CES 10, Lower Moor Farm: Sunday, 11th August 2019

Originally scheduled for Saturday, but postponed for very obvious reasons, Jonny Cooper and I met up at Lower Moor Farm at 5:00 Sunday morning.  It was still pretty windy, but all bar about 2 metres of one net was sheltered from it.  In fact the weather was pretty good right up to the point (midday) when I started to take down. Jonny had left at 11:00 for a prior commitment, so he missed the absolute (unforecast) downpour that means my nets are currently hanging over the washing line in the garden trying to get them to dry off. A shame because this Monday morning would have been perfect for an ad hoc ringing session.  Still, that is a minor complaint against what was another really good session: our best CES 10 since we started.

It was clear that Saturday’s high winds had an effect on the catch: birds that might have moved on passage having to stay put.  This manifested itself in the first round where there was a decent haul of Chiffchaff in the most sheltered part of the site.

The list for the day was: Kingfisher [1]; Blue Tit 2[7](2); Great Tit 1[2]; Marsh Tit [1]; Long-tailed Tit {2}[1](3); Wren [1]; Dunnock [2]; Robin [3](2); Song Thrush 1; Blackbird [3](1); Reed Warbler [3]; Blackcap [30](3); Garden Warbler [4](2); Whitethroat [1]; Chiffchaff 1[20](1); Willow Warbler [4]; Bullfinch [1].  Totals: 2 birds ringed as unaged from 1 species; 5 adults ringed from 4 species; 84 juveniles from 16 species and 14 birds recaptured from 7 species, making 105 birds processed from 17 species.  Of the 14 retraps 8 were juvenile birds, so the total number of juveniles in the catch was 92 from 105 birds.

It is always good to catch a Kingfisher, especially as they have been largely missing from the site for a couple of years.  This, like our previous one this year, was a juvenile female.  It was in the last catch of the morning, 20 minutes before the rain started. However, perhaps the best bird of the morning was this one:


This is only the second Marsh Tit that we have caught at the site, since I started my ringing activities there in 2013. The previous ringer on site, John Callinan, used to catch a few but his ringing activities were largely in the woodland on the Gloucestershire side of the site and ours is almost exclusively in the lakeside areas on the Wiltshire side of the reserve.

This was our second largest catch of both Blackcap and Chiffchaff, the largest catch for both being on 20th August 2014 (CES 11).   All in all, it was a very satisfying session. with a good catch, well spaced and nicely paced. We were never under any pressure from the number of birds we were catching.


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