Sunday, 1 May 2011

April At Stanford

April is always a relatively quiet time at Stanford as the resident birds and returning migrants set up their territories and remain fairly sedentary.  Consequently, catches are usually quite small and the expectation of up to 15 new birds a session is the norm.  Although the month was dry, we did experience several windy mornings which scuppered our activities but despite this two or three of us did manage a total of eight ringing sessions which resulted in 138 new birds being ringed - a record for April - of 24 species.

The numbers of warblers are encouraging with new birds (and retraps in brackets) as follows:
Sedge Warbler 14 (10)
Reed Warbler 2 (5)
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Whitethroat  6 (9)
Garden Warbler 1 (1)
Blackcap 14 (2)
Chiffchaff 11 (7)
Willow Warbler 15 (24)

Also encouraging were the numbers of
Tree Sparrow 13 (7)
Linnet 16 (1)
Reed Bunting 10 (31)

Full species summary

Relaxing between net rounds
Interesting retraps this month included two Long-tailed Tits from 2005 and 2006 whilst the returning migrants consisted of three Chiffchaffs, twelve Willow Warblers (with two of the these having been ringed as adults in 2007),  a Reed Warbler ringed in 2003 and another in 2006. 
However, the star bird so far is Whitethroat R 650913.  Originally ringed as a 4 female on 24/7/04 it is 95 days short of the European longevity record for this species which we currently hold at Stanford.
However this bird is older by at least a year as it was ringed as an adult whereas the current record is of a bird ringed as a juvenile. 
 With not much flying about, we did look skywards on one occasion to see this
Red-flanked Bluetail ?

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