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 -
x40 Yellow Wagtail (South)
x400 Meadow Pipit (South)
x2 Spotted Flycatcher
x1 Wryneck (Outer Dunes)
x1 Red Kite
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
x1 Short Eared Owl
x65 Black Tailed Godwit
x25,000 Knot (On high tide)
x2 Green Sandpiper
x1 Swift (South)
x1 Lesser Redpoll
x150 Tree Sparrow (South)