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.

Monday, 18 November 2013

After the tristis....

After the delight of the evening before the following morning produced just under 50 birds.  There was no sign or sound of the tristis from the withy bed but a steady trickle of Chiffchaffs turned up and most of them were extracted from the nets in the reed bed not in the withy bed. Nine Cetti's Warblers have also been caught in the last two ringing sessions.  They are everywhere at the moment calling from just about anywhere in the Swannery.

A couple of Lesser Redpolls were trapped in the reeds but not in the numbers which had been hoped for on such a lovely calm morning.

Delightful birds

The usual species were trapped at the feeder including many new Great tits and a Blue Tit from 2008.  A nice re-trap.

The Chiffchaffs had predominatly longer wings than usually caught here most of them 61-62mm.  Different population no doubt. 

Finally my photographic offering of the tristis from the night before

A handsome bird!

Weather on the change this week so things might get put on hold after a golden run of a few days good ringing.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

A five star morning!

A morning session today proved to be very rewarding.  A slow start and then it took off big time. A lovely variety of Redpolls were trapped in the reeds.  Good reason for not taking in the wagtail nets yesterday!

This was followed by the surprise of the morning when four Bearded Tits were found in the same net run.  There had been no sounds heard from these birds all morning and certainly no typical 'pinging' as they moved about the reeds. Obviously they were in a stealth mode!

Also trapped were several Cetti's Warblers as they moved about the Swannery.  October and November often sees good numbers of these birds as they move through the area.

A few more Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests were trapped and the last bird of the morning lived true to yesterdays suggestion.

A Siskin was extracted from the bottom shelf in the centre net of the withy bed- right above a small puddle of fresh water!

The weekend looks good so hopefully a few more calm mornings to follow.  Whether they will live up to this morning remains to be seen!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

A change in the weather..

A week off and today saw a pleasant break from the misery which has continued for some while.  A lovely calm day so perfect for a ringing session!  The reeds are very quiet this time of the year.  Even the Pied Wagtails become harder to trap as they move from the outer fringes to a warmer and safer location in the centre of the reedbed.  This means that you can't get at them usually but this evening they were watched till they dropped down. There is a chance that a net can be repositioned!

Just prior to the sun disappearing over the beach a short inspection was made of the lagoon edge of the site and I flushed a small group, well about ten, Reed Buntings.  Next time I will be ready for them. The net is in position for them.  Reed Buntings never roost in big numbers here some some reason.

The nets in the reeds at Helen's Hide today caught just Cetti's Warblers and a single Wren. After this week they will be taken down until Yellow Wagtail time again next year.  In the withy bed though things were a little busier with a gentle flow of Chiffchaffs, Goldcrests and Wrens. 

A delightful Wren

Spiders eye view of a Goldcrest!


On the last net round a Goldfinch was found in the bottom shelf- I suspect dropping down for an evening drink in the small puddle of fresh water under the net.  Siskins have done this on previous visits.

With more calm weather forecast on and off this week it looks promising for a few more visits.  Finally what better way to end a glorious day than to have two Marsh Harriers soar right over your head as you furl the nets!