Saturday, 15 October 2016

More county ringing...


Today (Saturday) provided ideal ringing conditions locally in Northants. Dave Francis and Cathy Ryden worked at the Pitsford Reservoir Old Scaldwell Road Feeding Station and Chris Payne and Helen Franklin processed birds at the Bradden site in South Northants.

Fifty-nine birds were caught at Pitsford and included a very young juvenile Brambling which was a bit of a surprise. Dunnocks like this site and twelve were caught there today, only one being a retrap. Other birds included ten Tree Sparrows, eight Robins, six Reed Buntings, four Long-tailed Tits, two Yellowhammers and singles of Chiffchaff, Goldcrest and Goldfinch.

At dawn there were 69 Mute Swans congregated in the Scaldwell Bay and there was a small passage of Redwings and Fieldfares passing over. A Stonechat was also present.

At Bradden Chris and Helen caught and processed a very respectable forty-four birds made up of sixteen Blue Tits, sixteen Great Tits, two Coal Tits, three Chaffinches, two Robins, a Goldcrest, a Dunnock and three Blackbirds.

The birding down here in the Isles of Scilly has remained very good but so far the islands are not keeping pace with the outstanding list of rarities on the east coast.

On Thursday 13th October we ventured over to the very pleasant island of Bryher and caught up with the two juvenile Dotterel and went on to see a Yellow-browed Warbler feeding on some seaside rocks. Other birds included three Ring Ouzels, two Lapland Buntings, a Merlin and a Peregrine. The island hosted large numbers of thrushes, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps and migrants were everywhere.

On our return to St Mary's we spent much of the afternoon obtaining eventual great views of a Pallas's Warbler which had been located on the Garrison. This little mite was whizzing around at probably twice the pace of a Yellow-browed and was very hard to keep up with! Other birds included a Yellow-browed Warbler in the neighbouring tree, a Pied Flycatcher and a couple of Black Redstarts.

Yesterday (Friday) was a difficult birding day with some heavy showers but we managed two Lapland Buntings on St Mary's plus six Black Redstarts, a Common Redstart, several Water Rails, four Jack Snipes, two or three Yellow-browed Warblers and a Ring Ouzel. Being this far south there are still Sandwich Terns in the harbour and still plenty of warblers even if the Wheatears and Whinchats are beginning to thin out.

This morning and a heavy deluge of rain hit when we were in the exposed area of the airfield meaning we were quickly drenched! After the rain several birds emerged from the dripping bushes which included a Siberian Chiffchaff, several Yellow-browed Warblers and a couple of Firecrests. Water Rails and Jack Snipe again showed well and raptors included Peregrine and Hobby. Two Lapland Buntings were a touch flighty and then it was time to again board the Scillonian III and sail to Penzance. Wildlife highlights included Common Dolphins, auks, plenty of Gannets, an Arctic Skua and with a drake Eider in Penzance Harbour.


Neil M





Yellow-browed Warbler!


Sunset from St Mary's

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