Sunday, 21 August 2011

C.E.S. No8 23rd Jul 2011

Mick Briggs was today completing session number 8 of the C.E.S. The result was nothing special with just 12 birds processed including 7 New birds and 5 Retraps, although the weather was nothing short of horrendous with breezy conditions and threatening rain from the get go, making opening other nets impossible.

  The days catch was made up thus (New/Retrap) - (0/1) Wren, (1/2) Dunnock, (2/0) Whitethroat, (1/0) Garden Warbler, (1/0) Chiffchaff, (1/0) Willow Warbler and (1/2) Blue Tit.

  The Garden Warbler was just the second of the year after one in the Spring (22nd of April). This could be classed as the first proper Autumn migrant caught by the Observatory this year as they rarely appear before completing their post juvenile moult and as such must be on actuall migration when they come through the reserve.

  Whilst a lot of the breeding species of bird seem to have faired badly with the dry Spring and then overly wet Summer, Wragwort seems to have really enjoyed the very wet conditions of June and July with the plant flowering in seemingly endless numbers across much of the reserve at the moment. (See photo below) A major management plan is about to start to tackle this invasive plant and re-address the balance.
  The ringers are also going to be pulling vast ammounts of this plant over the next few weeks before the net rides can be brushcut back to a nice low level, so to catch all those Willow Warblers which always seem to be in the bottom shelf on any net ride during August. Wragwort you see has to be pulled out by hand to really stop it in it's tracks.

Garden Warbler ringed on 23rd July 2011 - the first of the Autumn.
Photo - Mick Briggs

Wragwort seems to have exploded over much of the dunes and grassland habitat on the reserve this summer.
The view through to Measures on 23rd July 2011.
 Photo - Mick Briggs

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