19 September 2011

Sedgies gone?

Yesterday, Sunday, was a better day weatherwise. To start the day there were 3 Pied Wagtails out on the lawn, there has only been one up to now so the arrival of a couple more was a welcome sign even though they will probably only be around for a couple of weeks. They always seem to move on after a brief visit here.

Then while I was looking from the porch out at the seals on the rocks in the bay, a nice male Wheatear appeared on the wall on the other side of the road. I also spotted a couple of Red Throated Divers out in the bay.

There had been one or two reports of the odd migrant turning up over the last couple of days, so my trainer decided it might be worth a look at a site over on Deerness which is usually a good migrant spot. After an hour at the site and nothing being found we decided to go to our usual Swallow roost to see if there was much there. On our way we spotted a couple of Whinchats, a new bird for me.

A couple of hours at the Swallow roost only saw us catch one Reed Bunting and around a dozen Swallows, although there were good numbers overhead they were keeping up high. The noticeable absence was the Sedge Warbler, this was the first time we hadn't caught any this season so it looks like they have now set off on their long journey South.

17 September 2011

Sussex Visitors

On Thursday (15 Sep) five members of the ringing group were joined by Marc and Penny, friends of mine up from Sussex for a week's holiday, for another session at the local Swallow roost.

The evening produced 3 Sedge Warblers, 2 Reed Buntings and 80+ Swallows.

There was also 3 Sparrowhawks and a Kestrel seen flying over the reed bed with one Spaarowhawk managing to take a Starling out of the flock getting ready to roost.

It's likely that next week will be the last week of catching on the reed bed this year so hopefully there will be some reasonable weather to permit one or two sessions.

15 September 2011

Cast away

Just a quick update on the leg.

Went back to the hospital yesterday and after looking at the x-rays the docs decided that the cast could come off. So now it's time to start the physio sessions to get my leg back up to full strength so that I'm fully fit for all the winter ringing activities.

Ducks, geese, winter visitors including hopefully some more Waxwings.

11 September 2011

Is it all over?

After some heavy rain over the last few days and with a bit of a breeze it was decided to venture down to the local Swallow roost to see what was still about.

Swallows numbers overhead were well down with a the largest group only being around 60 birds.

The first trawl of the nets resulted in another 3 Sedge Warblers for this years total and the next two visits to the nets didn't produce anything at all leading to thoughts that the summer season could be over.

A final visit to the nets in the fading light produced another Sedge Warbler and 22 Swallows, one of which was a youngster sporting a ring on its left leg. Unless it got ringed on the wrong leg, we usually ring on the right leg on East Mainland, a left leg ring would indicate that it had been ringed somewhere over on West Mainland (For those not familiar with Orkney the main island of the Orkney island group is referred to as Mainland). So we'll wait and see where it was originally ringed and by who. Could it be one of the ones I ringed on the nest earlier in the year??

The forecast is not looking promising for the next couple of days but hopefully we can get out again later in the week and see if our luck is any better, otherwise ringing on this site could be over for this year. The arrival on North Ronaldsay of a Reed Warbler provides hope that we may get some at our site as we haven't seen any so far.

2 September 2011

Mara's last outing

Although the wind had picked up a little compared to the previous night, last night (1 Sep) saw us back at the local Swallow roost. This was to be Mara's last outing with the ringing group for at least this year maybe longer.

Mara is over from New Zealand, she has been here for the summer working for the RSPB and now it is time to head South like the migrating birds to warmer climes for the winter. I don't think she has seen a winter for at least three years now!!

It was another small catch, only 13 birds, but it gave Mara her first Pied Wagtail. The other birds caught were 2 Reed Buntings, 6 Sedge Warblers (including 2 re-traps) and 4 Swallows.

Mara got to ring the last bird of the evening, a Swallow.

So it's 'Bon Voyage' to Mara and with the forecast for the weekend not looking too brilliant a wait until next week before we are likely to get out ringing again.