After a couple of disappointing early CES sessions I was hopeful that we might see an upturn today. Rosie, Miranda and I met at 5:00 and had the first nets open by 5:20 and the rest by 6:00. We started catching straight away but, just like in Ravensroost last week, the early catches flattered to deceive. It is not to say that it wasn’t a very pleasant session: good weather, lots of bird song and some very pleasant conversations – and a few good birds.
Because the catch was front-loaded it did mean that Rosie got the opportunity to actually process a decent number of birds before heading off to work. One of the first birds out of the net was our first new Cetti’s Warbler of the year. There are so many male Cetti’s singing at the site I am hopeful that we will have a decent catch of their youngsters in the next few weeks. By the same token, there are so many Chiffchaff contact calls in the area and, although we only caught one retrap today, there should be a decent number of youngsters coming through imminently.
What did turn up this morning were:
Our first juvenile Dunnock of the year and:
Our first juvenile Treecreeper of the year. Like our Robins last week, this bird’s wings were still growing. I am wondering whether they are being flushed from their nests by potential predators.
The list for the session was: Treecreeper ; Blue Tit 1(1); Dunnock 1(1); Robin (3); Blackbird 1(1); Cetti’s Warbler 1; Blackcap 1(4); Chiffchaff (1). Totals: 5 adults from 5 species, 5 juveniles from 3 species and 11 birds retrapped from 6 species, making 21 birds processed from 8 species. Of the retrapped Robins, two were juveniles ringed during CES2.
The juvenile Treecreeper was the last bird caught at 10:50. Actually, we caught two birds: a Whitethroat as well as the Treecreeper, only Mr Incompetent managed to let it escape out of the bag instead of processing it! What is worse is that we had not actually caught a single bird between 8:50 and 10:50! I did have good views of a Hobby as it flew across Mallard Lake and Swallow Pool, heading north-west.
Miranda and I took down the nets at 11:15 and were off site just after midday.