7th – 9th August – two visits to Durlston and one to the Olympics   Leave a comment

On the 7th Shaun and I had our first autumn ringing visit to Durlston. There were quite a few early migrants about but the wind soon got up. We caught mainly Willow Warblers plus a the odd Garden Warbler, Whitethroat and Blackcap, we trapped 42 birds in total.

This juvenile Bullfinch cannot be sexed as males and females are identical until the commencement of the post-juvenile moult. The lack of a black crown separates juveniles from adult females.



Most adult ‘Sylvia’ warblers have a complete moult after breeding, however Garden Warblers are more like ‘Acrocephaus’ warblers in that they moult in the winter quarters. Thus the tatty abraded appearance of this Garden Warbler proves it is an adult.

On the 8th I opted to take Amber and Kara to Weymouth to see the Olympic sailing. We parked at the back of Lodmoor and I was able to see a few migrant waders plus a Spoonbill on our way down to the beach. It was quite a long way along the sea wall to the area where the races were shown live on large screens. Kara and Amber wanted to go swimming so we didn’t go any closer, and I watched a couple of races on the screen. The yachts were just visible from the esplanade via binoculars, but to see the race properly you either need to go to the top of the new tower or get tickets to the Nothe gardens. Next to the display screens was an area where various sports were being displayed. The girls had a go at a ‘canoe race’, golf and tag rugby.

Screens on Weymouth beach relay the Olympic sailing races that occur just out of sight in Weymouth Bay.


With face paint and bikinis, Kara and Amber declare their patriotism.


Amber and Kara try a canoe race.

On the 9th I returned to Durlston along with my friend Paul Harvey who is down from Shetland for the Olympics and to see relatives. We only caught 32 birds, 19 Willows but also 6 Garden Warblers. It was quite busy for the first hour but it soon quietened down.

Although still showing signs of juvenile plumage, this male Blackcap had moulted some of its secondaries and greater coverts and also showed the very abraded primaries and tail feathers that would be associated with a pre-moult adult.

I dropped Paul back at his parent’s house in Upton later where his daughter Bryony and grandson Harvey were also staying. Two -and-half-year old Harvey has changed a lot since I last saw him, but there again it would be strange if he hadn’t.

Paul Harvey and Harvey Paul.



Posted August 9, 2012 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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