Monday, 13 November 2017

October roundup

Well after a brilliant September! Hopes were high for October to be as good but with only 720 birds ringed this represented just under half of last years total for the month. With constant winds coming from between South through West to North West and periods of rain as well we felt we were constantly battling the weather conditions. With the weather how it was it was not surprising that the expected  Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs petered out very quickly with only 38 and 84 respectively being ringed this month, well down on previous years. Goldcrests moved through in smaller numbers this year with 54 being caught, in contrast Blue and Great Tits moved through in greater numbers than usual, probably reflecting the good breeding season we had here. During this period we also managed to ring 4 Coal Tits which is good for our site. Adam tried a roost catch in the Reedbed managing to catch 15 Starling and the only Reed Buntings (6) for the month. With all the Finches and Buntings well down in numbers the month just faded away. During recent years October has brought increasing numbers of Yellow-browed Warblers to Britain and both Leicestershire and Northants have had their fair share despite being as far from the sea as you can get. During this period Stanford has managed to catch 2 and observed another so you could say Stanford is a bit of a local hot spot recording 3 of the 9 records for Northants. Incredibly, we also caught the first for Northants at Naseby and Adam had one in his mothers garden in Corby so during the middle two weeks of October we get out as much as possible in the hope of catching more, this year being no exception. So with that in mind a small break in the weather on the morning of the 19th before more rain was due I decided to go out for a short session. What a great decision I made! Although it had been a poor morning numbers wise the last bird extracted was exceptional. As it was proving very slow that morning and the weather was closing in I decided to pack up. When reaching the last net I noticed a warbler in the bottom shelf with its back to me, as I walked past it to turn the tape lure off I thought "oh, a late Reed Warbler" so you can imagine my reaction on my return to find it was in actual fact a DUSKY WARBLER !!!! Absolutely amazing and probably out best species to date. I quickly text a local birder who was on site within 10 mins who took all the published photographs. An article along with photo's can be seen on Northamptonshire Bird Sightings web page.