We managed three ringing sessions over the course of the weekend, starting at Kings Moss on Saturday, Hightown on Sunday and Brook Vale on Monday. In truth, the weekend was pretty quiet - Kings Moss and Hightown yielded little with the latter showing a distinct absence of birds that you would expect to be breeding at this time, namely Blackcap and Chiffchaff. Hightown did provide the first Sedge Warbler of the year however:
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
The majority of the birds were caught at Brook Vale on the Monday. I arrived first and set the nets and by the time Moxey arrived I'd already caught four Blackcap, including one already bearing a ring. Similarly to the Sedge Warbler caught at Hightown last year with a French ring, it was immediately clear that this bird was a 'foreign'. Upon closer inspection, the ring read the inscription showing that it was an ICONA MADRID bird, the ringing group's first Spanish-ringed Blackcap!
Female Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) - pollinated
Later in the ringing session we caught the first two Reed Warblers of the year, caught in the small amount of reeds that remain following a burn during the Easter holidays. Both of these birds were ringed at the site last year as adult birds and there were at least seven singing birds around the ringing site.
Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
The session also provided the first juvenile bird of the year, a recently fledged Blackbird.
Juvenile Blackbird (Turdus merula)