The reedbed is starting to recover from Easters act of vandalism and the remaining reeds are alive with singing Reed Warblers and the first Sedge Warblers at the site this year. Sadly, Fulwood also got burned pretty bad - the worse it's been hit in the last few years. In an arson-free year, the area would support upwards of twenty five pairs of Reed Warbler and the margins a further fifteen pairs of Sedge Warbler but there will only be a fraction of that this year.
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Back at Brook Vale, it was a typical session for this time of year - plenty of bird song with Blackcap, Whitethroat and Reed Warbler in full song as well as the first Willow Warbler I've heard there this year which we later caught and ringed. We ringed our first two Reed Warblers for the year, a further two Sedge Warbler and caught the Spanish-ringed Blackcap again.
Dan further indulged his fondness for Woodpigeons, finding and checking this nest with two eggs. It was a good opportunity to introduce Finn and Dan to nest recording, which lead on to our exploits in the afternoon.
Dan checking the Woodpigeon nest
Wren - 1
Willow Warbler - 1
Chiffchaff - 2
Blackcap - 3
Whitethroat - 2
Reed Warbler - 2
Sedge Warbler - 2
Dunnock - 1
Blackbird - 6
In the afternoon, we headed out to into the wilds of South-west Lancs to check a number of our nest boxes for Tawny Owl, Jackdaw and Stock Dove. First stop, we had a Tawny Owl on one egg, a Kestrel sitting on five, a Mallard on the bales and two very grubby Stock Doves chicks found by Dan. This is the second species that Dan has ringed as pulli, his first being a good session of Swallows last summer. The second site usually has Kestrel breeding and in recent years, the Barn Owl nest box has been overtaken by Jackdaws. This year, we found three nests of which two were occupied both with three chicks but only one brood were big enough to ring. The final stop of the afternoon was to check a Tawny Owl box, there was only one chick this year, but it was in good condition.
Jackdawn (Corvus monedula)
Elsewhere, Moxey has been keeping an eye on developments at Hightown fields, the Wheatears have all but dried up on the asparagus fields but over the road, he's managed to ring a total of fifteen chicks this week!
Jackdaw - 3
Stock Dove - 2
Tawny Owl - 1
Lapwing - 15
And so, we're off the mark with the pulli this year!