Friday 8 May 2015

Portstewart Strand 06/05/2015

It was an early start this morning, to make the most of a short weather window, before the winds increased and the rain arrived.  I arrived on site at 05.15 to calm, overcast conditions, with the temperature at 7°C and set 'East Ride' and the Gorse nets.  The conditions changed at around 10am, with the winds rising to 25mph northerlies, so I packed up and was off site by 10.30.

Reed Bunting  

It seemed very quiet, which was a combination of a very high tide -meaning the estuary was empty and the local birds have got down to the business of breeding and nest building.  The only things of note were c100 Swallows + c20 Sand Martin hawking low over the water and possibly a 4th Grasshopper Warbler territory.  The smart male Reed Bunting above has been knocking about for weeks but has always managed to avoid the nets, until today.
The ringing was very slow with only 7 new birds and 9 retraps but new warblers are always a bonus.  The pair of Blackcaps caught look ready to breed, with the female showing a good brood patch.


 Female Blackcap brood patch

Ringing Totals 06/05/2015
                                        New         Retrap
Blackcap                            2
Bullfinch                                               1
Goldcrest                                              1                 
Reed Bunting                     1                2
Stonechat                                             1                                                      
Willow Warbler                  3                2
Wren                                  1                2             

Total                                  7                9

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