Monday, 3 September 2018

Marsworth - CES 12 - 31st August 2018 - Last chance to catch up

CES nets - 560'
Weather, Calm, clear, warm
LL/GK


Adults
Juveniles
Total
Dunnock

3
3
Chiffchaff
2
7
9
Willow Warbler

1
1
Reed Warbler

4
4
Blackcap
2
25
27
Blue Tit

3
3
Great Tit
1
1
2
Treecreeper

1
1
Wren

5
5
Robin

2
2
Cetti’s Warbler

1
1
Bullfinch
1
2
3

6
55
61

GK and I met on Friday to do the final CES session since no one was going to be available at the weekend. It was a beautiful late summer morning, blackberries ripening, reeds and orange balsam beaded with dew. The Hobbies in the field behind the reed bed are still there, calling frequently and loudly. We hoped that a big catch might make up our shortfall in bird numbers this year.


The morning started well and we had a couple of busy net rounds with plenty of Blackcaps carrying small amounts of fat. The juveniles have completed their moult and the males have achieved their eponymous black caps while the females have a smooth chestnut cap. An adult female was just completing primary moult. Two adult Chiffchaff were also still in primary moult. One of the three Dunnocks was a juvenile in tail moult. A Treecreeper and a few Robins added variety.

Dunnock with one greater covert replaced

Dunnock - juvenile in tail moult

However, the second half of the session was very quiet with just 11 birds in the last three hours. Although these did include a nice couple of Bullfinch and another juvenile Cetti's Warbler. With GK's wife and daughter visiting, it made a very pleasant morning, but the total of 61 birds was not enough to redeem the year. Our catch this year has been the lowest since 2003; no doubt largely due to the extremely cold and wet start to the year which reduced the number of Sedge Warblers and Reed Warblers arriving safely to breed and a big drop in Chiffchaff numbers.


Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler





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