Thursday, 1 August 2013

Early August 2013

August 10th: A calm start to the day with just ten minutes of sunshine before the clouds rolled over from the south. A gentle westerly breeze sprang up early morning gusting to 12mph. It still managed to become quite warm though in the breaks in the cloud, which became less frequent as the day went on, remaining dry throughout.
  Flying south were 450 Swallows, 20 Sand Martins and 4 Swifts. Around were a Marsh Harrier and 6 Yellow Wagtails. On the water bodies and Croftmarsh were a Spotted Redshank, 14 Greenshanks, 2 Green Sandpipers, 3 Common Sandpipers, 26 Dunlins, 3 Ruffs, 83 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 52 Curlews, 60 Lapwings, 280 Golden Plovers, 10 Snipes, 62 Redshanks and 74 Sandwich Terns.
  At Aylmer Avenue, flying south through the day were 90 Swallows, 400 House Martins and 70 Sandwich Terns, whilst around the dunes were 15 Chiffchaffs, 35 Willow Warblers and 30 Whitethroats.
  A morning ringing session on East Dunes by George Gregory was very productive with 128 new birds ringed and just 17 retraps. The new birds were 7 Willow Warblers, 4 Long-tailed Tits, a Chiffchaff, 82 Swallows, 4 Sand Martins, 2 Yellow Wagtails, a Meadow Pipit, 2 Reed Buntings, 14 Whitethroats, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Blackcaps, 3 Dunnocks and 2 Sparrowhawks. The retraps were a Blackcap, a Song Thrush, 6 Long-tailed Tits, 5 Whitethroats, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Great Tit and 2 Dunnock.
  Meanwhile over at Aylmer Avenue, a much longer session was carried out by Mick Briggs, including the tenth C.E.S. session of the year. Clearly there had been a good overnight arrival of migrants, mainly made up of warblers including Willow Warblers and Whitethroats and smaller numbers of Chiffchaffs and Lesser Whitethroats. After patrolling the nets for 13 hours, Mick Briggs finally managed to ring 128 new birds, as well as 45 retraps. The new birds were a Woodpigeon, 6 Swallows, 2 Wrens, 8 Dunnocks, 2 Sedge Warblers, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 13 Whitethroats, 3 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 15 Willow Warblers, a Long-tailed Tit, 3 Blue Tits, 4 Great Tits, 18 Chaffinches, 21 Greenfinches, 18 Goldfinches and 7 Linnets.
Juvenile Lesser Whitethroat, one of eight ringed on 10th August 2013.
Despite being scarce around the reserve all summer, autumn migrants have now started to boost the local population.
Photo - Mick Briggs
Juvenile Lesser Whitethroat after finishing its post juvenile moult on 10th August 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs
Juvenile male Sparrowhawk, ringed 10th August 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
August 9th: Windy, with intermittent light rain. Around were 400 Sandwich Terns, 2 Willow Warblers and 6 Yellow Wagtails. On Jackson's Marsh were 11 Greenshanks, 9 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Common Sandpipers, a Whimbrel, a Green Sandpiper, 3 Ruffs and a Dunlin, on Tennyson Sands 78 Black-tailed Godwits, 22 Dunlins, a Green Sandpiper, 10 Snipes, 54 Redshanks, a Spotted Redshank, a Little Ringed Plover, 52 Curlews, 4 Greenshanks and 54 Sandwich Terns, and over Croftmarsh 280 Golden Plovers. Flying south offshore were 5 Gannets, 18 Common Scoters, 14 Teals, 4 Shovelers, 5 Arctic Terns, 121 Common Terns, 45 Oystercatchers, 18 Turnstones, 7 Arctic Skuas and 10 Whimbrels, and over land 570 Swallows and 150 Swifts. A very unseasonal Red-throated Diver was on the sea in full breeding plumage. High tide early morning produced 20,000 Knots, 3000 Sanderlings, 2500 Dunlins and 147 Ringed Plovers.
 A very restricted morning ringing session in East Dunes produced just a single new Blackcap.

August 8th: Light wind, sunny then cloudy. Around were a Red Kite and a Marsh Harrier. South went a Greenshank, 4 Whimbrels, 6 Curlews, 450 Swallows, 25 House Martins and 20 Sand Martins. On the water bodies were a hoveler, 64 Sandwich Terns, 130 Black-tailed Godwits, a Spotted Redshank, 11 Dunlins, 2 Ruffs, 3 Snipes, 5 Greenshanks, a Green Sandpiper and 2 Common Sandpipers.
 The early sunny conditions reduced the catch on a morning ringing session in East Dunes. The news were 6 Willow Warblers, a Blackcap, 2 Whitethroats, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Meadow Pipits, 53 Swallows, 6 Sand Martins, a House Martin and a Kestrel. The retraps were a Great Tit, a Swallow and a Dunnock.

Juvenile Kestrel, ringed 8th August 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
August 7th: A cooler start, then quickly warmed up with just thin cirrus cloud overhead. A gentle breeze stopped it from getting too warm through the day.
  Flying south were 600 Swallows, 20 House Martins, 10 Sand Martins, 17 Curlews and 4 Whimbrels. Around were 30 Yellow Wagtails and a Willow Warbler. On Croftmarsh and the water bodies were 450 Lapwings, 200 Golden Plovers, 140 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Greenshanks, 3 Common Sandpipers, 6 Dunlins and 2 Snipes.
  At early evening, there were still around 60 Swallows, 5 Sand Martins, 20 House Martins, 30 Yellow Wagtails and 40 Meadow Pipits feeding around the Old Saltmarsh near South Car Park as the sun ebbed away.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes was again successful. The new birds were a Wren, 10 Yellow Wagtails, 101 Swallows, a Blue Tit, a Goldfinch, 2 House Martins, a Sand Martin, a Whitethroat, a Linnet and 4 House Sparrows (the first ones of the year). The retraps were 4 Whitethroats, a Wren, a Swallow and 2 Dunnocks.

August 6th: Little wind, sunny then cloudy. South went 800 Swallows, 400 House Martins, 150 Sand Martins, 200 Swifts, 4 Whimbrels and 6 Yellow Wagtails. Around was a Common Buzzard. The water bodies held 15 Greenshanks, 40 Black-tailed Godwits, 160 Golden Plovers, 110 Redshanks, 260 Lapwings, a Ruff, 2 Common Sandpipers and 4 Dunlins. A Sooty Shearwater flew north offshore in the evening. Roosting on Greenshanks Creek were 2000 Sandwich Terns, 50 Common Terns, 3 Arctic Terns, 4 Little Terns and a Kittiwake.
 An extended ringing session in East Dunes was very productive. The new birds were 7 Willow Warblers, 2 Wrens, 5 Whitethroats, a Great Tit, 2 Linnets, 88 Swallows, 38 House Martins (the first new birds of the year), 9 Sand Martins (also the first new birds of the year), a Pied Wagtail (also the first of the year), a Garden Warbler, a Reed Bunting, a Meadow Pipit, a Yellow Wagtail, 2 Dunnocks and a Blackcap. The retraps were 3 Dunnocks, a Great Tit, 2 Whitethroats and a Chaffinch.

Juvenile Yellow Wagtail moulting to first-winter, ringed 6th August 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
August 5th: Light to moderate rain for most of day. Over Croftmarsh were 300 Golden Plovers and 180 Lapwings. On the water bodies were 134 Black-tailed Godwits, 9 Greenshanks, 3 Common Sandpipers, 15 Dunlins, 14 Snipes, 2 Little Ringed Plovers and 3 Ringed Plovers. The Green Woodpecker was still around. Visible migration continued, with 150 Swifts, 80 Swallows and 20 Sand Martins flying south.
 No ringing was attempted.

August 4th: Still a fair south-westerly wind with sporadic cumulus cloud.
  Heading south were 1200 Swifts, 400 Swallows, 81 Sand Martins, 80 House Martins, 2 Hobbys, 12 Yellow Wagtails, a Turtle Dove, a juvenile Cuckoo, 6 Crossbills, 24 Whimbrels, 35 Curlews, 10 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Turnstones and a Yellow-legged Gull. Around was a Green Woodpecker. On the water bodies were 100 Golden Plovers, 97 Black-tailed Godwits, 5 Greenshanks, a Little Ringed Plover and a Ruff. The Red Kite was refound by two observers. It was last seen circling skywards up to an extreme altitude over the West Dunes mid morning.
  Ringing at the Observatory, first by George Gregory and then by Mick Briggs resulted in 20 new birds and 7 retraps. The new birds included 9 Swallows, a Yellow Wagtail and 2 Linnets.
  A simultaneous and slightly longer session at Aylmer Avenue by David and Liv Vincent resulted in 33 new birds and a 21 retraps. The new birds included 8 Swallow, 5 Whitethroat, 3 Willow Warbler, a Blackcap and a Wood Pigeon. The retraps included 5 Chiffchaff, 4 Whitethroat, a Willow Warbler and a Blackcap.

Juvenile Swallow ringed at the Observatory on 4th August 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs
Juvenile Swallow ringed at the Observatory on 4th August 2013.
One of many that will hopefully be ringed during the month of August.
Photo - Mick Briggs
August 3rd: A 15mph south-westerly for much of the day until mid afternoon, with sporadic cumulus cloud, leaving it feeling hot and humid.
  Arriving on site at 5.00am for a long ringing session certainly paid dividends for Mick Briggs, when early on, at around 6.30am, a Wood Warbler sang for five minutes or so in the West Dunes. The highlight of the day, though, was an Alpine Swift flying south over Aylmer Avenue at 8.40am, seen by the Ringer in Charge - Mick Briggs. Whilst extracting birds at the feeding station and counting the swifts heading south, he had the shock of his life when not twenty feet above his head was an Alpine Swift moving rapidly southwards. Despite a quick dash by a nearby birder to South Car Park, the group of swifts of which the Alpine Swift was at the front had nearly all gone through by the time he got there and the bird was not seen again.
  The Alpine Swift was part of a good southward movement also involving 730 Common Swifts (most of which went southwards along the West Dunes by 9.20am), along with 575 Swallows, 85 Sand Martins and 140 House Martins by 4pm. In the same direction went a Hobby, 4 Whimbrels, 7 Black-tailed Godwits and 14 Yellow Wagtails. On the water bodies were 76 Black-tailed Godwits, 5 Common Sandpipers, 2 Green Sandpipers, 2 Dunlins, an Oystercatcher, 5 Snipes, 13 Greenshanks and 42 Sandwich Terns. A Red Kite flew low over Jackson's Marsh at 12:30pm.
 In East Dunes a morning ringing session by George Gregory provided 23 new birds, namely a Willow Warbler, 3 Wrens, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Dunnock, a Blackcap, a Meadow Pipit and 15 Swallows.
  Meanwhile at Aylmer Avenue, Mick Briggs' longer session resulted in 72 new birds and 46 retraps. The highlights included a daft Jackdaw that flew straight into a net five feet behind where Mick was stood, although a male Sparrowhawk that flew into a net at a similar distance away still managed to get out! There were also 22 Swallows, 8 Whitethroats, a single Sedge Warbler and 3 Linnets along with the usual other finches and warblers.
A very juvenile Robin ringed on 3rd August 2013. This bird was not long out of the nest, showing that at least some of the resident Robins have been successful in raising second broods this year.
Photo - Mick Briggs
Swallows resting up whilst on migration on the 3rd August 2013. Today was the first really good day for visible migration of hirundines in good numbers through the reserve.
Photo - Mick Briggs
Adult male Linnet ringed on 3rd August 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs
August 2nd: Quite windy; sunny then cloudy with occasional rain, thunder and lightning. South went 9 Whimbrels, a Greenshank, 80 Swallows, 60 Sand Martins and 150 Swifts. On the water bodies were 66 Black-tailed Godwits, 5 Greenshanks, a Ruff and a Common Sandpiper.
 A brief morning ringing session in East Dunes resulted in 2 Goldfinches, a Blackcap, a Dunnock, a Blue Tit, 2 Great Tits, a Swallow and 2 Whitethroats being processed.
 A longer session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent was more productive, with 64 new birds and 31 retraps. The new birds were 21 Greenfinches, 9 Chaffinches, 6 Goldfinches, 7 Whitethroats, 7 Chiffchaffs, 4 Willow Warblesr, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Blackcap, 2 Wrens, 3 Blue Tits, 2 Great Tits and a Dunnock. The retraps were a mix of warblers, finches and tits.

August 1st: A bit windy, then hot and sunny. Around were 3 Arctic Skuas, a Marsh Harrier and a Stonechat. Heading south were 2 Greenshanks, 20 Whimbrels, 2 Little Terns, 20 Sand Martins, 250 Swallows, 15 House Martins and 80 Swifts. On the water bodies were 67 Black-tailed Godwits, 10 Greenshanks, a Ruff, 3 Common Sandpipers, a Green Sandpiper, 2 Dunlins and 4 Snipes.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 13 new birds: 2 Wrens, 5 Dunnocks, 4 Whitethroats, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Goldfinch; and 2 retraps: a Blackbird and a Wren.

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