Thursday, 20 November 2014

Starlings and Sparrows

I visited Titchmarsh nature reserve yesterday afternoon to view the starling murmuration. A look over the adjacent pit prior to the arrival of the Starlings revealed a few common ducks in small numbers, as well as a couple of Little Egrets and a single Cetti's Warbler
Returning to the area detailed in a previous post, a short wait ensued before small groups of birds began to congregate at about 3.45pm.  These small groups steadily increased in size until several thousand birds were wheeling above the reed beds, periodically being harassed by two Sparrowhawks intent on acquiring a late supper prior to roosting. 
Groups of Starlings peeled off from the main congregation, diving into the reeds at speed, chattering to one another, before settling down for the night in the warmth of the phragmites beds. Eventually the skies were empty and the spectacle over.

A pair of ringing sessions were conducted yesterday afternoon and again this morning at the feed station at the end of the Old Scaldwell Road at Pitsford Reservoir.
The modest total caught was 36, including 22 new birds as follows:
Goldcrest 1
Wren 1
Tree Sparrow 10
Blue Tit 2
Chaffinch 4
Yellowhammer 1
Starling 1
Blackbird 1
Kestrel 1

During this morning's session the 200th Tree Sparrow of the year was caught, the first time this milestone has been passed at Pitsford.


           Neil H.

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