Tuesday, 28 April 2015

First Waxham visit of the spring brings Portuguese Control Willow Warbler

Earlier in the week the forecast had predicted the wind to swing round from the constant North-Easterly to have some southerly in it, alongside this a band of light rain was predicted... Ideal - a push of migrants then dropped by rain! With this prediction we arrived at Waxham early morning on the Friday ready to catch. Unfortunately the clear skies that greeted us, as far as we could see in every direction, quickly dampened our expectations. As we erected our nets it was clear there had been an arrival but it wasn't a fall, the Waxham breeding birds had simply returned. Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs sang around us but only in the small numbers we expect to breed. For the birds this is great, the good weather meant that everything had gone straight in to breeding grounds and not been grounded at the coast. This was confirmed by our birding friends on UEA Campus who had the first Reed warblers and Grasshopper Warbler back on campus that very morning. However for us it meant just a small catch was on the cards.

And that's what happened...

Total new birds / (retraps/control)

(3) Willow Warblers - 1 Portuguese control, 2 retraps (1 from 09/05/2012)
1 Chiffchaff
3 Whitethoats
1 + (2) Wrens
1 + (1) Long-tailed Tits
3 + (1) Great Tits
1 Chaffinch

The highlight was clearly the Portuguese ringed Willow warbler, but our own retraps were nice also knowing they've been to Africa and back.

The southerly wind meant vismig on the morning was better than recently with yellow wagtails passing over head (all seen were flavissima) and the first Tree pipits. A Ring Ouzel went north while another was on the camping field with 2 Wheatears. 7 local Cranes flew over calling and a Turtle Dove singing from the wood was also a pleasant and increasing rare addition to the day.

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