Sunday, 10 April 2011

First Whitethroat of the Year

Just four group members turned up at 0600 hrs for the first Saturday morning session (9th April) of the new season at Stanford. A total of 15 nets were erected on this sunny, cloudless day with no wind until later in the morning. With lots of birds about it was good to see plenty of Linnets.  In the last two or three years Linnets have increased considerably at the Reservoir and their numbers are approaching those of the 1980's.
Chiffchaff and Willow Warblers were also in evidence and Reed Buntings seemed to be singing from every available perch.

We ringed 22 new birds and processed 23 (retraps) as follows:
Wren (1) - Dunnock 4 - Blackbird 1 (1) - Song Thrush (1) - Sedge Warbler (1) - Whitethroat (1)
Blackcap 2 - Chiffchaff 1 - Willow Warbler 4 (4) - Long-tailed Tit 1 - Blue Tit 1 (1) - Great Tit 1 (1)
Tree Sparrow 2 (1) - Chaffinch 2 (5) - Linnet 2 - Reed Bunting 1 (6)

The retrap data proved to be interesting as the male Whitethroat (ringed 3J in 2009) is the earliest ever recorded at Stanford. The Song Thrush and one of the Willow Warblers were originally ringed by us in 2007 and two of the retrap Chaffinches had not been retrapped since their original ringing in 2006 and 2008 respectively.

Sight records of interest included singles of Curlew and 'Commic' Tern, a number of Swallows and Sand Martins, four Yellow Wagtails and at least seven singing Sedge Warblers (up from the first single bird heard last Saturday 2nd April).