A bank holiday weekend full of birds was my hope. Apart from one net round on Sunday morning (14 birds) it wasn't exactly full, but there was enough to make it worthwhile.
Saturday and Monday were spent at Sandy Smith Nature Reserve and Sunday saw me fulfilling my commitment to complete 12 CES sessions at Priory Country Park.
Above: Lesser Whitethroat at Priory Country Park. Our first one ringed all year here, a juvenile.
The catch at Priory included a mini-influx of Blackcap - probably on the move along with the Lesser Whitethroat.
A ringing demo to the guided bird walk allowed us to demonstrate our craft to 5 lucky onlookers who saw a Long Tailed Tit and a Blackcap. They just missed the round with 14 birds but went away before we spent ages, and ages awaiting our next bird!
Above: Willow Warbler at Sandy Smith Nature Reserve.
I've caught a few Willow Warblers here recently (none at Priory Country Park as yet this year).
Reports of Winchat at SSNR earlier in the week had me wandering to find them. Saturday morning and first thing they weren't around but mid morning 2 appeared. House Martins on migration passed over. Monday morning and House Martins were again on the move and though I looked for the Winchat, I drew a blank. A couple of Linnets were a bonus.
Star bird of the bank holiday weekend was to be a bit of a surprise. The first one to be ringed at SSNR. During the winter I may have seen one (views weren't great and not enough to positively ID it) - not on the site, but very nearby. So it's been a possibility.
This is another bird record that will be deposited in my growing 'bird bank' (or IPMR to other ringers!).
Above & Below: A Nuthatch. At this time of year (after post juvenile moult & moult in the adult), we are unable to age these birds as there are no reliable differences in plumages.
For a second, I thought I'd caught a second one later on, but it wasn't to be (it was the same bird!). Hopefully next time it (and others of its kind) will make an appearance later in the year, and/or next.
"Cracking bird Gromit!"