Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Mid June 2013

June 20th: Easterly wind, mild. Jackson's Marsh held a Green Sandpiper, and Tennyson Sands 14 Teals. Flying south were 2 Swifts.
 An adult Marsh Warbler was trapped and ringed in a morning ringing session in East Dunes. This is just the second Marsh Warbler ever ringed at the Observatory, with the first one on the 2nd June 2011. Thus a picture of their expected capture dates is already emerging - June! It was somewhat less well marked than the one trapped two years ago, but showed all the plumage and exposed part features compared to Reed Warbler: more olive upperparts, paler underparts, quite prominent eye-ring, pale crescentic tips to primaries, longer primary extension, more pale on lower mandible, paler legs, pale on claws. The biometrics confirmed the identification: notch on P2=9.5mm and =P7, wing=71mm, The notch length and notch/wing ratio easily exclude Reed Warbler.
 Otherwise, 2 Dunnocks and 3 Whitethroats were trapped.

Adult Marsh Warbler ringed 20th June 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
June 19th: Light winds, muggy, hay fever time. On Tennyson Sands were a Ruff, a Kittiwake and a Pintail.
  Two family groups were trapped in a morning ringing session in East Dunes. These were 2 retrap adult and 5 new juvenile Long-tailed Tits, and 1 retrap adult and 7 new juvenile Great Tits. Other new juveniles were singles each of Meadow Pipit, Dunnock, Robin and Skylark. This is the first Skylark ringed since the 13th Sep 2008! A Chaffinch and 2 Dunnocks were the other retraps.

Juvenile Skylark ringed 19th June 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
June 18th: Moderate northeast wind. A Green Woodpecker was heard yaffling. A Montagu's Harrier and an unseasonal Whooper Swan flew east towards Norfolk. On Tennyson Sands were a Ruff and a Pintail, and on Jackson's Marsh 8 Black-tailed Godwits. Around were 2 Brent Geese and 10 Sandwich Terns.
  Again little was caught on a morning ringing session in East Dunes. The only new bird was a juvenile Dunnock, and the retraps were a Blackcap, 2 Dunnocks, a Whitethroat and a Wren.

June 17th: A much calmer day after all the wind and rain. The male Ruff lingered on Tennyson Sands.
  A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced just a new juvenile Chaffinch, and 5 usual retraps. After many days' work, the paths and net rides around the Heligoland trap and on Storm Ridge are almost completely sheared.
  A singing male Grasshopper Warbler was caught late afternoon followed by the finding and ringing of a brood of very cute Reed Bunting chicks - four in total. The last brood of Blue Tits was ringed in the Sykes Farm area and whilst there, the Mistle Thrush nest was checked and the two chicks within it were ringed.
  Chris Robinson has kindly sent us his photographs of a singing male Common Rosefinch that was in East Dunes earlier this month. Apparently it takes at least two years for a male Common Rosefinch to develop the full red markings, so females and immature males have similar plumages.
Grasshopper Warbler No.7 for 2013 ringed on 17th June 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs
Singing not-full-adult-plumage male Common Rosefinch, June 2013.
Photo - Chris Robinson
Singing not-full-adult-plumage male Common Rosefinch, June 2013.
Photo - Chris Robinson
June 16th: On Tennyson Sands were a Little Gull, a Ruff, a Mediterranean Gull and a Spotted Redshank. There was a continued movement of Swifts, with about 300 south from early over the observatory, interspersed with about 40 House Martins and a Sand Martin. At Aylmer Avenue there was also an early tight-flying group of 72 Swifts south at 4.15am over the West Dunes, whilst later at 6.30am there were about 140 feeding around the sheltered north side of Aylmer Avenue before eventually moving off to the south. a Marsh Harrier was around.
  More juveniles emerged and were caught in a ringing session in East Dunes this morning: 3 Whitethroats and a Dunnock. The retraps were a Great Tit, 2 Dunnocks and a Whitethroat.
  A longer session at Aylmer Avenue from before 4am until late afternoon, and including C.E.S. session number 5, had mixed results. The C.E.S. was a misery and produced just 2 new Chiffchaffs, a retrap Dunnock originally ringed in 2007!, and a retrap Whitethroat. Perhaps the sun was too bright and the breeze too strong, so making the nets too visible to the birds?
  Other, more shaded, nets at Aylmer Avenue, though, were more successful, and provided 28 new birds and 20 retraps. The majority of these birds, especially the new ones, came from the feeding station and included 13 new Greenfinches, 8 Chaffinches and 2 Goldfinches - all fresh out of nests and very juvenile. Also caught at the feeding station was a very juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker with its Dad in the next net along. There was also a new juvenile Song Thrush, whilst the retraps included nearly a whole brood of Great Tits along with one of their parents ringed in a box at Sykes Farm some two weeks ago.
  Many hours were spent both yesterday and today brush-cutting and raking up the grass in the net rides, so keeping them in tip top shape condition ready for the inevitable increase in numbers of birds that will soon start. Autumn is just around the corner with the first migrants starting to move during July. The "Autumn Rush" is not far away!

Male Ruff on Tennyson Sands, 16th June 2013.
Photo - Nigel Lound
Very juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker ringed on 16th June 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs
Juvenile Whitethroat, ringed on 16th June 2013.
Photo - George Gregory

June 15th: Increasing southerly wind, damp start. A Golden Oriole was seen flying over East Dunes. On Tennyson Sands were a Little Gull, 2 second-year Mediterranean Gulls, an adult Sandwich Tern, a Ruff and a second-year Kittiwake, and on Jackson's Marsh a Spotted Redshank and a Black-tailed Godwit. Around was a Marsh Harrier. About 200 Swifts went south.
 A number of newly-emerged juveniles were trapped on a restricted morning ringing session in East Dunes, namely 3 Lesser Whitethroats, a Dunnock and a Stock Dove. The retraps were single adults each of Whitethroat, Dunnock and Blue Tit. A Privet Hawkmoth was found on the Observatory compound gate.

Juvenile Lesser Whitethroat, ringed on 15th June 2013.
Photo - George Gregory

Juvenile Stock Dove, ringed on 15th June 2013.
Photo - George Gregory

Privet Hawkmoth, 15th June 2015.
Photo - George Gregory

June 14th: Fairly strong southerly wind, damp start. About 100 Swifts flew south. Around were a Hobby, 2 Common Buzzards and a Jay. On Jackson's Marsh was a Green Sandpiper, and on Tennyson Sands the second-year Kittiwake remained.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced just a new adult Reed Warbler, 2 new juvenile Dunnocks, and a retrap Whitethroat.

June 13th: Strong southerly wind, afternoon rain. Heading south were 2000 Swifts and a Hobby, and southwest a Red Kite. On Tennyson Sands were a second-year Mediterranean Gull and a second-year Kittiwake, and on Jackson's Marsh 15 Lapwings. Around were 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls.
 The weather again prevented any ringing.

June 12th: Fairly strong southerly wind, damp start, evening rain. Flying south were 1647 Swifts, 154 Swallows, 112 House Martins and a Hobby. Offshore were an Arctic Tern and 2 Common Terns. On Tennyson Sands were 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls, and on Jackson's Marsh 2 Lapwings.
 No ringing was attempted.

June 11th: The wind shifted to the southeast and became light. South went 260 Swifts and 2 Lapwings. On Tennyson Sands were a second-year Little Gull, 2 Sandwich Terns, a Knot, a Kittiwake and 2 Barnacle Geese, and on Jackson's Marsh a Black-tailed Godwit.
  A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 2 new birds: a female Cuckoo and a juvenile Dunnock, and also a retrap Dunnock.
  The Cuckoo showed two generations of feathers in the secondaries, and had a small, wrinkled brood patch, about 2.5cm x 2cm. This must be a vestigial structure, since female Cuckoos do not brood, of course.
Female Cuckoo showing two generations of feathers in the secondaries, ringed on 11th June 2013.
Photo - George Gregory.

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