Sunday, 22 May 2016

Bird monitoring in the county


John Woollett and team were ringing again at Stortons Gravel Pits this morning in near perfect conditions. Some fifty-nine birds were processed which again included some healthy numbers of warblers, namely four Cetti's Warblers, four Garden Warblers, a Blackcap, an impressive thirteen Reed Warblers, three Sedge Warblers and three Whitethroats. Other birds included three Bullfinches and five Reed Buntings.

A Cuckoo teased the ringers by perching on the top shelf of the mist net!

A Common Bird Census (CBC) completed on the reserve section of Pitsford Reservoir this morning was a pleasant affair if a little predictable. Still no Cuckoos calling here! Two or three Little Egrets were present today as was a pair of rather maternal-looking Pochard. The Cormorant colony sported forty-six active nests and the resident pair of Oystercatcher were joined by another pair. Three new tern rafts have been crafted and anchored in the Scaldwell Bay this spring, the last one completed on Thursday, and already there were plenty of terns on it today! This one has been anchored a little closer to the new hide in the Scaldwell Bay to provide an opportunity of watching the antics of these charismatic plunge-divers.

Other birds noted during the census included three or four Spotted Flycatchers, three distinct Marsh Tit territories, two singing Lesser Whitethroats and juvenile Tree Sparrows at the Old Scaldwell Road feeding station. For the second census in a row, no Sedge Warblers could be found. Mammals were active and we saw plenty of Muntjac and a couple of Foxes and the best of the insects was a male Beautiful Demoiselle.

A visit to Harrington Airfield this morning and finally some Turtle Doves put in an appearance! Acting as if they had just arrived, two were visible from the main concrete track, one 'purring' in dead trees half way along. At the very end of the track a calling Quail was audible from a nearby small grassy area and a late Wheatear was hopping around the third bunker.

This evening Jacob Spinks was on the dam at Pitsford Reservoir and witnessed the Sanderling (reported earlier) fly off west at 8.17pm. Other birds noted included the injured Ruddy Shelduck, a Kingfisher and the family party of Grey Wagtails still.


Neil M

Sedge Warbler

Juvenile Robin

Male Reed Bunting.

All images taken at Stortons
Gravel Pits today courtesy of
Chris Payne.

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