Saturday, 16 September 2017

Marsworth - Tapes playing and tricky Chiffchaffs


Marsworth
Summary of three sessions in September
03/09/2017 LL, KB, CK
10/09/2017 LL & AM
15/09/2017 LL & AL

We have had three sessions at Marsworth using tape lures, mainly Blackcap and Chiffchaff song with a bit of Willow Warbler, Goldcrest and also tried Redstart (must have been feeling optimistic).
The weather has been quite poor over the last couple of weeks with strong winds and a fair bit of rain but the birds seem to be in good condition. The adults and most of the juveniles have completed moult although we are still getting a few late 3J Wrens and Chiffchaff. With moult mainly over it is starting to get harder to pick out the adults from the juveniles - see below for a couple of photos which show how careful you have to be!
In the latest session today we started to get a few more birds carrying some fat but nothing higher than F3. The Willow Warblers and Reed Warblers are few and far between now but there is no sign yet of any of the autumn migrants such as Goldcrest.
We have been treated to the displays of 4 Hobbies over the ringing site.

Species
Total Summary
unaged
3
3J
adult
Blackcap
94
3
80
4
7
Blue Tit
5

5


Bullfinch
1


1

Chiffchaff
73
1
62
9
1
Dunnock
1



1
Goldcrest
2

2


Great Tit
7

7


Long-tailed Tit
5
5



Reed Bunting
12*



12
Reed Warbler
3

3


Robin
5

4

1
Treecreeper
1

1


Willow Warbler
2

2


Wren
12

6
6

Total
223
9
172
20
22

Here are two photos of known-age Chiffchaffs which show that they are not always easy to age!
The juvenile had quite rounded tail feathers but it did have 5 OGC visible which helped to age it as juvenile. It is possible that it had replaced the tail but I don't think so because there is a hint of a fault bar showing in the photograph on the left hand side, and possibly T5 has been replaced on the right . 
The adult Chiffchaff had surprisingly pointed tail feathers - the feathers are quite broad and they have the pale grey edging which seems characteristic of adults but it would be easy for this bird to be misaged as a juvenile if you looked at tail shape alone.


Juvenile Chiffchaff KEA648 15/09/2017 (5OGCs)
Originally ringed 29/08/2017 as 3JP 
Adult Chiffchaff JYV145 15/09/2017
Originally ringed 15/05/2017 as 4(M)

Wilstone - 9th September 2017

Saturday 9th September 2017
JT, Anna and Jen.
6am to 11.30am   380’net
Cool and then breezy late am

Short of staff so only three rides put up with Blackcap song at rides 5/6 and 8.
Fewer Chiffs and just two Willow warblers late in the morning but five Dunnocks appearing from somewhere and some Robins too.
As the early rush subsided Anna began extracting for the first time,which she did well, extracting Dunnocks, Blackcaps and Reed Warblers and as it happens a Grasshopper Warbler ! Our first Grasshopper Warbler since June 2011 (see photo below). We also caught a Meadow pipit towards the end ,the first of many for the year I hope.
 Johne





New
Retrap
Total
Blackcap
31
4
35
Blue Tit
3
2
5
Bullfinch

1
1
Chaffinch
1

1
Chiffchaff
8
3
11
Dunnock
5

5
Goldcrest
1

1
Grasshopper Warbler
1

1
Great Tit
3

3
Long Tailed Tit

1
1
Meadow Pipit
1

1
Reed Bunting

1
1
Reed Warbler
7
1
8
Robin
3
1
4
Sedge Warbler
1

1
Song Thrush
1

1
Willow Warbler
2

2
Wren
1
2
3




Total
69
16
85

Grasshopper Warbler photo by Anna