Saturday, 20 April 2013

First Whitethroat

I was working solo today and therefore decided that I would have to leave my house earlier than I had planned to allow myself plenty of time to get the nets up before first light. I could see a frost on my shed roof as I walked to the garage, the skies were cloudless, there was a chill in the air but I had a feeling that today could be the start of summer!
Last Saturday we caught our first summer migrants of the year, three Chiffchaffs (including a British control) and a female Blackcap. Today I was hoping to ring some more of the same and with the favourable weather conditions last week, migrants should have been, slowly but surely pouring in!
I arrived at the reservoir at 05:00 to the songs of Song Thrush and Robin (don't they ever sleep?) and quickly counted and sorted my nets. With all nets erected by first light it was time for the first net round. Four Bullfinches, three Willow Warblers and this years first Common Whitethroat. Things were looking promising. These were processed along with singles of Reed Bunting, Wren and Tree Sparrow.
The second net round only found a pair of Song Thrushes in 'The Safari' ride and a single Wren and Chiffchaff in 'The Oak'.
Throughout the morning, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Reed Buntings were singing, a male Blackcap perched in a Hawthorn at the feeding station, sang a few phrases and prompty flew over the gully and down the railtrack. A new Chiffchaff was the only real excitement from the remaining net rounds although a burst of activity at the feeding station finished the morning with a handfull of Tree Sparrows.
A total of 28 birds was less than I was hoping for but most birds are staying on territory and singing. When I did manage to catch a break, I sat back to soak up the sun and watch the Buzzards displaying over the wood.
After last years washout, a sunny day seemed like a distant memory but today reminded me that things are going to get busy.
Watch this space.........

New / Retrap
Wren 1/2
Song Thrush 0/2
Common Whitethroat 0/1
Chiffchaff 1/1
Willow Warbler 0/3
Blue Tit 1/0
Great Tit 0/1
Tree Sparrow 3/6
Bullfinch 2/2
Reed Bunting 0/2

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