CES 11, Lower Moor Farm: Wednesday, 21st August 2019

Our CES sessions so far this year have been much more productive than the equivalent sessions last year: until today.  Last year’s session delivered 64 birds, 56 ringed and 8 recaptured from 15 species; this year’s was 40 birds ringed and 17 recaptured from 16 species.  Fewer birds from more species.  The differences can be summed up in two birds: Garden Warblers and Blue Tits. Last year we caught 9 Garden Warblers: 1 adult and 8 juveniles, this session, none.  Blue Tits were down from 10 processed to 5: 3 juveniles and 2 adults this year compared with 8 juveniles and 2 adults last year.

However, it would be churlish to complain about a catch that included our first Green Woodpecker of the year at Lower Moor Farm (our most regular catching site for the species – 9 of 13 caught since 1st January 2013 have been caught at Lower Moor Farm) and our third Kingfisher of the year at this site:


The three caught so far this year is our second best annual catch (5 in 2016) with 4.5 months to go.  They are lovely birds to work with. I don’t know another species that will actually lie down on the scales when you weigh them.  This is the standard method that I was taught for weighing a Kingfisher. It has the benefit of not trying to fit that long beak into a pot.  The bird can flip over onto its belly and escape before you get a reading sometimes but, on the whole, they lie still until you pick them up and turn them over.


This one sat on Andrew’s hand for a minute before flying off across Mallard Lake (i.e. just long enough for me to get my camera out of the bag, not long enough for me to get a photo), completely unharmed by its experience.  The team today was Andrew Bray, David Williams and, for her first taster, Sunny Jones: Sunny by name and, very definitely, sunny by nature.  She will fit right in with the team if she decides she would like to become a regular.

The list for the day was: Kingfisher [1]; Green Woodpecker [1]; Treecreeper 1[2]; Blue Tit [1](4); Great Tit (1); Long-tailed Tit {2}; Wren 1[5](2); Dunnock [1]; Robin [3](1); Song Thrush [1](1); Blackbird [2](2); Cetti’s Warbler (1); Reed Warbler [1]; Blackcap [12](2); Chiffchaff 1[5](2); Bullfinch (1).  Totals: 2 unaged birds ringed; 3 adults ringed from 3 species; 35 juveniles ringed from 12 species and 17 birds recaptured 10 species, making 57 birds processed from 16 species. Of the retrapped birds, 10 were juveniles, so 45 of the 57 birds were juveniles from 14 species.

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