This is foreseen to be an occasional blog relating to bird ringing at Abbotsbury Swannery. The site has operated as a BTO Constant Effort Site since 1995 and has taken part in the BTO Swallow Roost Project. In recent years we have concentrated in the autumn with both Yellow and Pied/White Wagtails. In 2009 we joined the Woodcock Network.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The yellow mist has disappeared...

With the Yellow Wagtails now well on their way to West Africa attention  has moved to the Pied Wagtail roost.  Numbers slowly increase as the Yellow Wagtails disappear.  By the end of the last week the roost had reached about 80 birds and this should slowly increase until the winter really sets in and the birds move inland to a warmer place to spend the night.  A couple of years ago  we traced them in the roost at the Co-op in Bridport.

Male Pied Wagtails are very smart birds- as are all black and white birds.

The head pattern varies considerably but the adult male above has a particularly interesting appearance.  This week the weights of birds also started to show a gain and many birds were carrying fat scores of 30 and 40 suggesting perhaps that they do not intend to stay. 

Other black and white birds trapped included a small party of Long-tailed Tits returning through the withy bed to roost.  Chiffchaffs are still dribbling through in small numbers

Last night in perfect conditions  25 wagtails were ringed from the roost.  Windy weather looks like it will curtail activities for the next few days. 

Finally a couple of pictures from the ringing hut last night of a beautiful calm evening at the West Fleet.

With the wagtails safely extracted attention was turned to the setting sun. 

Please look out for the colour ringed wagtails.  There are no prizes but it is interesting to see where they are.  With luck the harbour roost will appear again soon.  After the big harbour rebuild this year it will be interesting to see if the birds have found a new place to roost.