It was still, cloudy and warm at dawn, which was ideal for ringing. A south-easterly wind rapidly picked up, however, and we were forced to take down a number of nets by 10:00.
Despite this, the catch was very good, but had a definite late autumnal feel. Sub-Saharan migrants were virtually absent from the catch, with only 1 reed warbler and 2 sedge warblers captured, no tree pipit were recorded overhead, and the number of finches, thrushes, goldcrests and meadow pipits all increased.
The highlights of the catch were another good day for blackcaps and (to a lesser extent) chiffchaffs, what may prove to be the last migrant reedbed warblers until spring 2015, and another Cetti's warbler. The blackcaps were almost all carrying considerable fat (scores of 4 or 5), and a number weighed in excess of 20g.
The 77 newly ringed birds took us to the brink of 2500 for the year at the site. The breakdown is as follows:
|Great Spotted Woodpecker||9||25||34|
|The last sedge warbler of the year?|
In addition to the ringing, we also managed to cut a couple of extra rides in preparation for migrants becoming thinner on the ground. We will target chiffchaffs and goldcrests over the next few weeks, and these new rides are through willow and alder carr, and comprise an extension to the 'fen meadow' line.
Thanks to Charlie Sargent for another loan of his brushcutter.
Thanks also to all who came along this morning for their company and assistance: Wayne Morris, Keith Vaughton, Cedwyn Davies, Charlie Sargent and Gail Cobbold, who also acted as scribe.