27th – 28th April – Partial sucess, then failure at Durlston.   Leave a comment

After the winds of yesterday it looked like it would be still enough to ring at Durlston this morning. It was still quite windy and huge shower clouds rolled in from the sea but Sean, Mick and I only had to rush and close the nets once. We only ringed 14 birds plus 4 but this involved 15 species ,three of which are shown below. On the migrant front we saw Willow and Chiff, Blackcap and Lesser Whitethroat (which was singing in the garden) and a retrap Common Whitethroat from last year, (which was also holding territory in the garden) and there was a light passage of Swallows. Migrants aren’t exactly pouring in but at last there is steady trickle.

The threat of more heavy rain caused us to pack up about 0930.


Although the winds were lighter than yesterday heavy shower clouds rolled to either side of the park.


Jays are normally very aggressive in the hand but this bird was unusually docile.


Jays can be aged by the pattern and number of black bars on the outer greater coverts. This is an adult.


The pair of Mallards chased each other around the site until they blundered into one of the nets, but the female got out before we reached it.


Mick released the Mallard which then walked to the pond, preened, then climbed out the far side and went to sleep. Proof that ringing doesn't scare birds.


This penetrating gaze of a Sparrowhawk is probably the last thing many a small bird gets to see.


On the Saturday we were booked to give a public ringing demonstration at Durlston. I got up at 0430, arrived there at 0530 where seven of us hung around in our cars for an hour and half waiting for the rain (which the met office had failed to forecast) to end, before we gave up and headed home.

On Sunday evening my old friend and former ringing trainer Trevor Squire and his wife Sheila came round for a meal. We had an excellent evening recalling some of our former ringing adventures and hearing some of Trevor’s scary stories of ringing in various parts of Africa.


Sheila and Margaret listen intently ....


... to one of Trevor's hair-raising tales.


Trevor brought along some study skins from ringing in east Africa, top to bottom: River, Marsh and Reed Warbler.


I would love to have the chance to ring a Thrush Nightingale, but I guess that isn't going to happen at Durlston or Lytchett Bay.






Posted April 29, 2012 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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