Friday, 29 April 2011

Ringing on 22nd Apr 2011

Bank Holiday Friday and George was ringing again today at the Observatory and later, at Aylmer Avenue. He was joined today by a visiting ringer - Chris Hansell.  They ended the day with 23 birds processed including 15 New birds and 8 Retraps.

  The catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (0/1) Wren, (0/1) Robin, (1/0) Lesser Whitethroat, (4/1) Whitethroat, (1/0) Garden Warbler, (1/0) Blue Tit, (1/0) Great Tit, (1/0) Chaffinch and (6/5) Goldfinch.

  The Lesser Whitethroat was just the second of the year whilst the Garden Warbler was the first of the year! The Garden Warbler was the joint second earliest ever, matching a bird ringed on the 22nd April 1968. Indeed there have only ever been three April Garden Warblers ringed at Gib ever, besides today's and the 1968 bird there was also one on the 24th April 1983 and then the earliest ever on the 21st April 1996.

  So today's Garden Warbler misses out on the earliest ever record by just three days, this is seriously early though when you consider that there have only been 24 years when Garden Warblers were caught in May, let alone April out of the 62 years that ringing has been going on at Gib. Generally we don't get Garden Warbler off the year list for the Observatory untill at least June/July and often as late as August.

  A pretty good day then, what will tomorrow bring?
The 1st Garden Warbler of the 2011 - joint second earliest ever, ringed on the 22nd of April.
Photo - George Gregory 
Mick Briggs meantime was frantically trying to get Purple Heron in Lincolnshire by positioning himself in the hide at "Huttoft Pit" at 5.30am in the morning. By 8am there was no sign of the bird mainly due to the hopeless fog and mist that kept visibilty down to less than a hundred feet all morning.
  Upon arriving at Gib at 9.30am he recieved a text saying that the Heron was on show! A few expletives were heard in the Gib carpark before he jumped back in the car and shot off back to Huttoft!
  The bird remained on show for Mick Briggs to get cracking views in the now increasing sun. Amazing though that such a big bird can disappear into the reeds for lengthy periods before showing again. Just shows how big and thick the reeds can get in a healthy reed bed.

  Below is the best of a bad bunch of digiscoped shots that i managed to get.

By the time I got back in the car, I was mentally exhausted and decided to go home to bed!

Purple Heron at Huttoft Pit on the 22nd April 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs

Purple Heron at Huttoft Pit on the 22nd April 2011.
Photo - Mick Briggs

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