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, 25 December 2013

Two sides of the Chesil.....

Not much bird news this time. Another wind blasted few days with no hope of setting any nets. With the Reed Buntings now having moved elsewhere - I need to find out where - it was decided to take down the roost nets as deteriorating weather was imminent. When the outside of the beach looks like this

You can be sure that the reed bed inside the Swannery will look like this.

The water level had gone from wellington boots to waders. However the short lived net ride had done the job with just under 100 Reed Buntings trapped at roost.

Late afternoon skies are always spectacular on the Fleet - this afternoon was no exception

The weather does not look very inspiring over the Christmas break but maybe the wind will drop for a couple of hours and allow a few more birds to slip onto the end of year totals

Friday, 6 December 2013

Bunting bonanza!

Since the last post over 90 Reed Buntings have been trapped and ringed.  They drop in at 15.30 sharp and then move about the reeds.  The maximum counted coming into roost the other evening was 63.  This evening the visit caught just ten birds.  They have moved slightly nearer the water where the reed is possibly warmer which means that the nets will have to be repositioned for maximum effect.

A few Chiffchaffs are still moving about in the reeds and the ever present Blue Tits who seem to spend a lot of time over the winter months in reed beds.

This evening the sunset from the viewpoint was spectacular.

Hopefully the weather next week will permit some more visits to the roost.  Always the chance of something good in with the Reed Buntings!  About 50 Pied Wagtails are also roosting nearby in the reed bed so a chance there to get more colour rings on birds.

Monday, 2 December 2013

An Emberizidae experience

Following a quiet morning last Friday at the feeders and the withy beds when the most interesting bird caught was a Treecreeper- the first coincidentally for 2013 which was followed by a raucous Great Spotted Woodpecker a passing comment from Steve about a lot of Reed Buntings gathering out by the Fleet Pipe pricked my ears up.

Returning later that afternoon to see what what was happening it was clear that Steve's observations were very accurate. About 50 Reed Buntings in the reeds by the Fleet Pipe.  A quick measuring session would permit 3x15m nets.

Last evening a total of 29 Reed Buntings were trapped. Interestingly none of the birds which I had ringed during the year at the Swannery were re-trapped although the bird which Luke had ringed nearby at his private site the other week was re-trapped at the roost.

A second attempt is envisaged this evening as calm conditions prevail.  Always hopeful that something a little special is in with the Reed Buntings.  From previous experience Little Buntings are not unknown to roost with this species!