Tuesday 17 May 2016

Copeland Bird Observatory 13-15th May

On Friday evening I headed out to Copeland Bird Observatory with a new ringer and his partner.  The sun was shinning throughout and clouds were a rare sight.  The wind was a mixed bag but generally from the north and pretty strong, restricting the number of nets.  The island looks great at this time of year when the wildflowers are at their peak and the bracken has yet to unfurl.  It was probably as dry as I have ever seen the island following the great spell of warm weather and no rain for around a week. 

The bright blue skies and the predominately northerly winds brought little in the way of migrants with just a couple of House Martins and Swallows on Saturday and a single Sedge Warbler on Sunday.  The best bird of the weekend was a male Shoveler, potentially only the fourth record at the observatory.  Red-throated Diver was a new species for the year. 

Carrion Crow

The general mist netting was relatively quite with a couple of new birds in Blackbird, Rock Pipit and Wren and a number of retraps of Blackbird, Reed Bunting, Robin and Wren.
The crow trap; baited with bread, dog food and battered cod and chips (salt and vinegar of course), produced the goods, including a new species for me.  On the Saturday afternoon we managed to catch 3 Hooded Crows, which was a nice catch.  Sunday morning got even better when we caught a further 8 Hoodies (1 retrap), a Lesser Black-backed Gull and 2 Carrion Crow.  The Carrion Crows were a first me and only the second and third ringed at CBO in the 62 years of operation, while only one was ringed across Ireland between 1975 and 2015.

Reed Bunting

The new Puffin colony at the observatory seems to be going from strength to strength with at least 24 birds milling about on the water below.  Most of the birds appeared to be paired up with plenty of courtship displays and there were a couple of birds entering burrows! 

Dodgy shot of the Puffins on the phone through the bins

On Saturday a team from the Observatory arrived on Mew Island to ring the Eiders.  They had a successful trip with over 50 birds processed, 21 of those being new birds.  All birds were sitting females and it bodes well for the local breeding populations. 

Hooded Crow

No comments:

Post a Comment