Sunday, 11 August 2013

Mid August 2013

August 20th:  Mostly cloudy again.
 South went a Whimbrel, 95 Swallows, 15 House Martins and 10 Sand Martins. Around were a Hobby and a Grasshopper Warbler. The water bodies held a Spoonbill, 143 Black-tailed Godwits, 19 Greenshanks, 3 Green Sandpipers, 4 Little Ringed Plovers, 3 Spotted Redshanks and 3 Garganeys.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes was notable for variety rather than quantity. The news were 13 Willow Warblers, a Blackcap, 5 Lesser Whitethroats, 9 Whitethroats, 2 Dunnocks, a Garden Warbler, 26 Swallows, a Redstart (first of autumn), 3 Sand Martins, a Whinchat (first of autumn), a Reed Warbler and another Kestrel. The retraps were 2 Dunnocks and 2 Whitethroats.

Adult Spoonbill, Tennyson Sands.
Photo - Nigel Lound
Whinchat, ringed 20th August 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
August 19th: Mostly cloudy.
  A fresh arrival of migrants included 4 Pied Flycatchers, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, a Whinchat, a Wheatear, a Stonechat, a Treecreeper, a Green Woodpecker and a Grasshopper Warbler. There were also a Cuckoo, 5 Whimbrels, 2 Marsh Harriers, 2 Common Buzzards and 2 Peregrines around. South flew 1500 Swallows, 400 House Martins and 2 Swifts. The best birds on the water bodies were a Spoonbill, 3 Garganeys, 57 Little Egrets, 3 Spotted Redshanks, 2 Green Sandpipers, a Common Sandpiper, 24 Greenshanks, a Ruff and 4 Little Ringed Plovers. Over Croftmarsh were 190 Golden Plovers. On the beach were 4 Mediterranean Gulls.
  A morning ringing session on East Dunes was productive. The 105 new birds were 10 Willow Warblers, 62 Swallows, 12 Yellow Wagtails, 14 House Martins, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Linnet, 3 Whitethroats, a House Sparrow and a Kestrel, and the retraps 6 Dunnock, a Great Tit and 2 Whitethroats. A male Peregrine was almost added to the total, but it escaped from a net as a ringer approached.
  The Yellow Wagtail total now stand at 43 birds ringed so far this year, quite simply incredible if you consider that the previous year record of just 21 ringed was set in 2010, and indeed since 1949 only 92 have been ringed to the start of this year. Before 2010, only 60 had been ringed, an average of just one a year!, and now 43 have been ringed in this autumn alone. Either they must have had a phenomenally successful breeding season, or perhaps we are simply experiencing a very large increase in the numbers migrating through East Dunes during this autumn?

August 18th: A calm start with cloud in the east made for a cracking start to the day. The wind soon picked up, with intermittent puffy cumulus cloud throughout the day being blown through on the 15mph southerly.
  Flying south were 42 Swifts, 400 Swallows, 235 House Martins and 18 Yellow Wagtails. Around were 2 Whinchats, a Stonechat, 4 Marsh Harriers, a Hobby, a Crossbill and a Tree Pipit. On the water bodies were  a Spoonbill, at least 3 Garganey, 4 Spotted Redshanks, 9 Dunlins, 95 Black-tailed Godwits, 7 Green Sandpipers, 3 Common Sandpipers, a Little Ringed Plover, 18 Greenshanks, 20 Snipes and 38 Little Egrets. At Aylmer Avenue, 3 Turtle Doves and several Willow Warblers were in song early morning, making it feel more like June than August!
  A morning ringing session on East Dunes was reasonable. There were 38 new birds, which were 15 Willow Warblers, a Wren, a Linnet, 4 Whitethroats, 6 Yellow Wagtails, a Reed Bunting, 9 Swallows and a House Martin, and the retraps 8 Willow Warblers, a Whitethroat and a Wren.
  Things were marginally better over at Aylmer Avenue with 74 new birds ringed. They included a Swallow, 2 Robins, a Reed Warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 14 Whitethroats, a Garden Warbler, 2 Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, 29 Willow Warblers, 4 Blue Tits, 9 Greenfinches and 7 Goldfinches. There were also 46 retraps including a British control Willow Warbler.

August 17th: A calm clear start quickly turned into a windy day with a force 3 south-westerly blowing patchy light rain in from mid morning. Heavier rain followed late afternoon.
  There had clearly been a significant arrival of migrants overnight and with these was a juvenile Woodchat Shrike found near the Weather Enclosure, just south of the Field Station early morning and was just the third record ever for reserve. South went a Red-necked Phalarope, 140 Swifts, 90 Swallows and a Tree Pipit. Around were a Marsh Harrier, a Peregrine, 9 Turtle Doves (including 2 singing at Aylmer Avenue), 3 Crossbills and 18 Yellow Wagtails. In addition to those trapped, there were at least 45 other Willow Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs, 7 Blackcaps, 6 Lesser Whitethroats and 34 Whitethroats on the reserve. On Tennyson Sands were a Spoonbill, 5 Greenshanks, 4 Snipes, 91 Black-tailed Godwits, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 88 Lapwings, and on Jackson's Marsh 22 Greenshanks, 2 Dunlins, a Common Sandpiper, 3 Ruffs, 3 Green Sandpipers, 2 Spotted Redshanks and a Little Ringed Plover.
  A morning ringing session in East Dunes was productive. The 96 new birds were a Wren, a Chiffchaff, 63 Willow Warblers, a Dunnock, a Sedge Warbler, 8 Whitethroats, a Linnet, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, a Robin, 9 Swallows, 4 Yellow Wagtails, a Blackcap, a Goldfinch and a Song Thrush. The 6 retraps were a Blackcap, a Whitethroat, 3 Dunnock and a Willow Warbler.
  Whilst at Aylmer Avenue the 11th C.E.S. session was completed with some success. Other nets there helped push the total for the day at Aylmer Avenue up to 81 new birds ringed and 38 retraps. The highlights included a Garden Warbler and the first Treecreeper of the year from the C.E.S. nets, whilst the feeding station produced two new Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Other birds ringed included 3 Dunnock, 2 Robin, 1 Blackbird, 2 Reed Warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 9 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Blue Tit, 11 Greenfinch and 12 Goldfinch. There was also 29 New Willow Warbler which when added to the Observatory's total, makes 92 new Willow Warblers for the day! - probably a new day record for recent decades.
  Two Painted Ladies were the best butterflies.
Juvenile Woodchat Shrike, at the weather enclosure on the 17th August 2013.
Photo - Nigel Lound
Garden Warbler ringed on the 11th C.E.S. session of 2013 on 17th August 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs
Juvenile Treecreeper ringed on the 11th C.E.S. session of 2013 on 17th August 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs
August 16th: Windy, rain most of morning. Flying south were a Marsh Harrier, a Little Ringed Plover, 120 Swifts, 100 Swallows, 50 Sand Martins, 12 House Martins and 3 Yellow Wagtails. Jackson's Marsh held a Spotted Redshank, 2 Green Sandpipers, 3 Snipes and 2 Dunlins, Tennyson Sands 69 Black-tailed Godwits, 9 Curlews, 73 Lapwings and 7 Dunlins, and the Mere a Garganey.
 No ringing was possible.

August 15th: Windy, cloudy, intermittent light rain. South went 3 Spoonbills, 2 Marsh Harriers, 2 Swallows and a Greenshank. Around were a Green Woodpecker and a Marsh Harrier. Offshore were 1280 Sandwich Terns, 24 Common Terns, 2 Arctic Terns and 8 Kittiwakes. On Jackson's Marsh were an adult Spoonbill, a Whimbrel, 19 Greenshanks, 7 Green Sandpipers, 5 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Little Ringed Plovers and 3 Snipes, on Tennyson Sands a Spotted Redshank, 7 Snipes, 14 Dunlins, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 7 Greenshanks, 92 Black-tailed Godwits and 10 Redshanks, and on the Mere 4 Black-tailed Godwits and 4 Green Sandpipers.
 A restricted morning ringing session, with sheltered nets, in East Dunes yielded just 6 birds processed: a Willow Warbler, 2 Reed Warblers, a Dunnock and 2 Whitethroats.

August 14th: Light wind, mostly sunny. South went 200 Swallows, 25 Sand Martins and 12 House Martins. A Marsh Harrier came in off the sea. Around were a Common Buzzard, 7 Lesser Whitethroats and 33 Willow Warblers. Offshore, on the beach or going to roost were 2500 Herring Gulls, 10500 Black-headed Gulls, 9 adult Mediterranean Gulls (a record count), 2500 Sandwich Terns, 92 Common Terns and 31 Arctic Skuas. Tennyson Sands held 133 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Dunlins, 28 Redshanks, 4 Greenshanks, a Little Ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper, and Jackson's Marsh 11 Greenshanks, 12 Redshanks, 5 Green Sandpipers and a Little Ringed Plover. On the Mere were up to 3 Garganeys.
 A morning ringing session on East Dunes produced 23 new birds, namely 2 Willow Warblers, 2 Blackcaps, a Linnet, 2 Whitethroats, a Reed Warbler, a Reed Bunting, 10 Swallows and 4 Sand Martins, and 4 retraps, namely 2 Whitethroats, a Wren and a Dunnock.

Garganey, 14th August 2013.
Photo - Philip Millns
August 13th: Increasing westerly wind, sunny morning, cloudy afternoon. Around were 7 Kestrels. Flying south were a Greenshank, a Whimbrel, a Curlew, 30 Yellow Wagtails, 500 Swallows and 75 House Martins, and north a Marsh Harrier. On Jackson's Marsh were 6 Greenshanks, 2 Little Ringed Plovers and 7 Redshanks, and on Tennyson Sands 11 Greenshanks, 87 Black-tailed Godwits, a Little Ringed Plover, 51 Redshanks, 4 Snipes, 85 Lapwings and 2 Ruffs. Around were 5 Kestrels and 2 Sparrowhawks.
 The weather was not conducive to high productivity on a morning ringing session in East Dunes. The new birds were 17 Willow Warblers, 2 Dunnocks, 4 Whitethroats, a Linnet, a Lesser Whitethroat, 15 Swallows, a House Martin and a Kestrel, and the retraps a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Blackcaps and a Wren.
 Overnight moth trapping produced a Scallop Hook Tip and a Black Arches.

Scalloped Hook Tip.
Photo - Nigel Lound
Black Arches.
Photo - Nigel Lound
August 12th: Increasing westerly wind, mostly cloudy.
 South went 250 Swallows, 50 House Martins, 10 Sand Martins and a Whimbrel. Tennyson Sands held 91 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Snipes, a Greenshank and 150 Lapwings, and Jackson's Marsh 18 Greenshanks, a Green Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper, a Black-tailed Godwit and 80 Redshanks. Offshore were 150 Sandwich Terns.
 The wind reduced the catch on a morning ringing session in East Dunes. The news were 13 Willow Warblers, a Wren, a Yellow Wagtail, a Linnet, 17 Swallows, 3 Whitethroats and a Reed Warbler, and the retraps a Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Dunnocks and a Whitethroat. Migrant Willow Warblers, mostly juveniles, continue to reach here in moderate, but not yet high, numbers. It remains to be seen whether there has been enough breeding success to restore the recently diminished population size.

August 11th: A calm start to the day was soon replaced by a brisk 18mph westerly wind that hampered both visible migration and ringing efforts for most of the day. There were prolonged sunny spells throughout the day, and it remained dry.
  Swallows were the main feature of the day with at least 3500 passing south through the reserve, although this figure may well have been much bigger. They were not passing straight through but were feeding in ever bigger waves stretched out across most of the reserve, which made getting an accurate count through the day nearly impossible. At least 1000 Swallows were feeding on the Old Saltmarsh at 10.20am, whilst at midday there were 2000+ House Martins in a feeding frenzy at high altitude over the West Dunes. A further 500 House Martins and  200 Sand Martins went south through the day, along with 35 Yellow Wagtail and a Grey Heron. Hunting around the reserve was a Peregrine, at least 3 Sparrowhawks, a Barn Owl and at least 4 Kestrels. On Jackson's Marsh were 13 Greenshanks, a Ruff and 2 Snipes, and on Tennyson Sands 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 100 Black-tailed Godwits, a Dunlin, 2 Snipes, a Spotted Redshank, 2 Ruffs and a Common Sandpiper. Over Croftmarsh were 280 Golden Plovers.
  A length ringing session at the Observatory, first by George Gregory and then by Mick Briggs resulted in 76 new birds ringed, which were a Song Thrush, a Sand Martin, 53 Swallows, 7 House Martins, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 3 Whitethroats, 7 Willow Warblers and 2 Wrens. There were just 3 retraps, which were 2 Wrens and a Dunnock.
  A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David and Liv Vincent was fairly quiet for this time of year, probably due to it being a bit too breezy and bright sunny spells. The morning's ringing resulted in 30 new birds and 16 retraps. The new birds were 12 Swallows, 6 Willow Warblers, 4 Greenfinches, 2 Whitethroats and singles of Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Blue Tit, House Martin, Chaffinch and Goldfinch. The retraps were 5 Chaffinches, 4 Greenfinches, 2 Goldfinches, 2 Chiffchaffs and singles of Whitethroat, Robin and Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Swallows start to move south on a good day for visible migration of hirundines, 11th August 2013
Photo - Mick Briggs
Swallows hawking around the Storm Ridge - just above the nets!, 11th August 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs
The 19th Yellow Wagtail of the autumn on 11th August 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs
A House Martin showing the incredible feathery legs of the species - allowing them to sleep on the wing at high altitude at night in freezing temperatures at a reported 10,000 feet.
Photo - Mick Briggs
House Martin, one of 8 ringed on 11th August 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs

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