6th – 8th May – mainly Durlston   Leave a comment

On the 6th I joined Ian Alexander and his colleague Sarah for some ringing at Durlston. Again it was cold with a stiff north-east wind and low cloud. We didn’t catch many birds, 13 to be precise but it was enough to demonstrate some ringing to Sarah. Interestingly we have trapped 14 Common Whitethroats this year, 5 of which have been retraps from last year, showing a high degree of site fidelity. Other good birds seen included two Hobbies and two Black Redstarts.

The first Reed Warbler we have ringed in 2012. This species has an extended migration period with some birds still arriving in June.

This female Blackcap has compacted pollen above its bill picked up on refueling stops on migration. A study is underway to identify the plants concerned and if possible their location.

On Sunday evening we invited Nick and Jackie Hull round for a meal. They moved from Fordingbridge to Upton just three days ago and we thought they would appreciate an evening away from unpacking. We had a pleasant evening discussing many aspects of birding and travel.

Nick and Jackie run a local birding company called TwO Owls Birding,  see http://www.twoowlsbirding.co.uk/www.twoowlsbirding.co.uk/Home.html

All of Monday was spent doing jobs at home. Janis, Andy, Amber and Kara, on hearing there was cottage pie and apple crumble on offer, came round for dinner.

I know its stating the obvious, but Amber and Kara are look more grown up every time I see them.

With rain overnight and the wind dropping to a light southerly breeze, the 8th promised a lot, but delivered little at Durlston. As on Sunday we ringed few birds, but we did retrap both the Lesser Whitethroats we have caught this spring and showed them to be a breeding pair.

Some birds can be sexed on plumage and others on measurements, but in spring most female passerines lose belly feathers and form a vasculated brood patch to aid incubation, this allows almost all species to be sexed at this time. This Dunnocks brood patch was hard to photograph as with the camera in the way I couldn’t blow on the belly to reveal the patch!

I called in to Swineham on the way home and had great views of this Garganey male and also a Hobby.

Posted May 8, 2012 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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