Saturday, 13 April 2013

Waxham: spring at last (with a touch of winter)

A touch of winter - female Fieldfare about to depart the country

For the first time this year we went to Waxham in hope that there might be a few migrants in. Yesterday we arrived predawn and set up. Ringing was slow though it was nice to ring a few Chiffchaffs. Chaffinches and Meadow Pipits were passing overhead in large numbers all morning but very few dropped in.

Totals for Friday 12th April: 11 new (2 retraps, 1 control)

Meadow Pipit 1
Robin 1
Wren 1
Chiffchaff 3 (1 control)
Goldcrest 3
Great Tit 1
Blue Tit 1
Long-tailed Tit (2 retraps, both ringed autumn 2012)

Today was all change, Willow Warblers had arrived overnight as had at least 1 Grasshopper warbler. Yesterday we did see or not here a single one, today the sound of WW echoed from all around the campsite, though not in great numbers (and several were at Horsey Gap after we'd packed up). The gropper piped up mid-morning but only briefly and his voice was a bit unstable, bit out of practice. Singles of Tree pipit and Yellow Wagtail went overhead as did 2 green sandpipers, several small groups of siskin and a couple of brambling. Unlike yesterday there were very few chaffinches and just a few flocks of meadow pipits. A couple of Little terns flew past along the beach.

Ringing-wise it was nice to catch a returning Willow Warbler, ringed last spring, a probable control Chiffchaff (don't immediately recognise the ring sequence) and a surprising female Fieldfare, dropped in late morning and went straight into the net. This is surprising because last autumn when hundreds of fieldfares were dropping out of the sky and landing in the bushes around the nets, not a single one went in, we caught probably over 100 redwings, 5 Ring ouzels and many Blackbirds and song thrushes but no fieldfares. They always sat on top of the bushes, never moving through the bushes, so never going in the net. Today I only saw 3, 2 of which flew over high at dawn, and the only other went straight in the net, very strange.

Total for the day: 7 (5 retraps)

Fieldfare 1 F
Blackbird 1 F
Chiffchaff 1
Willow Warbler 2(1)
Blue tit 1 (1)
Robin 1 (3)

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