Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Early October 2013

October 10th: Strong north-west wind, rainy spells.
 Around were a Peregrine, a Merlin, a Goldcrest, 5 Swallows and 2 Redwings. On the sea was an Eider. On the Mere were 2 Spotted Redshanks, 3 Greenshanks and 28 Dunlins, and on Tennyson Sands 74 Black-tailed Godwits and a Dunlin. Highlights of sea-watching were 15 Sooty Shearwaters, 7 Manx Shearwaters and 8 Little Gulls north; and 2 Great Skuas, 2 Manx Shearwaters and 21 Kittiwakes south. South over land went a Grey Wagtail, a Lapland Bunting and 74 Redwings.
 No ringing was attempted.

October 9th: Increasing south-westerly wind, cloudy.
 Birds around included a Goldcrest, 25 Siskins and 15 Long-tailed Tits. On the water bodies were 4 Greenshanks, 2 Spotted Redshanks and 47 Black-tailed Godwits. Southward movers included 22 Reed Buntings, 15 Chaffinches, 27 Meadow Pipits, 8 Swallows, a Grey Wagtail and 3 Skylarks.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes was moderately successful. The 20 new birds were 4 Reed Buntings, a Great Tit, 7 Meadow Pipits, 7 Chaffinches and a Greenfinch; and the 2 retraps were a Dunnock and a Robin.

October 8th: Moderate south-westerly wind, mostly cloudy.
 Around were 6 Goldcrests and a Green Woodpecker. On the water bodies were 3 Spotted Redshanks. Flying south were 80 Meadow Pipits, 24 Reed Buntings, 15 Chaffinches, 4 Bramblings, 6 Skylarks, 8 Tree Sparrows and a Grey Wagtail.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided only single retraps of Dunnock and Chaffinch.
 Trapped moths new for the year were Dusky-lemon Sallow and Mallow.
Dusky-lemon Sallow.
Photo - Nigel Lound
Mallow.
Photo - Nigel Lound
October 7th: Moderate south-westerly wind, alternating clouds and sun.
 A Yellow-browed Warbler was in the Plantation. Also around were a Merlin and 2 Pintails. South went 17 Pink-footed Geese, 20 Skylarks, 2 Grey Wagtails and a Lapland Bunting. On Tennyson Sands were 30 Little Egrets.
 There was only a modest catch in a morning ringing session in East Dunes. New birds were 2 Blackcaps, 5 Meadow Pipits, 1 Chaffinch, a Reed Bunting and a Blackbird; while the retraps were a Wren, a Robin and 2 Dunnocks.


October 6th: Light south-westerly wind, mostly sunny.
  Around was a Hobby, 2 Sparrowhawks and a Little Owl. A Richard's Pipit flew south over Jackson's Marsh. Heading south were four Grey Herons, 20 Siskins, 40 Linnets, 150 Goldfinches, 10 Bramblings and 20 Tree Sparrows.
  A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced just 19 new birds, which were a Chiffchaff, 3 Wrens, 3 Robins, 4 Blackcaps, 2 Dunnocks, a Goldfinch, 3 Meadow Pipits and 2 Song Thrushes, whilst the retraps were 2 Dunnocks, a Wren and a Robin.
  A much longer ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by Mick Briggs, and David and Liv Vincent resulted in 51 new birds and 28 retraps. The new birds were 25 Greenfinches, 7 Tree Sparrows, 4 Goldfinches, 3 Blackcaps, 2 Wrens, 2 Great Tits, 2 Bramblings, 2 Dunnocks, 2 Song Thrushes, a Robin and a Chiffchaff. The retraps were made up mostly of the usual finches and tits from the feeding station.
 Trapped moths new for the year were Palpita vitrealis and Blair's Shoulder-Knot.

Tree Sparrow ringed at Aylmer Avenue on 6th October 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs.
Tree Sparrow ringed at Aylmer Avenue on 6th October 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs.
First-year Male Brambling ringed at Aylmer Avenue on 6th October 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs.
Palpita vitrealis.
Photo - Nigel Lound
October 5th: Light westerly wind, cloudy.
  A Siberian Stonechat was discovered near the Field Station/Visitor Centre. Other birds around, including those trapped, were a Hobby (hunting Dragonflies along the West Dunes), Long-eared Owl, a Wheatear, a Merlin, a Peregrine, a male Hen Harrier, a Marsh Harrier, 2 Greenshanks, 4 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Ring Ouzel, 6 Redwings, 10 Bramblings, 3 Redstarts, 20 Chiffchaffs and a Garden Warbler. On the water bodies were a Jack Snipe, 9 Spotted Redshanks and 60 Black-tailed Godwits. Flying south were 6 Eiders, a Hobby, a Common Buzzard, 10 Swallows, 20 Bramblings, 10 Siskins, 7 Grey Wagtails, 40 Linnets, 50 Chaffinches, 50 Goldfinches, 150 Greenfinches, 100 Meadow Pipits, 200 Reed Buntings and 50 Tree Sparrows. A group of 6 Common Cranes were seen flying off in the distance heading South.
  A morning ringing session in East Dunes was productive, resulting in 59 new birds and 12 retraps. The new birds were 3 Chiffchaffs, a Goldcrest, 29 Reed Buntings, 4 Dunnocks, 4 Blackcaps, 2 Robins, 5 Tree Sparrows, 2 Great Tits, a Whitethroat, a Garden Warbler, 5 Song Thrushes, a Blackbird and a Ring Ouzel. The retraps were a Redstart, a Wren, 2 Blue Tits, 2 Chaffinches, 2 Blackcaps, a Great Tit, a Dunnock and 2 Robins.
  Meanwhile, a 12.5 hour ringing session by Mick Briggs at Aylmer Avenue, aided by Jenny Godber in the morning and then in the afternoon by James Siddle and his friend Ian Thompson, resulted in 196 new birds and 38 retraps. The highlight of the day was when 2 Kingfishers went into the same net at the same time, one new and one retrap,  ringed at the Observatory on Thursday. This is thought to be the first time that two Kingfishers have been caught in the same net at Gibraltar Point ever. "A Great day's ringing if ever there was one."
  The new birds were a Woodpigeon, a Kingfisher, 5 Wrens, 3 Dunnocks, 12 Robins, a Redstart, a Song Thrush, a Redwing, 5 Blackcaps, 15 Chiffchaffs, 5 Goldcrests, 3 Blue Tits, 3 Great Tits, a Tree Sparrow, 7 Chaffinches, a Brambling, 117 Greenfinches and 14 Goldfinches. The 38 retraps were made up of the usual suspects (tits, finches etc).

Siberian Stonechat, 5th October 2013.
Photo - Russel Hayes
Double first-year male Kingfishers in the hand at Aylmer Avenue on 5th October 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs
Double first-year male Kingfishers in the hand at Aylmer Avenue on 5th October 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs
Double first-year male Kingfishers in the hand at Aylmer Avenue on 5th October 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs

Ring Ouzel, ringed 5th October 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
October 4th: Moderate southerly, then south-westerly, wind; clouds and sun.
  A Great White Egret flew west early morning, and a Spoonbill and 6 Tree Sparrows south. Around were 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Ring Ouzel, a Redstart, 10 Goldcrests, a Firecrest and 11 Bramblings.
  There was a modest catch in a morning ringing session in East Dunes. The new birds were 6 Blackcaps, a Robin, a Garden Warbler and 4 Song Thrushes; and the retraps were 2 Robins, 2 Blackcaps, a Garden Warbler, a Goldcrest and a Dunnock.
 A Vestal was in a moth trap.

Vestal.
Photo - Nigel Lound
October 3rd: Moderate south-easterly wind, mostly cloudy.
  Around were a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Hawfinch, a Wheatear, 150 Bramblings, a male Hen Harrier, a Marsh Harrier, a Firecrest and a Ring Ouzel. South went 12 House Martins, 5 Swallows, 4 Tree Sparrows, a Tree Pipit, a Lapland Bunting and a Rook.
  A morning ringing session in East Dunes was reasonably good. The news were a Goldcrest, 4 Blackcaps, a Robin, a Reed Bunting, 2 Dunnocks, a Garden Warbler, a Redstart, 9 Song Thrushes, a Redwing, a Kingfisher and a Green Woodpecker (Just the 11th ever for the Observatory, making it rarer in the hand than Tuesday's Red-breasted Flycatcher); and the retraps 8 Robins, a Blue Tit, a Redstart, a Dunnock and a Blackcap.

Kingfisher, ringed 3rd October 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Green Woodpecker, ringed 3rd October 2013 - just the 11th for the Observatory ever
Photo - George Gregory
October 2nd: Strong southeasterly wind, cloudy, some morning rain.
  Yesterday's Red-breasted Flycatcher was retrapped, early morning, in East Dunes. Other birds around, including birds trapped, were 2 Firecrests, a Hawfinch, 3 Blackcaps, 2 Redstarts, 75 Robins, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Tawny Owl, a male Hen Harrier, a Merlin, a Green Woodpecker, 3 Ring Ouzels, a Wheatear, 30 Bramblings, 50 Redwings and 100 Song Thrushes. Heading south were 40 Pink-footed Geese, 2 Little Gulls, 8 Siskins, a House Martin and 10 Swallows. On the Mere were 6 Spotted Redshanks, 2 Ruffs and 82 Black-tailed Godwits.
  Another restricted morning ringing session in East Dunes produced quality rather than quantity. The new birds were a Firecrest, 5 Robins, 3 Blackcaps, a Siskin, 10 Song Thrushes and a Redwing; and the retraps 2 Song Thrushes, the Red-breasted Flycatcher and a Robin.

Male Siskin, ringed 2nd October 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Firecrest, ringed 2nd October 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
October 1st: Strong easterly wind, mostly cloudy.
  A Red-breasted Flycatcher was trapped and ringed at the Bird Observatory, early morning. After release it showed several times over the next few hours near the Heligoland trap. Also around were 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, 2 Ring Ouzels, 6 Redstarts, 4 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, a Firecrest, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, a Redstart, a Wheatear, 300 Brent Geese, a Common Buzzard, 10 Bramblings, 35 Meadow Pipits and 6 Skylarks. Flying south were 2 Siskins, 13 Bramblings, 3 Swallows and 5 Redwings.
  Again a morning ringing session in East Dunes was restricted by the wind. New birds were the Red-breasted Flycatcher (Just the 13th ever for the Observatory), 5 Robins, a Blackcap and 3 Song Thrushes; and the retraps were a Whitethroat and a Goldfinch.
  Upon checking through the records it has been found that following the spring Red-breasted Flycatcher, the bird today makes two for the year. The last time that two were ringed at Gibraltar Point Bird Observatory in a year was 1949. This was the year that the Observatory was founded.

Red-breasted Flycatcher, ringed 1st October 2013 - just the 13th for the Observatory ever
Photo - George Gregory
Red-breasted Flycatcher, ringed 1st October 2013  - just the 13th for the Observatory ever
Photo - George Gregory

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