This blog post is by Andrew Bray:
On June 25th I visited the scrub near New Zealand farm on Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA) West. The site was originally worked by Ian Grier, but he and the SPTA Authorities have allowed me to ring there once a month.
My first trip was in May and this was my second visit. I was there at 4:00 am and had the nets set up by 5:00 am, as I used some nets that I had not used previously and one caused me problems. I set up two 2 x 18 m nets as shown on the map:
There were lots of Whitethroat, plus a a family of young Blue Tit that were all in Juvenile plumage with no pin showing. The Whitethroat were the largest part of the catch and a mix of moult and age. This is not surprising, as the height of the scrub suited these birds.
The list for the day was: Blue Tit 4; Great Tit 1; Wren 1; Dunnock 1; Robin 1; Blackcap 2; Whitethroat 9. 19 birds ringed from 7 species. Of these birds the Blue Tits, Dunnock, Great Tit and 5 of the Whitethroat were newly-fledged juveniles.
It was rather breezy on arrival and by 8:00 am was blowing the nets from a strong easterly, so I reluctantly took them in and was finished by 9am. A cup of tea later later I drove away until July. I hope to catch the Grasshopper Warbler that was calling from the scrub by the second set of nets.