Sunday, 24 July 2011

Gripping Groppers!

Saturday 23rd     

With cool temperatures, no wind and heavy rain overnight the morning drive to Stanford at 0400 hrs was predominantly through fog and augured well for a reasonable morning’s ringing as I met up with Mick, Mike, Dawn and Ed. We got the nets erected within the hour and on the first round, as I approached a line of three 60’s, I was pleased to see that the first bird to be extracted was a Grasshopper Warbler – excellent, a juvenile on the opposite side of the bay from where we had caught three breeding adults and a juvenile earlier in the year and, what’s more, an adult’s reeling call was coming from only a few yards away.  I moved on to the next bird, another juvenile “Gropper”, and then an adult... By the time I had extracted all the birds in the line I had 5 Groppers and an assortment of other warblers.  Back at the ringing base I was amazed to find that Mick & Mike had brought back two more.  After the next round of nets a further two were brought back such that we had an unprecedented nine Grasshopper Warblers to be ringed in a single morning.  With this year’s total now standing at 13 we need to go back thirty years for comparable figures – 1980 (15), 1981 (17) and 1983 (13)

Grasshopper Warbler

We ended the day with 92 new birds and 48 retraps:

 And a Buzzard overhead


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