Well what an awesome week we have had. It's the best week we have ever had for new birds ringed and controls. In total we ringed 684 and controlled 5, what a great week! It started on Monday the 8th with me getting there at stupid o'clock to get nets up and sound lures on. Bang on first light Blackcaps were everywhere then the second round being a mixture of Blackcap and Chiffchaff. These two species predominated all morning with a smattering of other warblers to provide a bit of variation to the proceedings. The best bird of the day was caught on the 9 o'clock round in the form of a NORTHERN WILLOW WARBLER the third for the site. I was later informed by the county recorder that this was only the third record for Northants all being recorded by us at Stanford Res. On packing up I totalled up to find I had rung 210 birds and had a Blackcap control, the main species being Blackcap with 149 ringed and Chiffchaff with 32. The next day saw me up and at the res again at silly o'clock for the same to happen, this time I had a slightly smaller catch with 168 being rung again the main species being Blackcap with 98 and Chiffchaff 38. Today also saw the start of the Meadow Pipit season with a dozen being caught, but the highlight of the day was a cracking first year male REDSTART together with 2 Blackcap and a Chiffchaff control.
After two early mornings on the trot I gave Wednesday a miss and waited for Thursday, possibly a bit of a mistake
as Thursday produced another stunning day with 190 birds ringed and a Willow Warbler control. Again Blackcaps 111 and Chiffchaff 39 stealing the show. The wind got up spoiling the Meadow Pipit catch limiting it to only 5 birds but you cannot have everything or can you?? as I managed to bag a SPOTTED FLYCATCHER, not a common bird in these parts.
Adam and Dave decided to have a moth night on Friday so they got there early and erected the nets for the following day catching a few birds in the process. With the full team available and the good fortune I have had during the week spirits were high in anticipation of a great catch and as sods law would have it the main attraction failed to turn up on cue. The first round only produced 9 birds instead of the hoped for 100+. However, things picked up and we rallied to 100 new and 30 retraps. The team were a little deflated at the lack of anticipated numbers but another Northern Willow Warbler (presumably the 4th for northants) and the second for the week lifted spirits as most of the team had never seen one before.
'Northern' Willow Warbler
Again, Blackcap 50 and Chiffchaff 29 stole the show. We have now ringed 900 Blackcap and 227 Chiffchaff this month, awesome for a truly inland site. We are as far from the sea as you can get in any direction. Hopefully next week will be as good.