30 Sep 2013

Definitely autumn.

Our annual trip to Shetland is coming up over the next week - with Yellow-browed Warblers pouring into the Northern Isles along wit ha White's Thrush., Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler and no less than two Lanceolated Warblers already and the wind staying in the S E until the weekend expectations are high............

A lot nearer home things have been relatively quiet with few migrants on Hilbre and the occasional Chiffchaff or Willow Warbler passing through the garden. Highlight for me was spending another intensive day at Foxglove Covert LNR ringing this weekend. A nearly start saw us putting nets up on nearby moorland, in the dark and surrounded by mist, to try and catch some passage Meadow Pipits. There were hundreds of birds moving and we ended up catching about 105. The majority, as expected, were juveniles.

Back at the main ringing base they were kept equally busy with a surprising number of Coal Tits. We joined them around midday once the Meadow Pipit passage had tailed off. There had obviously been a movement overnight. The bonus for me was getting to process a retrap Marsh Tit and a Tree creeper. A fantastic though tiring day at this reserve in the middle of Catterick Army base.

I also paid a visit to Inner Marsh Farm RSPB where dropping water levels had revealed a lot of mud and attracted in a good variety of waders and this juvenile Heron

Spotted Redshanks, Black-tailed Godwits, Lapwings and Ruff roosted amongst the Teal and Mallard whilst cryptically camouflaged Snipe roosted in the reedy margins.

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