15th September 2013 - Salisbury Plain (centre)
With calm conditions forecast before the autumn storm was due to hit later in the morning we ventured out to the Plain again hoping that clear night would mean that all the migrants held up by the recent nights of rain would finally be able to move.
We arrived onsite to some low level mist and a temperature of just 2°c which by first light caused a ground frost. With tape lures playing Blackcap and Chiffchaff at the nets it wasn't long before the scrub was alive with the calls of Blackcap's and it soon became obvious that it was going to be a busy morning. We ended up with a massive 147 new Blackcap's and 88 Chiffchaff's, a total that has taken me to over 1000 Blackcap for the year. As well as the expected warblers we also caught Lesser Whitethroat, Graden Warbler's and Willow Warbler's all of which have usually long gone in 'normal' years when breeding starts when it should.
There was also a good passage of Meadow Pipit's for the first time this autumn and we caught 38 in our usual pipit nets. With one large bush in the catch zone this net is also good for catching warblers moving between areas of scrub and always seems to attrach Redstart's, of which we caught 2 here with another elsewhere.
We had to start taking the nets down at 10.00 as the wind had pick up and a quick tally of the days catch resulted in 299 new birds. Not happy with being one short of 300 a quick check on the artillery bunkers on the offchance that there might be some Stock Dove pulli resulted in. 2 chicks being ringed. We therefore ended up with 301 new and 4 retraps. No Great Reed Warbler's today, but you can't have everything. GD/PD
Stock Dove 2, Swallow 1, Meadow Pipit 38, Robin 3, Redstart 3, Sedge Warbler 4, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Whitethroat 10, Garden Warbler 2, Blackcap 147(1), Chiffchaff 88(2), Willow Warbler 2, Chaffinch (1)