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After a frustrating week when it was either too hot, too wet or too windy we finally got out this morning before the wind got up mid morning. We set a conservative net set and were joined by our summer visitor Sarah and Karen a trainee from Welsh Wales. We got off to a good start with a specialist mist net set accounting for a control and 7 new Black Headed Gulls. 
 
Noticeable by their absence are any Blackbirds, Garden Warblers and Lesser Whitethroats. A catch of this size is quite low for this time of year and it feels that the season may be behind but also that many species have not had another good season but time will tell. MP, JN, SW, SR, KM
 
The passerine nets were steady if unspectacular giving the following totals:
 
Black Headed Gull 7 (1), Sedge Warbler 6 (3), Reed Warbler 6 (6), Blackcap 5 (1), Whitethroat 8 (1), Chiffchaff 8 (1), Willow Warbler 8, Blue Tit 5, Great Tit 1, Robin 4 (1), Wren 7 ,Long Tailed Tit 0 (1)
 

A stunning mornings ringing with the first big catch of the summer containing lots of quality. Juvenile warblers made up a large proportion of the catch which was amply padded out by something of a Wren-fest.

A good few Grasshopper Warblers were singing while we were putting up nets in the dark. It soon became apparent why in daylight as large areas of prime grassland and scrub habitat has been severely burnt by the MoD firing flares during military exercises and setting the tinder dry grass alight. This had pushed quite a lot of extra birds onto my ringing area, but also will have killed many nestlings of all species that had not yet fledged.

With all the usual nets set up we put up a bonus net in the bottom of one of the grassy valleys and the first two birds it caught were Whinchats. These were later followed by another two and two Stonechats. We caught 3 of the Grasshopper Warblers and yet another Redstart. One of the last birds of the morning was a Tree Pipit which finished off a very productive morning of 130 new and 20 retraps. PD/GD/OF/AC

Stock Dove 2, Wood Pigeon 2, Green Woodpecker 1, Swallow 5, Tree Pipit 1, Wren 10(1), Dunnock 2, Robin 2(2), Redstart 1, Whinchat 4, Stonechat 2, Blackbird 2(1), Song Thrush 2, Grasshopper Warbler 3, Reed Warbler 1, Sedge Warbler 1, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Whitethroat 18(4), Garden Warbler 1, Blackcap 20(4), Chiffchaff 13(5), Willow Warbler 8(3), Blue Tit 6, Great Tit 3, Tree Sparrow 9, Chaffinch 1, Goldfinch 4, Linnet 3, Yellowhammer 2 

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Group totals up to mid-July for Matt. There will be 5-600 extra Tree Sparrow pulli to add onto whats here but not all the nest record details have been completed yet. GD

  Full grown Pulli Retraps Total     Full grown Pulli Retraps Total
Sparrowhawk 1 0 1 2   Reed Warbler 84 20 59 163
Water Rail 1 0 0 1   Lesser Whitethroat 13 0 6 19
Lapwing 0 3 0 3   Whitethroat 186 0 74 260
Jack Snipe 5 0 0 5   Garden Warbler 19 0 20 39
Snipe 16 0 0 16   Blackcap 243 4 58 305
Green Sandpiper 0 0 1 1   Chiffchaff 119 0 31 150
Black-headed Gull 4 0 0 4   Willow Warbler 124 0 34 158
Stock Dove 1 15 0 16   Goldcrest 24 0 4 28
Woodpigeon 22 4 6 32   Firecrest 2 0 0 2
Collared Dove 3 0 0 3   Spotted Flycatcher 0 5 0 5
Cuckoo 2 0 0 2   Long-tailed Tit 79 0 45 124
Little Owl 3 8 0 11   Marsh Tit 2 19 11 32
Tawny Owl 1 0 0 1   Willow Tit 2 8 8 18
Kingfisher 4 0 2 6   Coal Tit 93 0 125 218
Green Woodpecker 5 0 0 5   Blue Tit 290 203 262 755
Great Spotted Woodpecker 15 0 33 48   Great Tit 189 93 227 509
Skylark 6 0 0 6   Nuthatch 3 0 19 22
Swallow 16 71 0 85   Treecreeper 8 0 8 16
House Martin 21 0 0 21   Jay 8 0 1 9
Tree Pipit 2 0 0 2   Magpie 2 0 0 2
Meadow Pipit 12 0 6 18   Jackdaw 3 8 0 11
Yellow Wagtail 1 0 0 1   Rook 0 16 0 16
Grey Wagtail 1 0 1 2   Carrion Crow 0 4 0 4
Pied/White Wagtail 13 0 1 14   Starling 18 0 3 21
Wren 82 0 35 117   House Sparrow 123 1 13 141
Dunnock 135 0 142 277   Tree Sparrow 67 88 33 188
Robin 122 5 72 199   Chaffinch 374 0 79 453
Nightingale 0 0 6 6   Brambling 11 0 2 13
Redstart 12 0 0 12   Greenfinch 127 0 41 168
Whinchat 2 0 0 2   Goldfinch 176 0 60 236
Blackbird 123 5 91 219   Siskin 31 0 7 38
Fieldfare 7 0 0 7   Linnet 235 8 2 245
Song Thrush 26 0 19 45   Lesser Redpoll 131 0 40 171
Redwing 16 0 0 16   Bullfinch 64 0 30 94
Mistle Thrush 1 0 0 1   Yellowhammer 306 0 41 347
Grasshopper Warbler 26 0 6 32   Reed Bunting 86 0 51 137
Sedge Warbler 46 0 25 71   Corn Bunting 16 0 1 17
Marsh Warbler 1 0 0 1            
            Total: 4011 588 1842 6441

Despite a rahter windy night and the forecast for later in the morning for more wind we decided to give it a go in the hope of catching more juvenile warblers. The first net round produced yet another Redstart as well as the usual net happy male Grasshopper Warbler. This time of year usually results in catching large number of juvenile Whitethroats but today we caught lots of 3J Chiffchaffs including a very young looking control. 

A nice juvenile Green Woodpecker was the morning highlight and was a ringing tick for trainee Andrew. As predicted, the wind was at hurricane force by 0830 which meant an early end to the morning which was a real shame as we had already got to 57 new and 13 retraps by that time. GD/PD/AB

Green Woodpecker 1, Swallow 3, Wren 7, Dunnock 1, Robin 3, Redstart 1, Song Thrish 1(1), Grasshopper Warbler (1), Lesser Whitethroat 1, Whitethroat 7(2), Garden Warbler 1(1), Blackcap 7(4), Chiffchaff 10(2), Willow Warbler 3, Great Tit 3(1), Tree Sparrow 4, Linnet 1, Bullfinch (1), Yellowhammer 3

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Following a crazy morning and a hot afternoon ringing Tree Sparrow nestlings, Simon, Jack and I found ourselves on the Salisbury Plain setting nets in the hot evening sunshine. Sadly, in line with everywhere else there were no Quail present. Paul joined us in the morning and two Grasshopper Warblers reeled at dawn and we caught them along with two juveniles thus proving breeding. The site was not alive with birds but we were really pleased with the number of Whitethroats, our first juvenile Lesser Whitethroat of the season and also three moulting adult Redstarts allowing a good bit of training on moult scores. Star bird of the day however was the juvenile Tree Pipit that is the first we have ringed on site within the breeding season. Notable by their absence were Blackbird, Robin, Long Tailed Tit, Blue Tit and Great Tit which is pretty worrying. What a great way for Jack to spend his 19th birthday. MP/JN/SW/PA
 
Whitethroat 28 (6), Lesser Whitethroat 1, Yellowhammer 2 (1), Grasshopper Warbler 4, Redstart 3, Dunnock 1 (3), Wren 5, Willow Warbler 1 (1), Blackcap 1, Linnet 1, Tree Pipit 1, Swallow 1
 
Tripit-001
 
With Autumn wader passage starting we thought it was the right time to set a couple of wader nets at Swindon STW and we were well rewarded with 4 Black Headed Gulls but best of all a retrap Green Sandpiper that was originally ringed in August 2010, this species is very difficult to catch and not many are ringed in the UK let alone retrapped at the same site in subsequent years. The normal passerine nets kept us occupied with Reed Warbler being the predominant species and a bonus juvenile Treecreeper which is a scarce visitor to the site but does typically turn up in July/August. On a net round to the wader net I saw a pair of Shoveler with three young that is the first successful breeding of the species on site, we had been seeing a pair until six weeks ago but they had ‘disappeared’ until today. My delight was short lived when the next net I checked had a female tufted duck in who took one look at me and decided to roll out and fly off.
 
65 new with 21 retraps was very respectable considering that we packed up an hour earlier than normal due to the heat. MP/JN/SW/PA
 
Green Sandpiper 0 (1), Black Headed Gull 4, Woodpigeon 1, Song Thrush 1, Reed Warbler 10 (12), Sedge Warbler 6, Blackcap 9 (3), Whitethroat 5, Chiffchaff 11 (1), Willow Warbler 1, Dunnock 3 (1), Wren 5 (1), Robin 0 (1), Great Tit 2, Blue Tit 4 (1), Treecreeper 1, Long Tailed Tit 2
 
gresa

After weeks of mediocre catches at this site it was nice to actually ring a decent number of birds, the only problem was that none of them werew Nightingales. Even the family parties of juveniles calling from the scrub seem to know where all the nets are. The catch was made up mostly of young birds with warblers featuring predominantly but we did manage to intercept a roving tit flock which padded out the totals a bit. The best bird of the morning was yet another juvenile Redstart, the 6th ringed in the last 3 visits, and the local male Grasshopper Warbler which has started up singing again.

On the way home we checked all our Tree Sparrow sites but only found two broods to ring. It looks like the bad winter we had has badly affected this species as my sites look like they will be a good 60% down on last years pulli totals. At one of the sites is a good sized House Martin colony on the farmhouse and with plenty of time on our side it seemed rude not to have a go at them. A caught 5 in around 10 minutes before the rest of them figured out what was happening. 73 new and 20 retraps were not a bad days return. GD/PD/OF/AB

House Martin 5, Wren 2(1), Dunnock 6(1), Robin 4(1), Redstart 1, Blackbird (3), Song Thrush (1), Grasshopper Warber (1), Lesser Whitethroat 1(1), Whitethroat 10(2), Garden Warbler 4(2), Blackcap 9(5), Chiffchaff 4, Willow Warbler 6(1), Blue Tit 4, Great Tit 8, Tree Sparrow 8, Linnet 1, Yellowhammer (1)

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Details of the latest batch of recoveries from the BTO has arrived and are listed below:

Recoveries

Willow Warbler  Swindon STW  3 Aug 2012     to     Pouillon, France  5 Apr 2013   245 days, 888km

Blackcap   Nightingale Wood  7 Sep 2010    to    Woolhampton, Berks   11 Jun 2013   1008 days, 44 km

Goldfinch  Nightingale Wood  5 Nov 2011    to    Hednesford, Staffs   20 Jun 2013   593 days, 128km

Lesser Redpoll   Hens Wood  25 Mar 2012    to    Catterick, Yorks   21 Apr 2013   392 days, 328km

Controls

Lesser Redpoll   Wintersett Res, Yorks  13 Oct 2012     to     Axford  27 Apr 2013  196 days, 244km

Lesser Redpoll   Blackburn, West Lothian  20 Oct 2011     to     Axford   16 Apr 2013   544 days, 509 km


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