Sunday, 2 October 2011

Smash and Grab

September Smash and October Grab

Adam joined Mick, Mike and me at Stanford on Friday for the final session of September and having broken through the 1,000 new birds target on Wednesday we continued in the same vein on this last day of the month which turned out to be the hottest September day on record.  Even before dawn the still air was very warm and the first few hours of the morning were reminiscent of our spring ringing sessions in Cyprus as the temperature gradually increased and we sought the shade of the Land Rover that is our usual ringing base.

We added 51 new Blackcaps and 15 new Chiffchaffs to our already incredible totals for these two species.  A total of 109 birds were processed as shown below.

30th September Ringing Totals

One bird, not mentioned in previous September blogs, was the Siskin ringed last Monday – only the fifth that we have ever ringed at Stanford.

We finished the month with a mind-blowing total of 1,179 new birds, which can be seen on our main web site by following this link September Totals

Saturday 1st of October, with Masai Mick given time off to attend his son’s wedding and Mike off to his bolt hole in Wales, it was up to Adam and myself to see if any more Blackcaps were still about.  In this task we were accompanied by Ed, Debbie and Dawn.  As on the previous few days the birds dried up after the first two or three hours but we managed a creditable 86 new birds to kick start the October figures.   Yet more Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs with a few Meadow Pipits, a Lesser Redpoll and yet another late Grasshopper Warbler enlivened the morning.

Lesser Redpoll

Another late Grasshopper Warbler

The day’s birds were

1st October Ringing Totals
 Debbie with Chiffchaff

The Reservoir is now drier than it was in the drought of 1990 and possibly as low as it was in 1977.  The photo below (taken from the feeder net ride) shows Blowers Lodge Bay which is normally under a good six foot of water with the bird watching hide (on the left of the picture) now sticking out on a grassy foreshore.

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