Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The Communists are coming!

With a decent day of weather today, I was straight on the blower to Moxey after work to see if he fancied heading down to Hightown Fields to see what was around in terms of migrants. Reports on a number of local bird blogs had reported a decent movement of Wheatear and Willow Warblers earlier in the week, but it was the Whitethroat that were most apparent upon our arrival. Their scratchy tones were calling from a number of directions with at least four singing males in the vicinity.

We put up an additional net to those we have used in previous sessions, this paid off, picking up an early Chiffchaff. There were a few Blackcap around, but none were caught and most surprisingly, it wasn;t until we were packing away that we caught a Willow Warbler. Despite a number of males singing away, it would appear that as of yet, they are not seriously defending any territory, suggesting that in the main, the females are yet to arrive.

In total, we managed to capture two Whitethroat, our first of the year, a male and a female. This is our second Sylvia species of the year and one that we expect to catch many more of as part of our increased efforts on Rimrose.

Male Whitethroat (Sylvia communis)

 Female (top), Male (bottom) Whitethroat

During the session we saw a number of hirundines with plenty of Swallow, a few House Martin and a single Sand Martin but most importantly, three Swifts! Hopefully over the next week or so, we'll get the opportunity to get stuck in at the Sewage Farm!

Whitethroat -   2
Willow Warbler -   1
Chiffchaff -   2
Blue Tit -   1
Reed Bunting -   (1)
Robin -   1   (1)

TOTAL:   7   (2)

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