Once more I found myself at Sandy Smith Nature Reserve in the early hours of Saturday morning - I'll do pretty much anything to chase after birds!
Us ringers have had time to catch and ring the breeding migrants (although there's still a little time to get the sneeky little beggars that have evaded us so far and/or their offspring). Far more interesting though are the ones that have started to move already.
Cue 'daydream sequence'.
Whitethroat 8 (7 juveniles & 1 adult - all new). That makes 33 whitethroats I have ringed in just 7 visits!
Willow Warbler 1 (a juvenile likely to be on migration)
Dunnock 1 (an adult female still on egg/young)
Wren 4 (2 juveniles and 2 moulting adults).
It was pretty slow going - I stayed out until 5pm and the longest interval between birds was 2 hrs 50 mins!
I'd picked up on the grape vine that Willow Warblers have started to move and was pleased with the one today (a site tick - I spend more and more time with birders and this tick craze is starting to rub off! Better use a pen then I guess!).
Green Woodpeckers - always a target species with me - showed themselves, laughed at me, and went nowhere near the nets. Humph.
4 Kestrels were seen all day hunting the surrounding grassland. Despite dozens of attempts at catching food, I never saw a sucessful hunt. If at first you don't suceed, try again ... and again ...
Maximum count of 4 Buzzards (at the same time) were seen circling over Chicksands Wood with the odd one straying closer.
Jay(s) heard but not seen.
1 Sparrowhawk seen circling following the thermals - with a Buzzard!
1 Hobby seen racing eastwards catching food on the wing.
1 afternoon fox. Must have been hungry - are they having a hard time like the hedgehogs in this weather?
Numpty Green forgot his camera so no photographs today! So instead, lets hope that at least one of these whitethroats gets retraped somewhere very interesting as not enough is known about this graceful bird.