Friday 23rd September – Durlston and Kinson   Leave a comment

When I retired the question I was regularly asked was ‘what will you do with all that spare time’. I thought it would be great to document what I was doing with the new-found spare time by writing a blog. Little did I realise that I would be so busy that sometimes there wouldn’t be time to write that blog.

A classic example of this was on Friday. Mick Cook, our trainee ringer Ali and I set up the nets at Durlston at dawn. It was soon obvious that there was a big arrival of migrants. By 1300 we had ringed 258 birds, the vast majority (182) Chiffchaffs, followed by Blackcap (57). We could have ringed many more if we had the manpower. Although numbers were high, variety was low. The only other long distance migrants trapped were two Whitethroats and four Swallows.

We were busy (but not swamped) but there was no time to photos, so I will just enclose a photo of a Chiffchaff taken at Lytchett Bay the following day.

Chiffchaff - the ubiquitous autumn migrant

Although the purpose of ringing is to gather data about the migration, longevity, population dynamics etc of our birds, there is no doubt that we all secretly (and sometimes not so secretly) hope to catch something rare. In this regards at least the autumn so far has been a disappointment, indeed Hamish, tongue-in-cheek (I hope) said that if don’t catch something rare by the end of the month we will get the boot from Durlston!
After catching up on some paperwork in the afternoon, Margaret and I joined some of our friends in the Nexus organisation at a quiz organised by the Dorset Wildlife Trust in Kinson.
The questions ran over ten rounds and were very hard (which I don’t mind) but we had little time to answer each question. It might have been due to the acoustics of the room, the shortcomings of the microphone or some other reason, but the quiz mistress’ voice came over with a penetrating shrillness and it was often hard to catch the questions. However in spite of all these issues, our team of Margaret, three other Nexuns and myself beat the other 19 teams and won!

DWT quiz at Kinson Community Centre. Guy Dutson's parents John and Bronwyn are sitting bottom right.

Posted September 25, 2011 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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