet, (1/0) Lesser Redpoll and (1/0) Reed Bunting.

  Good birds were caught at both sites and one of the best days ringing this year. Well done to both Tim and Mike for a cracking days catch!

  Also Reported on the 15th September 2011 were -

x1 Puffin
x2 Fulmar
x16 Manx Shearwater
x1 Balearic Shearwater
x200 Gannet
x20 Pink Footed Goose
x60-80000 Knot
x2 Redstart
x40 Goldcrest
x1 Barred Warbler
x2 House Sparrow
x4 Crossbill

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Ringing on 14th Sep 2011

With the wind easeing, George was back in action over at the Observatory today with a healthy 38 Birds processed, including 34 New birds and 4 Retraps.

  The days catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/0) Swallow, (0/1) Wren, (3/1) Dunnock, (1/0) Robin, (1/0) Reed Warbler, (0/1) Barred Warbler, (1/0) Lesser Whitethroat, (10/1) Whitethroat, (4/0) Blackcap, (7/0) Chiffchaff, (1/0) Willow Warbler, (1/0) Blue Tit and (4/0) Great Tit).

  The retrap Barred Warbler was the one from last week, seemingly still hanging around, not surprising really after four days off near gale force winds!

  Also reported on the 14th Sep 2011 were -

x4 Spoonbill
x1 CORNCRAKE!
x8 Pink Footed Goose
x2 Spotted Redshank
x5000+ Knot
x1 Ruff
x1 Whimbrel
x1 Turtle Dove
x5 Swift
x1000+ House Martin
x11 Whinchat
x17 Yellow Wagtail
x4 Tree Pipit
x7 Chiffchaff
x1 Lesser Whitethroat
x38 Tree Sparrow
x20 Redpoll
x5 Crossbill

  This evening Mick Briggs travelled to Boston to a book signing at Waterstones by Mr David Lindo. The book signing was preceded by a talk about Mr Lindo's life and how he became a birder and a writer. It was all very fascinating and a good time was had by all that attended.
Mr David Lindo at his book signing at Waterstones in Boston on the 14th Sep 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs

 Katherine Birkett having a book signed by David Lindo at Waterstones in Boston on the 14th Sep 2011.
Katherine is well known to Lincs Bird Club Members for her many posts on the L.B.C. Forum web pages.
Photo - Mick Briggs

Reported 13th Sep 2011

The winds started to ease this afternoon but too late for any ringing to be done.

Reported on the 13th September 2011 were -

x5 Spoonbill
x1 Water Rail
x1 Manx Shearwater
x92 Sandwich Tern
x19 Turnstone
x6 Ruff
x22 Greenshank
x3 Spotted Redshank
x2 Hobby
x8 Marsh Harrier
x2000+ Meadow Pipit
x4 Tree Pipit
x15 Yellow Wagtail
x20 Alba Wagtail
x1 Grey Wagtail
x1 Whinchat
x2 Wheatear
x95 Siskin
x19 Tree Sparrow

Reported 12th Sep 2011

Still too windy for any ringing today (Gale force at times) but still a few birders out gathering sightings -

Reported on the 12th Spetember 2011 were -

x44 Teal
x7 Spoonbill
x2 Whimbrel
x1 Curlew
x1 Kestrel
x1 Peregrine
x2 Swift
x22 Sand Martin
x19 House Martin
x1 Wheatear
x53 Siskin

Reported 11th Sep 2011

No ringing today with a major high wind event in progress!

Reported on the 11th September 2011 were -

x69 Teal
x20 Wigeon
x5 Spoonbill
x1 Ruff
x1 Pectoral Sandpiper (on the Mere)
x7 Greenshank
x5 Spotted Redshank
x166 Black Tailed Godwit
x8 Swift
x2000 Swallow
x40+ Sand Martin
x1 Wheatear
x1 Green Woodpecker
x1 Whinchat
x60 Goldfinch
x30 Siskin

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Ringing on 10th Sep 2011

Christine Flint and Nigel Hudson finished there holiday yesterday and can I just say a big Thank You! to Chris and Nigel for all there efforts during the last week, trying hard to get some birds ringed during a horrible week, weather wise. Hopefully they had a good time and we look forward to seeing them down at the Observatory next year!
  Today though Tim Bagworth started his holiday for a week, he is planning to get some ringing done on the reserve during his holiday, so today Tim was ringing at the Observatory whilst Mick Briggs was ringing at Aylmer Avenue with a brief visit from George mid morning.
  The combined catch for the day was 84 birds processed including 62 New birds and 22 Retraps.

  The catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (23/0) Swallow, (6/0) House Martin, (0/1) Dunnock, (1/1) Robin, (2/0) Reed Warbler, (1/0) Lesser Whitethroat, (0/2) Whitethroat, (8/1) Blackcap, (5/0) Chiffchaff, (1/0) Willow Warbler, (4/1) Goldcrest, (1/0) Pied Flyctacher, (1/5) Blue Tit, (0/1) Great Tit, (0/1) Chaffinch, (9/8) Greenfinch and (0/1) Goldfinch.

The Pied Flyctacher was at Aylmer Avenue and was the first of the year and was well overdue! the last time that we didn't catch a Pied Flycatcher in August was 2002! Other than that, it was a fairly unremarkable day with a pretty much standard type of catch for the time of year.

  Also reported on the reserve on the 10th September 2011 were -
x1 Pectoral Sandpiper (Mere associating with a Dunlin)
x1 Curlew Sandpiper
x1 Green Sandpiper
x10 Whimbrel
x4 Snipe
x72 Golden Plover
x13 Greenshank
x1 Spotted Redshank
x6 Ruff
x25 Little Egret (21 on Tennyson's Lagoon)
x7 Spoonbill (Jackson's Lagoon)
x20 Common Tern
x200 Sandwich Tern
x20 Gannet (South)
x1 Guillemot
x1 Razorbill
x8 Artic Skua
x2 Great Skua (South)
x1 Manx Shearwater (South)
x1 Red Throated Diver
x8 Swift (South)
x3000 Swallow (South)
x2000 House Martin (South)
x40 Sand Martin
x500+ Meadow Pipit (South)
x2 Grey Wagtail (South)
x40 Yellow Wagtail (South)
x6 Lesser Redpoll (South)
x250 Siskin (South)
x60 Tree Sparrow (South)
x12 Crossbill (South)
x1 Spotted Flycatcher
x2 Wheatear
Reed Warbler ringed on the 10th September 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs
Chiffchaff ringed on the 10th September 2011.
These have finally started to arrive in decent numbers now from the continent.
Photo - Mick Briggs
The first Pied Flycatcher of 2011 ringed on the 10th September.
Photo - Mick Briggs
The first Pied Flycatcher of 2011 ringed on the 10th September.
Photo - Mick Briggs
The first Pied Flycatcher of 2011 ringed on the 10th September.
Photo - Mick Briggs

Monday, 19 September 2011

Ringing on 9th Sep 2011

Today was the last day of Christine and Nigels ringing holiday and it made up somewhat for the lack lustered weather during the week. George was again ringing at Aylmer Avenue. The majority of the birds caught were at the Observatory and the total processed was 121. There were 102 New birds and 19 Retraps.

  The combined catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (9/1) Swallow, (1/0) Tree Pipit, (23/0) Meadow Pipit, (0/3) Wren, (8/1) Dunnock, (8/0) Robin, (1/0) Reed Warbler, (0/1) Barred Warbler, (4/1) Lesser Whitethroat, (11/2) Whitethroat, (24/1) Blackcap, (1/0) Chiffchaff, (3/0) Willow Warbler, (3/0) Goldcrest, (0/2) Blue Tit, (0/2) Great Tit, (1/0) Chaffinch, (2/4) Greenfinch, (1/1) Goldfinch and (2/0) Reed Bunting.

  Amazingly the Barred Warbler was recaught today by Christine and Nigel, still close to where it was originally caught, although it probably shouldn't be too much of a surprise with the weather inbetween capture dates being absolutely horrendous!
  Barred Warblers that are caught at Gib do tend to have a habit of sticking around for a while, one caught on the 31st Aug 1983 was again retrapped on the 2nd and 4th Sep, whilst more recently there was a bird caught on the 28th Sep 2010 was caught two days later on the 30th Sep. Presumably these were birds that had recently crossed the North Sea and so were feeding up before moving on south.

  The Tree Pipit that Christine and Nigel caught today was the first since the 22nd August 2009! and only the 16th since 1997. There have still only been 114 (Including this bird) ever ringed at the Observatory and so are still incredible scarce as a species in the hand at Gib. Well done to Chritsine and Nigel for this bird on the last day of their holiday!
  Also today Christine and Nigel were lucky enough to get their hands on a highly unusual Robin which had 4 leucistic primaries, 3 leucistic primary coverts and a leucistic chin! A striking bird that would certainly cause panic amongst any birdwatcher that spotted it, just briefly! See the photos below

  Also reported on the 9th September 2011 were -
x1 Osprey
x6 Artic Skua
x1 Black Tern
x9 Spoonbill
x1 Pectoral Sandpiper (Still on the Mere at 7pm this evening in the company of Dunlin)
x1 Little Stint
x5500+ Meadow Pipit (South)
x3 Tree Pipit (South)
x1 Grey Wagtail (South)
x1 Whinchat
x1 Wheatear
x1 Spotted Flyctacher
x100 Siskin (South)
Retrapped Barred Warbler on the 9th September 2011.
Photo - George Gregory
Partly leucistic Robin ringed on the 9th September 2011.
Photo - Christine Flint.
Partly leucistic Robin ringed on the 9th September 2011.
Photo - Christine Flint.
Partly leucistic Robin ringed on the 9th September 2011.
A striking bird on an Autumn morning!
Photo - Christine Flint.

Ringing on 8th Sep 2011

At last, the incessant wind finally lifted briefly this morning allowing George to get some ringing done at Aylmer Avenue whilst Christine Flint and Nigel Judson were over at the Observatory trying their best to make up for two days completly blown out during the week!
  The combined catch included 109 birds processed, made up of 79 New birds and 30 Retraps.

  The catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/0) Green Woodpecker, (9/0) Meadow Pipit, (2/1) Dunnock, (1/0) Robin, (1/0) Sedge Warbler, (4/1) Lesser Whitethroat, (8/2) Whitethroat, (10/1) Blackcap, (14/0) Chiffchaff, (10/0) Willow Warbler, (4/1) Goldcrest, (0/3) Long Tailed Tit, (0/2) Blue Tit, (0/2) Great Tit, (0/1) Treecreeper, (3/2) Chaffinch, (8/10) Greenfinch, (3/4) Goldfinch and (1/0) Linnet.

  The Green Woodpecker was the first since 2008 and only the 10th ever! It was caught at the ever steady feeding station at Aylmer Avenue and really goes to show the value of this site for generating records of unusual species on the reserve. The last Green Woodpecker caught was also taken from a net at the feeding station. This species is often missed by birders on the reserve as they seldom stay around with only small areas of tree available to them but are ardent admirers of a free meal!

  Also reported on the 8th September 2011 were -
x5 Greenshank
x164 Black Tailed Godwit
x1 Curlew Sandpiper
x1 Pectoral Sandpiper (On the Mere at 4pm - showed for just 10 mins)
Green Woodpecker ringed on the 8th September 2011.
Just the 10th for the observatory ever!
Photo - George Gregory.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Ringing on 7th Sep 2011

Christine and Nigel managed to get some nets open today over at the Observatory but not all of them due to the continuing 15/20 mph winds.
  By the time they gave up at lunch they had managed to get 22 birds processed including 20 New birds and just 2 Retraps.

  The days catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (2/0) Meadow Pipit, (3/0) Dunnock, (1/0) Sedge Warbler, (0/1) Lesser Whitethroat, (1/0) Whitethroat, (5/0) Blackcap, (2/0) Chiffchaff, (5/0) Willow Warbler, (1/0) Goldcrest and (0/1) Great Tit.

  Hopefully our visiting ringers will get a break in the weather before their holiday finishes on the 9th!

  Also reported on the 7th September 2011 were -
x300 Meadow Pipit (South)
x100 Tree Sparrow (South)
x130 Siskin (South)
x2 Grey Wagtail
x1 Marsh Harrier
Good numbers of Yellow Wagtail, Crossbill and Alba Wagtails were noted moving South.

Reported 6th Sep 2011

There was no ringing on the 5th or the 6th due to the 30mph winds blowing through the reserve, very bad luck for Christine and Nigel who are staying at the Field Station on holiday from the Charnwood Ringing Group.

  Reported on the reserve on the 5th September 2011 -
x1 Osprey (South)
x7 Swift (South)
x130 Siskin (South)
x1 Ruff
x1 Short Eared Owl
x1 Barn Owl
x16 Yellow Wagtail
x6 Spoonbill (Jacksons)
x7 Shoveler
x7 Gadwall
  However reported on the 6th September 2011 were -
x2 Common Swift
x2 Common Sandpiper
x1 Green Sandpiper
x3 Ruff
x2 Spoonbill
x1 Great Skua
x1 Osprey (South - the third in just over a week!)

Ringing on 4th Sep 2011

Well today really was the best day so far this year with a double effort day under way and a break in the weather, there was Mick Briggs and Dave Vincent ringing at Aylmer Avenue for a long morning session whilst over at the Observatory, George occasionally helped out visiting ringers Christine Flint and Nigel Judson who are from the "Charnwood Ringing Group" and are visiting for a weeks holiday ringing. They don't have very far to travel each day as they are staying at the Field Station!
  You can check out the Charnwood Ringing Group Blog at - http://charnwoodringers.blogspot.com/

  At the Observatory there were 131 birds processed including 117 New birds and 14 Retraps whilst at Aylmer Avenue there were 190 birds processed including 138 New birds and 52 Retraps. This gave a combined catch total of an impressive 321 birds processed! including 255 New birds and 66 Retraps.

  The catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/0) Wood Pigeon, (114/1) Swallow, (41/0) House Martin, (1/0) Meadow Pipit, (1/0) Yellow Wagtail, (1/3) Wren, (4/3) Dunnock, (3/1) Robin, (1/0) Wheatear, (0/1) Blackbird, (1/0) Barred Warbler, (9/1) Lesser Whitethroat, (3/3) Whitethroat, (1/0) Garden Warbler, (25/4) Blackcap, (2/1) Chiffchaff, (5/3) Willow Warbler, (7/0) Goldcrest, (0/4) Long Tailed Tit, (0/2) Coal Tit, (4/6) Blue Tit, (0/5) Great Tit, (1/1) Treecreeper, (2/7) Chaffinch, (21/15) Greenfinch, (5/3) Goldfinch, (0/2) Linnet and (2/0) Reed Bunting.

  The Barred warbler was clearly the Star bird of the day, being the first of the year and the first since 28th Sep 2010. It is the earliest since 2006 when there were two caught in August. A nice surprise at the the start of weeks holiday for Christine and Nigel!
  Besides all the other cracking birds processed on the 4th Sep, perhaps the most impressive besides the excellent Swallow and House Martin catch was the surprising number of Blackcaps on site, with 29 different birds caught during the day at two relatively small sites in comparison to the size of the reserve, the number on the reserve as a whole must of numbered in the hundreds!

  Also reported on the 4th September 2011 were -
x1 Firecrest (East Dunes)
x5 Curlew Sandpiper
x19 Bar Tailed Godwit
x65 Golden Plover
x2 Snipe
x1 Guillemot
x1 Red Throated Diver
x7 Gannet (South)
x10 Spoonbill (Yesterday evening, flew out into the Wash)
x1 Red Throated Diver
x1 Tawny Owl
x1 Marsh Harrier
x60+ Siskin
x20 Tree Sparrow
x2 Wheatear
x1 Redstart
x50+ Yellow Wagtail (South)
x2000 Swallow (South)
x500 House Martin (South)
x3 Sand Martin (South)
x400 Meadow Pipit (South)
x10 Goldcrest
Swallows migrating South during the very busy 4th September 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs
The first Barred Warbler of 2011, ringed on the 4th September 2011.
Photo - Christine Flint
Barred Warbler undertail coverts on the 4th September 2011.
Photo - Christine Flint

Ringing on 3rd Sep 2011

Another miserable day, weather wise with a howling wind from the get go. George managed to open just a couple of nets at the Observatory in the morning whilst Mick Briggs tried to open a couple of nets at Aylmer Avenue in the afternoon once the worst of the wind had died down. The result for the day was just 9 birds processed, all of them were New birds!

  The catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (6/0) Swallow, (1/0) Dunnock, (1/0) Lesser Whitethroat and (1/0) Willow Warbler.

  There was a major push of Swallows through the reserve through out much of the day but catching in the high winds was pratically impossible, it is often the case with hirundines enjoying a brisk head wind into which they can fly south.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Ringing on 2nd Sep 2011

Chris Hansell was back down again today, ringing with George at the Observatory first thing before moving over to Aylmer Avenue for an afternoon session on his own. The combined sites catch was 99 birds processed including 64 New birds and 35 Retraps.

  The days catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (16/0) Swallow, (4/0) House Martin, (5/0) Meadow Pipit, (0/1) Wren, (1/0) Dunnock, (1/0) Robin, (0/3) Whitethroat, (2/0) Willow Warbler, (0/7) Blue Tit, (3/11) Great Tit, (1/0) Tree Sparrow, (2/2) Chaffinch, (18/7) Greenfinch and (11/4) Goldfinch.

  Also reported on the 2nd September 2011 were -
x1 Temmincks Stint
x2 Curlew Sandpiper
x14 Golden Plover
x23 Little Egrets
x23 Avocet
x2 Snipe
x1 Ruff
x11 Greenshank
x200+ Curlew
x40,000 Knot (High tide)
x7 Grey Partridge
x1 Hobby
x3 Short Eared Owl
x2 Marsh Harrier
x1 Kingfisher
x3 Tree Pipit (South)
x1 Whinchat
x2 Grey Wagtails
x2 Chiffchaff
x3 Lesser Whitethroat
x3 Blackcap
x11 Tree Sparrow
x1 Treecreeper
x1 Coal Tit
x1 Lesser Redpoll

Ringing on 1st Sep 2011

George was back at the Observatory today but results were not impressive and not how we would of liked to see September begin. There were just 8 birds processed including 5 New birds and 3 Retraps.

  The catch was made up thus (New/Retraps) - (1/0) Swallow, (1/3) Whitethroat, (2/0) Blackcap and (1/0) Willow Warbler.

  Also reported on the reserve on the 1st September 2011 were -
x1 Whinchat
x2 Grey Wagtail
x17 Yellow Wagtail
x10 Spoonbill (Jackson's Marsh)
x10,000 Knot (High tide)
x250 Curlew (High tide)
x2 Marsh Harrier
x14 Grey Partridge

Ringing on 31st Aug 2011

Chris Hansell was back down again today, ringing with George over at the Observatory. 68 birds were processed including 62 New birds and 6 Retraps.

  The days catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (40/0) Swallow, (2/0) House Martin, (11/0) Meadow Pipit, (0/1) Wren, (0/1) Dunnock, (1/0) Robin, (0/1) Redstart, (1/1) Whitethroat, (1/1) Blackcap, (2/0) Willow Warbler, (1/0) Coal Tit, (2/0) Goldfinch, (0/1) Linnet and (1/0) Reed Bunting.

  Well done Chris and George, none to shabby at all, a good catch to round off the last day of August 2011. Next stop September!

  Also reported on the 31st August 2011 -
x5 Great Skua (North)
x10 Artic Skua (8 North)
x1 Long Tailed Skua (Probable flew North at distance with an Artic Skua)
x5 Little Gull (South including 1 Adult)
x1 Black Tern (Juvenile South)
x10 Gannet (North)
x60 Sandwich Tern (South)

Ringing on 30th Aug 2011

George was back in action today, over at Observatory and was amply rewarded with 59 birds processed including 50 New birds and 9 Retraps.

  The catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (20/0) Swallow, (1/0) Meadow Pipit, (1/0) Yellow Wagtail, (0/1) Wren, (2/3) Dunnock, (4/0) Lesser Whitethroat, (4/2) Whitethroat, (3/2) Blackcap, (2/0) Willow Warbler, (0/1) Great Tit, (10/0) Tree Sparrow, (2/0) Goldfinch and (1/0) Linnet.

The 10 New Tree Sparrows were impressive and brings the total to 25 New Tree Sparrows in just two days! To put this into context, we don't always ring double figures of Tree Sparrows at Gib in a whole year!

Ringing on 29th Aug 2011

The last Bank Holiday of the year meant a double effort day today with Tim Bagworth ringing at Aylmer Avenue on his day off whilst Mick Briggs and Chris Hansell were ringing at the Observatory. The combined catch for the day was just 53 birds processed including 43 New birds and 10 Retraps.

  The days catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/0) Sparrowhawk, (2/0) Swallow, (4/0) Yellow Wagtail, (0/1) Wren, (3/1) Robin, (1/0) Redstart, (1/0) Blackbird, (1/0) Sedge Warbler, (1/0) Lesser Whitethroat, (0/3) Whitethroat, (1/0) Blackcap, (8/2) Willow Warbler, (3/0) Goldcrest, (0/1) Long Tailed Tit, (1/0) Coal Tit, (1/0) Blue Tit, (0/1) Treecreeper, (15/0) Tree Sparrow, (0/1) Greenfinch.

  The most significant catch of the day were the 15 Tree Sparrows, including 12 in one net on the Storm Ridge, these are migrating birds moving south along the coast and it is not often they pause in the dunes during their flight thyrough the reserve. I am not sure oif the last time that 15 were caught in a day at Gib but I would think it must be back in the 1970's!
  The four Yellow Wagtails were also all caught in one net on the Storm Ridge choosing to alight in the scrub on their journey south and then getting caught in the Storm Ridge nets. They constitute the 3rd to 6th Yellow Wagtails caught this year.
  The Redstart is just the second of the year following on from one on the 15th August. Hopefully there will be plenty more during September?

  Also reported on the 29th Aug 2011 were -
x2 Whinchat
x2 Wheatear
x40 Yellow Wagtail (South)
x400 Meadow Pipit (South)
x2 Spotted Flycatcher
x1 Wryneck (Outer Dunes)
x1 Red Kite
x3 Buzzard
x1 probable Goshawk (Alighting on Heligoland Trap briefly! witnessed by four observers who argued about the identification. It has to be pointed out though that Chris Hansell surveys this species as part of his job and is highly experienced with the species and was happy that it was a Goshawk.)
x2 Marsh Harrier
x5 Spoonbill
x1 Short Eared Owl
x65 Black Tailed Godwit
x25,000 Knot (On high tide)
x2 Green Sandpiper
x1 Swift (South)
x1 Lesser Redpoll
x4 Siskin
x150 Tree Sparrow (South)
x28 Linnet
One of four Yellow Wagtails ringed at the Observatory on the 29th Aug 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs
A trio of Yellow Wagtails ringed at the Observatory on the 29th Aug 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs
A trio of Yellow Wagtails ringed at the Observatory on the 29th Aug 2011.
Note the varying ammount of yellow on these birds that are all this years males.
Photo - Mick Briggs
Female Sparrowhawk ringed at the Observatory on the 29th Aug 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs
Female Sparrowhawk ringed at the Observatory on the 29th Aug 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs

Sunday, 11 September 2011

C.E.S.No12 28th Aug 2011

Finally comes the day of the last C.E.S. session of the year, and to be honest it doesn't seem like ten minutes since the first session of the year back on the 8th of May. A full report of the years C.E.S. sessions will be posted at a later date.
  Meanwhile George was over at the Observatory ringing with Chris Hansell, still on his holidays from Filey. The combined result was 183 birds processed including 105 New birds and 78 Retraps.

  At the Observatory there were 36 birds processed including 32 New birds and 4 Retraps, whilst at Aylmer Avenue, all the nets were in use being operated by Mick Briggs and Dave Vincent, and it certainly paid results with 147 birds processed including 73 New birds and 74 Retraps.

  The combined catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/0) Grey Partridge, (9/0) Swallow, (2/3) Wren, (3/4) Dunnock, (4/0) Robin, (0/1) Blackbird, (1/0) Reed Warbler, (0/1) Lesser Whitethroat, (9/2) Whitethroat, (3/5) Blackcap, (1/0) Chiffchaff, (29/1) Willow Warbler, (2/0) Goldcrest, (1/0) Spotted Flycatcher, (0/3) Long Tailed Tit, (0/1) Coal Tit, (1/19) Blue Tit, (2/17) Great Tit, (0/1) Treecreeper, (1/0) Magpie, (0/3) Chaffinch, (27/15) Greenfinch, (8/2) Goldfinch and (1/0) Linnet.

  The Grey Partridge was the first since two birds caught last year on the 13th Sep whilst it was actually just the 27th for the Observatory ever! and only the thrid since the 1970's! Definetely a star bird of 2011.
  The Spotted Flycatcher meanwhile was just the second of 2011 whilst the Treecreeper was a retrap of a bird originally ringed on the 20th Aug 2011.

  Also reported on the 28th August 2011 were -
x3000 Swallow (South)
x4000 House Martin (South)
x300 Sand Martin (South)
x8 Swift (South)
x2 Redstart
x1 Pied Flycatcher
x1 Wheatear
x16 Yellow Wagtail (South)
x250 Meadow Pipit (South)
x1 Whinchat
x1 Cuckoo
x4 Crossbill
x3 Turtle Dove
x1 Curlew Sandpiper
x1 Osprey (South)
x1 Marsh Harrier
x1 Hobby
x4 Sparrowhawk
Grey Partridge ringed on 28th Aug 2011.
Just the 27th for the Observatory ever and just the 3rd since the 1970's!
Photo - George Gregory.

Juvenile Spotted Flycatcher ringed on the 28th Aug 2011.
Just the second of 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs.

Juvenile Spotted Flycatcher ringed on the 28th Aug 2011.
Just the second of 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs.

Ringing on 27th Aug 2011

  After no ringing yesterday, today there was at last a break in the weather and George was quick to take advantage of it, opening the nets at the Observatory at first light. Today he had help from visiting ringer Chris Hansell of the Filey Ringing Group. In the couple of hours they had before the wind picked up making netting impossible they managed to process 28 birds including 18 New birds and 10 Retraps.

  The mornings catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/0) Swallow, (1/0) Yellow Wagtail, (0/1) Wren, (0/2) Dunnock, (1/0) Blackbird, (1/0) Sedge Warbler, (3/0) Lesser Whitethroat, (3/3) Whitethroat, (1/0) Garden Warbler, (3/0) Blackcap, (4/0) Willow Warbler and (0/4) Long Tailed Tit.

  Not a bad couple of hours then, hopefully this will continue when the weather starts to improve?

Also reported on the 27th August 2011 -
x2 Whinchat
x1 Wheatear
x4 Pied Flyctacher
x2 Goldcrest
x1 Peregrine
x6 Spoonbill
x18 Linnet
x1 Crossbill
x2 Marsh Harrier
x3 Yellow Wagtail
x35 Golden Plover

Ringing on 25th Aug 2011

A terrible result today with Ross Ahmed visiting for a session ringing with George. The nets were opened at the Observatory first thing but were then closed on the first net round as the heavens opened! The result was that just one bird was caught - a New Whitethroat.

  Hopefully the weather will be better tomorrow?

Monday, 5 September 2011

Ringing on 24th Aug 2011

Ringing at the Observatory today provided George with 38 birds to process including 29 New birds and 9 Retraps. The highlight today though was the first "Rare" of the Autumn in the form of a stunning Icterine Warbler! found in a mist net at the Obs. There was also a young Grasshopper Warbler of origin unknown along with two Garden Warblers.

  The mornings catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (6/0) Swallow, (1/0) Meadow Pipit, (1/1) Wren, (1/1) Dunnock, (1/0) Grasshopper Warbler, (2/0) Reed Warbler, (1/0) Icterine Warbler, (6/0) Lesser Whitethroat, (2/2) Whitethroat, (2/0) Garden Warbler, (4/0) Blackcap, (2/2) Willow Warbler, (0/2) Long Tailed Tit and (0/1) Great Tit.

  The Icterine Warbler was the first since 1996! and was just the 24th for the Observatory ever! Well done George for this one, it is just reward for all the completly voluntary effort that George puts in, ringing at the Observatory pratically every day.
  The Grasshopper Warbler was the third for the year following on from two singing adult males trapped in the early part of the summer (which will hopefully be retrapped back on their site next year?).
  The Garden Warblers meanwhile were the 9th and 10th of the year and puts us well on the way towards another cracking year for this species at thye Observatory. They traditionally turn up at Gib in their biggest numbers in late September.

Icterine Warbler ringed at the Observatory on the 24th Aug 2011.
Just the 24th for the Obs ever!
Photo - George Gregory

Icterine Warbler ringed at the Observatory on the 24th Aug 2011.
Just reward for George's continous efforts - Well done George!
Photo - George Gregory.

Grasshopper Warbler ringed on the 24th Aug 2011.
The first caught this Autumn.
Photo - George Gregory.

Reported 23rd Aug 2011

Reported on the 23rd Aug 2011 were -

x6 Spoonbill
x6 Marsh Harrier
x7 Grey Partridge
x180 Swallow
x2 Swift
x1 Whinchat
x1 Common Redstart
x25 Goldfinch
x73 Black Tailed Godwit
x3 Green Sandpiper
x17 Greenshank

Ringing on 22nd Aug 2011

George was ringing over at the Observatory this morning and was rewarded with 34 birds processed including 33 New birds and just 1 Retrap (What a great Retrap/New bird ratio!).

  The mornings catch was made up (New/Retrap) - (1/0) Sparrowhawk, (16/0) Swallow, (2/0) Wren, (2/0) Dunnock, (4/1) Whitethroat, (1/0) Chiffchaff, (2/0) Willow Warbler, (1/0) Spotted Flycatcher, (2/0) Blue Tit and (2/0) Tree Sparrow.

  The Sparrowhawk was the fifth bird ringed this year whilst the Tree Sparrows were the sixth and seventh of the year. Hopefully this year we will later on in the Autumn get plenty more Tree Sparrows caught as they seem to enjoy landing in the mouth area of the Heligoland trap whilst flying south along the Storm Ridge!
  The Spotted Flycatcher meanwhile was the first one of the year!

Reported on the reserve on the 22nd Aug 2011 were -

x250 Swallows (Hunting over Saltmarsh at lunchtime)
x50 House Martin
x1 Swift
x4 Wheatear
x1 Whinchat
x1 Green Woodpecker
x5 Turtle Dove,
x25 Yellow Wagtail
x300 Linnet
x4 Common Buzzard
x1 Marsh Harrier
x1 Kestrel
x26 Avocet
x23 Greenshank
x1 Aric Skua
x19 Mistle Thrush
x90 Golden Plover

Friday, 2 September 2011

C.E.S.No11 21st Aug 2011

Another double effort day today with George ringing at the Observatory and Mick Briggs and Dave Vincent completing session 11 of the C.E.S. at Aylmer Avenue with the other Aylmer nets open as well.
  The result was fantastic with George netting 67 birds at the Obs including 65 New birds and just 2 Retraps. At Aylmer the result was even more impressive with 285 birds processed including 211 New birds and 74 Retraps.

  The days catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/1) Sparrowhawk, (79/0) Swallow, (58/0) House Martin, (8/4) Wren, (0/4) Dunnock, (2/0) Robin, (3/0) Blackbird, (2/0) Reed Warbler, (5/1) Lesser Whitethroat, (7/4) Whitethroat, (13/2) Blackcap, (1/0) Chiffchaff, (45/4) Willow Warbler, (0/3) Long Tailed Tit, (1/0) Coal Tit, (6/21) Blue Tit, (0/13) Great Tit, (6/7) Chaffinch, (37/11) Greenfinch, (1/1) Goldfinch and (1/0) Linnet.

  The retrap Sparrowhawk was caught at Aylmer Avenue and was originally ringed on the Storm Ridge on the 6th August this year so hadn't gone very far so far. This was probably one of this years chicks from Sykes Farm that we didn't discover untill they were branching out from the nest.
  A storm front came through from the wash early morning and travelled along the coast without raining on the netting area at Aylmer Avenue, it did however force all the hirundines that were travelling over down to net level resulting in a cracking catch of Swallows and House Martins.
  The Coal Tit at Aylmer Avenue was the ninth of the year.

Reported on the reserve on the 21st August 2011 were -

x5 Green Sandpiper
x4 Spotted Redshank
x16 Greenshank
x160 Black Tailed Godwit
x1 Pintail
x14 Artic Skua
x1 Med Gull
x8 Grey Partridge
x1 Common Buzzard
x1 Marsh Harrier
x5 Whinchat
x3 Wheatear
x1 Pied Flycatcher
x3000 House Martin (South)
x1000 Swallow (South)
x30 Swift (South)
x8 Crossbill

House Martin catching on the 21st August 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs

More House Martin catching on the 21st August 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Ringing on 20th Aug 2011

George was trying his best again this morning over at the Observatory but alas, the weather was against him with bright skys and a stiff breeze making netting very difficult, cutting the morning short to just a couple of hours ringing.
  The result was just 12 birds processed, including 6 New birds and 4 Retraps.

  The mornings catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (0/1) Dunnock, (1/0) Robin, (1/0) Lesser Whitethroat, (2/3) Whitetroat, (1/0) Blackcap and (1/0) Treecreeper.

  Lets hope that the weather improves soon!

Ringing on 19th Aug 2011

A harsh day today with the weather turning decidedly miserable for ringing with bright blue skys and a strong breeze. George managed to process just 10 birds this morning including 5 New birds and 5 Retraps.


  The catch was made up of (New/Retrap) - (0/3) Dunnock, (3/2) Whitethroat, (1/0) Garden Warbler and (1/0) Goldcrest.


  The Goldcrest is the first of the Autumn proper whilst the Garden Warbler is the seventh of the Autumn and the sixth in a week!

Ringing on 18th Aug 2011

More of the same today with George ringing at the Observatory this morning, resulting in 27 birds processed including 23 New birds and 4 Retraps.

  The mornings catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (2/0) Swallow, (2/0) Wren, (1/0) Dunnock, (2/0) Robin, (1/0) Sedge Warbler, (1/0) Reed Warbler, (2/0) Lesser Whitethroat, (5/4) Whitethroat, (1/0) Garden Warbler, (5/0) Willow Warbler and (1/0) Linnet.

  More good birds today then with the second Garden Warbler in two days, surely it can't be long before George pulls a real rarity out of  one of the Obs mist nets?

Ringing on 17th Aug 2011

The Obs nets gave George a bit more of a reward than yesterday today with 78 birds processed, including 75 New birds and just 3 Retraps, pushing the Retrap to New bird ration down to just under 4%!

  The mornings catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (47/0) Swallow, (1/0) Meadow Pipit, (1/0) Wren, (1/0) Dunnock, (1/0) Robin, (2/0) Reed Warbler, (9/2) Whitethroat, (1/0) Garden Warbler, (2/0) Blackcap, (7/0) Willow Warbler, (1/0) Blue Tit, (0/1) Chaffinch, (1/0) Goldfinch and (1/0) Linnet.

  A much improved catch over yesterdays figures, partly down to the wind having died down somewhat and a hint of easterly starting to develop this afternoon!

Ringing on 16th Aug 2011

George was over at the Observatory today and processed 17 birds, all of which were New birds!

  The mornings catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/0) Sand Martin, (9/0) Swallow, (1/0) Wren, (1/0) Sedge Warbler, (1/0) Reed Warbler and (4/0) Willow Warbler.

  Hopefully the breezy weather will calm down soon.

Ringing on 15th Aug 2011

A cracking double effort day today with Tim Bagworth on one of his few days off, ringing at Aylmer Avenue whilst George was over at the Observatory and was joined by a couple of visiting ringers in the shape of Observatory Team Member - Adrian Blackburn and his friend Jackie Lawrence.

  Being triple crewed at the Observatory paid dividends with  121 birds processed at the Obs including 120 New birds and just 6 Retraps! At Aylmer Avenue, Tim processed 101 birds including 91 New birds and 10 Retraps.
  The combined catch was a grand total for the day of 230 birds processed including 214 New birds and just 16 Retraps! making a Retrap to New birds ratio of just less than 8% which is very impressive for a site where ringing is carried out nearly daily!

  The days catch was made us thus (New/Retrap) - (1/0) Sand Martin, (68/0) Swallow, (1/0) House Martin, (3/0) Dunnock, (1/0) Robin, (1/0) Redstart, (1/0) Sedge Warbler, (2/0) Lesser Whitethroat, (20/5) Whitethroat, (2/0) Blackcap, (1/0) Chiffchaff, (57/0) Willow Warbler, (6/4) Blue Tit, (0/3) Great Tit, (2/0) Magpie, (2/3) Chaffinch, (37/1) Greenfinch, (8/0) Goldfinch and (1/0) Linnet.

  Perhaps the most impressive figure of the day were the 57 New Willow Warblers and not a single Retrap! I always say that the peak Willow Warbler influx at Gib is between the 10th and the 14th August, so this total is bang on cue!
  The Redstart is the first one of the year and just one day later than last year.

  Hopefully these sort of days at Gib will be repeated often over the next few months!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Reported 17th Jun to 20th Aug 2011

A quick update to Reported sighting's on the reserve from 17th June to the 20th August. This list is by no means complete but gives a taste of what has been seen during that time.

17th June 2011 -
x2 Marsh Harrier, x2 Green Sandpiper, x2 Spoonbill, x1 Med Gull, x4 Little Ringed Plover, x1 Siskin

22nd June 2011 -
x1 Whimbrel (south), x3 Spoonbill, x70 Swift (South), x14 Crossbill
Seawatching produced - x1 Red Throated Diver, x8 Gannet, x5 Common Scoter, x1 Fulmar, x1 Golden Plover

30th June 2011 -
x1 Willow Tit (A real Gib rarity!)

3rd August 2011 -
x1 Quail (Heard calling over the River Steeping early in the morning), x14 Spoonbill were present on Jacksons by lunchtime, 20,000 Knot on the high tide movement, x1 Roseate Tern

8th August 2011 -
x6 Spoonbill, x1 Marsh Harrier (Male), x1 Spotted Redshank, x4 Common Sandpiper
Swallow numbers continue to build up with decent numbers of Willow Warbler, Yellow Wagtail and Swift passing through the dunes.
Another sighting of two Chinese Water Deer on the reserve was made yesterday.

9th August 2011 -
x23 Little Egret (Roosting in the plantation), x2 Marsh Harrier, x1 Common Buzzard, x5 Spoonbill, x1 Barn Owl.

10th August 2011 -
x8 Spoonbill (Jacksons) x1 Quail (Heard calling over Croft Marsh first thing this morning)

11th August 2011 -
x1 Pintail (Mere), x1 Garganey (Mere), x8 Spoonbill, x150 Black Tailed Godwit (Over Old Saltmarsh at tea time)

12th Auugust 2011 -
x1 Peregrine, x2 Merlin, x1 Marsh Harrier, x1 Sparrowhawk, x1 Tree Pipit (Calling heading south at 6.30am)

15th August 2011 -
x1 Wood Warbler, x4 Whinchat, x1 Pied Flycatcher, x1 Green Woodpecker, x5 Marsh Harrier, x1 Treecreeper, x1 Common Redstart, x6 Crossbill, x4 Turtle Dove, x8 Spoonbill, x35 Willow Warbler

17th August 2011 -
x2 Whinchat, x1 Wheatear, x1 Kingfisher, x2 Marsh Harrier, x5 Spoonbill, Golden Plover & Spotted Redshank seen flying south over saltmarsh with the high tide.

19th August 2011 -
x2 Common Crane (Drifted over), x1 Wheatear

20th August 2011 -
x2 Whinchat, x3 Wheatear, x2 Marsh Harrier, x50 Golden Plover, x8 Yellow Wagtail, x3 Crossbill, x25 Linnet.

  Many thanks to members of the Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve Facebook Page for the majority of these sightings reports. Keep up the good work, - Cracking Stuff!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Ringing on 14th Aug 2011

A complete turn around from yesterday with George ringing over at the Observatory resulting in a massive 155 birds processed including 152 New birds and just 3 Retraps.

  The days catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/0) Sparrowhawk, (3/0) Sand Martin, (108/0) Swallow, (8/0) House Martin, (1/2) Dunnock, (1/0) Robin, (2/0) Reed Warbler, (6/0) Lesser Whitethroat, (7/1) Whitethroat, (1/0) Garden Warbler, (11/0) Willow Warbler, (1/0) Goldfinch and (2/0) Linnet.

  A really good day then with both numbers of Hirundines and numbers of Warblers starting to really increase. Several thousand Hirundines flew south during the course of the day past the Observatory whilst the double figure for Willow Warbler is the first day this has happened this year over at the Observatory.

Ringing on 13th Aug 2011

Things really sank to the bottom today with George managing to catch just 4 birds including a retrap Dunnock and 3 New Whitethroat.

  We don't want to see to many days like this, this Autumn!

Ringing on 12th Aug 2011

George had a much better day today over at the Observatory with much better weather conditions to assist the catching. The days total was 65 birds processed including 58 New birds and 7 Retraps.

  The catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/0) Sand Martin, (51/0) Swallow, (1/0) Pied Wagtail, (0/1) Wren, (2/0) Reed Warbler, (0/4) Whitethroat, (1/0) Garden Warbler, (1/2) Blackcap and (1/0) Linnet.

  This was a decent result for a mornings ringing and hopefully a taster of days to come!

Ringing on 11th Aug 2011

Ringing totals today were virtually nill with just a single New Willow Warbler and a single Retrap Blackcap for all of George's efforts

  Hopefully tomorrows weather will be less wet and windy!

Ringing on 10th Aug 2011

A very quiet day today for George at the Observatory which must of felt more like July than August with bright sunshine and breezy conditions making catching nearly impossible. There were just 7 birds processed, although they were all New birds.

  The catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/0) Dunnock, (1/0) Whitethroat and (5/0) Willow Warbler.

  Perhaps the Willow Warblers that we have come to expect around the second week in August are about to arrive in big numbers? we just need a couple of days easterlies to bring them in.

Ringing on 9th Aug 2011

Another day at the Observatory with George trying hard again, resulted in 22 birds processed including 21 New birds and just a single Retrap!

  The mornings catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (19/0) Swallow, (1/0) Meadow Pipit, (0/1) Blackcap and (1/0) Willow Warbler.

  Another average day for the time of year but things still looking promising for when conditions are right.

Ringing on 8th Aug 2011

George was ringing again over at the Observatory and was rewarded with 44 birds processed including 42 New birds and just 2 Retraps.

  The mornings catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (21/0) Swallow, (1/0) Yellow Wagtail, (1/0) Wren, (1/0) Lesser Whitethroat, (4/2) Whitethroat, (1/0) Garden Warbler, (1/0) Blackcap, (6/0) Willow Warbler, (5/0) Tree Sparrow and (1/0) Linnet.

  A cracking day then, quality wise at least. The Tree Sparrows were the first of the year as was the Yellow Wagtail whilst the Garden Warbler was just the third of the year and the second of the Autumn. Things are slowly starting to hot up!

C.E.S.No10 7th Aug 2011

Again today turned into another double effort day! George and Ross Ahmed were ringing over at the Observatory whilst Dave vincent and Mick Briggs were completing session number 10 of the C.E.S. at Aylmer Avenue. The days combined catch was 79 birds processed including 58 New birds and 21 Retraps.

  The catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (3/0) Swallow, (5/1) Wren, (1/2) Dunnock, (3/0) Robin, (0/1) Blackbird, (1/0) Reed Warbler, (7/3) Lesser Whitethroat, (6/3) Whitethroat, (2/0) Blackcap, (9/0) Willow Warbler, (1/1) Long Tailed Tit, (2/6) Blue Tit, (1/1) Great Tit, (2/0) Magpie, (2/3) Chaffinch, (12/0) Greenfinch and (1/0) Goldfinch.

Another fairy good day with numbers of Warblers continuing to build up slowly although again conditions were not the best for a decent catch with bright sunshine and a stiff breeze.

  Later in the afternoon with a bit of help from Lynda Briggs, Mick Briggs managed to get all of the brash from the front of Aylmer to a fire site and also managed to get the whole lot burnt although the last hour of the day was sspent in light to heavy at times rain waiting for the last pile on the fire to burn down to a safe level before leaving for the night at around 9pm!
  Another very long day, having started at 5am, but at least all necessary clearing of rides of Wragwort by hand! and then brush cutting and then burning has been done in both of the large enclosures that ringing is carried out in at Aylmer Avenue. They now look cracking for the Autumn rush of migrants!

George Gregory talking Ross Ahmed through the complexities of moult.
7th August 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs

One of the net rides at the front of Aylmer Avenue after been cleared of Wragwort and then brush cut ready for the Autumn rush of migrants on the 7th August 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs

The brash pile by the fire site in front of Aylmer Avenue shortly before starting to burn it on 7th August 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs

Just starting the long fire on the 7th August 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs

Ringing on 6th Aug 2011

Another double effort day today with Mick Briggs and Dave Vincent ringing at Aylmer Avenue whilst George was ringing over at the Observatory with a new visitor in the shape of Ross Ahmed, visiting from the Newcastle area and intending to come again in the morning and then hoping to return soon for another session.
  The combined catch for the day was 66 birds processed including 55 New birds and 11 Retraps.

  The days catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/0) Sparrowhawk, (31/0) Swallow, (12/1) House Martin, (2/0) Lesser Whitethroat, (4/0) Willow Warbler, (0/1) Blue Tit, (0/9) Great Tit, (1/0) Chaffinch, (3/0) Greenfinch and (1/0) Linnet.

  A fairly interesting day but slightly down on numbers, breezy and sunny conditions didn't make for good catching conditions at all. Although there did seem to be plenty of migrants about the dunes.

  After ringing at Aylmer Avenue, Mick Briggs managed to find time to get all of the Brash that had been previously raked into piles by Lynda Briggs and Dave Vincent, dragged upto the fire site in the C.E.S. plot. Whilst it was there, it seemed like a good idea to get it all burnt whilst the wind was in the correct position. A good days effort was then topped off when Lynda Briggs and Dave Vincent arrived to help rake up behind Mick Briggs as he whizzed through all of the net rides around the front of Aylmer Avenue with the brush cutter. By the time they had finshed, there was a huge ammount of brash to be burnt, around about 25 hardcore type bags! Another job to be done another day!

The final pile of dry brash is added to the bonfire on the C.E.S. fire site after they were all brush cut last weekend.
6th Aug 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs

Ringing on 5th Aug 2011

A cracker of a day was had today by George over at the Observatory today with some serious Swallow passage happening numbering in the thousands. The result for the day was 130 birds processed including 125 New birds and just 5 Retraps.

  The catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (2/0) Sand Martin, (111/0) Swallow, (3/0) House Martin, (1/0) Pied Wagtail, (0/2) Dunnock, (2/0) Sedge Warbler, (1/2) Whitethroat, (0/1) Blackcap, (4/0) Willow Warbler and (1/0) Greenfinch.

  Some serious Swallow passage resulted in the first three figure day so far this year. Hopefully this will be the first three figure day of many this Autumn. The Pied Wagtail was the first Adult of the year whilst the House Martins were also the first of the year and hopefully the first of many!

Ringing on 4th Aug 2011

Ringing by George at the Observatory this morning resulted in 15 birds processed including 14 New and just 1 Retrap.

  The catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (10/0) Swallow, (1/0) Lesser Whitethroat, (2/1) Whitethroat and (1/0) Willow Warbler.

  Another steady August day.

Ringing on 3rd Aug 2011

George was again over at the Observatory today catching a total of 79 birds made up of 75 New birds and just 4 Retraps!

  The mornings catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (2/0) Sand Martin, (66/2) Swallow, (0/1) Dunnock, (1/0) Sedge Warbler, (1/1) Whitethroat, (3/0) Willow Warbler, (1/0) Linnet and (1/0) Reed Bunting.

  A much improved total and ratio of New to Retraps. Hopefully these sort of catch's will continue through out August and beyond.

Ringing on 2nd Aug 2011

A double effort day today with Mike Polling ringing at Aylmer Avenue and George over at the Observatory. The combined result for the day was 50 birds processed including 36 New birds and 14 Retraps.

  The days catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (24/0) Swallow, (1/0) Dunnock, (1/0) Reed Warbler, (1/0) Lesser Whitethroat, (0/1) Whitethroat, (1/0) Blackcap, (0/1) Chiffchaff, (2/0) Willow Warbler, (2/3) Blue Tit, (0/6) Great Tit, (0/3) Chaffinch, (3/0) Greenfinch and (1/0) Goldfinch.

  A much better day with the first Swallows of the year being attracted to the storm ridge during active migration. Hopefully these will be the first of many to come this Autumn. Warbler numbers also now are starting to build up.

Ringing on 1st Aug 2011

George was ringing again at the Observatory today but only managed 7 birds processed including 4 New birds and 3 Retraps.

  These were made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/0) Dunnock, (1/0) Lesser Whitethroat, (0/3) Whitethroat, (1/0) Blackcap, (1/0) Chiffchaff.

C.E.S. No9 31st Jul 2011

Double effort day today with Mick Briggs and Dave Vincent completing the 9th C.E.S. visit whilst George was also ringing over at the Observatory. The result for the day was an impressive 112 birds processed including 77 New birds and 35 Retraps.

  The days catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (3/0) Swallow, (4/0) Wren, (1/2) Dunnock, (1/0) Robin, (2/0) Reed Warbler, (5/1) Lesser Whitethroat, (10/3) Whitethroat, (7/0) Blackcap, (1/0) Chiffchaff, (17/2) Willow Warbler, (1/0) Goldcrest, (0/8) Long Tailed Tit, (11/2) Blue Tit, (4/10) Great Tit, (0/1) Magpie, (7/5) Chaffinch, (2/1) Greenfinch and (1/0) Linnet.

The Goldcrest was the first of the Summer, being a very young bird seemingly proving breeding on or very close to the Reserve. The Magpie was the fourth to be ringed on the Reserve this year.

  In the afternoon Lynda and Mick Briggs accompanied by Dave Vincent Brushcut and raked all of the net rides through the C.E.S. enclosure at Aylmer Avenue. This was following on from many afternoons and most of Saturday spent pulling Wragwort from both the C.E.S. enclosure and the Aylmer Clearing enclosure.
  After toilling all afternoon and late into the evening, there was still all of the front of Aylmer to Brushcut at a later date!

C.E.S. net ride before brush cutting on the 31st July 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs
The same net ride after brush cutting on the 31st July 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs

C.E.S. net ride before brush cutting on the 31st July 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs

The same net ride after brush cutting on 31st July 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs

The brush cutting ringer Mick Briggs about to start work on the 31st July 2011.
Photo - Lynda Briggs

Ringing on 30th Jul 2011

George was again ringing over at the Observatory today assisted by a new face to Gibraltar Point Bird Observatory, in the shape of Mike Hughes. Mike is a trainee from Stickney near Boston and is currently looking towards George to take up his Training.
  They were rewarded with 27 birds processed including 22 New birds and 5 Retraps.

  the catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/0) Wren, (2/0) Dunnock, (1/0) Lesser Whitethroat, (4/5) Whitethroat, (1/0) Blackcap, (4/0) Willow Warbler and (9/0) Linnet.

  The Linnet were a welcome addition to the months ringing totals whilst other warbler numbers are slowly but surely starting to increase.

  Hopefully Mike Hughes will become a regular addition to the posts on this Blog.

Ringing on 27th Jul 2011

The weather lifted somewhat today which gave George the opportunity to get over to the Observatory to open up some of the nets for the morning. The result was 7 birds processed including 6 New birds and just 1 Retrap.

  The mornings catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/0) Wren, (4/1) Whitethroat and (1/0) Linnet.

Ringing on 26th Jul 2011

George arrived back from his holidays yesterday and today he was straight back to ringing at the Aylmer Avneue rather than the Observatory due to the breeze refusing to drop. The result was just 13 birds processed including 6 New birds and 7 Retraps.

  The days catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (1/0) Robin, (0/1) Blue Tit, (1/6) Great Tit, (1/0) Chaffinch and (3/0) Greenfinch

Ringing on 24th Jul 2011

Just the one bird ringed today when a quick visit was made to ring the Sparrowhawk pullus at Aylmer Avenue. Unfortunately, of the three birds that had been in the nest early in the week, only one big female had survived the appalling rain through much of the previous week.
  This one bird though was fit and well and not too far off fledging so should hopefully be ok.

  Interestingly there were 3 young Sparrowhawks seen branching in the farm yesterday from a nest which we had not discovered untill it was too late to ring them. This is a rare year when two pairs manage to breed on the reserve, less than a mile apart!