Well this week the migration has been in full swing and so has Mick. Unbelievably he has been out before dawn to set all the nets on every day this week other than Saturday. And that was only because it was raining. Because of either work commitments or people swanning off on holiday (Dawn), Mick has been out to Stanny on his own Monday to Friday. What a week he has had, each day having a respectable number of new birds. Monday (159), Tuesday (110), Wednesday (55), Thursday (79) and Friday (113). In that 516 birds were 5 new Redstart. These birds are not common visitors to Stanford and we are very lucky if we catch 1 a year, so 5 in 1 week is incredible. He also caught a migrating Grasshopper Warbler which is a new species for us for the year. Unfortunately numbers of this species have been reducing over the last few years.
Saturday was a wash out and it was decided not to attempt any ringing. So ringing was planned for Sunday. The weather forecast was perfect with a clear night and very little wind. Mick had noticed that on these type of nights the number of migrating birds were high.
With Dawn still sunning herself, Adam going out on the razz the night before and Jo with family commitments the team was Mick, Peter and myself. At least that was 2 more than had been there for the rest of the week. To make it even better Mick volunteered to get all the nets up before dawn and myself and Peter trundled up at 06.15. Fantastic a lie in.
Boy did we need it!!!!! We met up with Mick. No time for coffee, off we went on a net round.
Mick had put 13 nets up and by the time we had reached halfway we knew it was going to be a brilliant day. Myself and Peter returned to the vehicles and started processing the birds. Mick continued extracting birds from the remaining nets. On Micks return to the vehicles he presented me with a single bird bag stating 'this is for you'. With excitement I placed my hand in the bag and took hold of a young female Redstart. The 6th of the week !!!!! I was really pleased because I had never seen a Redstart in the hand before and certainly never ringed one. Mick knew this and all week he had been texting me stating that he had caught a new Redstart and on one day even caught 2! He'll have to think of another bird to try and wind me up with now.
The day continued in this manner. Mick was extracting and Peter and myself ringing. Very little time for coffee!!! By the end of the session we had ringed 237 new birds and had had 6 retraps one of which was the Grasshopper Warbler from earlier in the week. The birds to note were 50 Chiffchaff and 123 Blackcap., but we also had good numbers of other species
Sedge Warblers (3). Reed Warblers(9). Lesser Whitethroat (3). Whitethroat (6). Garden Warbler (3). Willow Warbler (6) Goldcrest (4) and of course 1 Redstart.
All in all a --------------------------SUPER SUNDAY AT STANNY
For those that are interested the groups annual report for 2014 is now published, and can be seen on our website.