Bird Round up!

Sunday, July 6th 2014

CES 7 went ahead but with many eyes on the weather and the ringers ready to dash out and remove birds from the nets and furl them once the downpours arrived.  A beautiful red dawn was seen as the nets went up.  Then it became very overcast and dark, then lighter cloud and some sunshine, and this is the way it continued for the whole ten and a half hours, with a few drops of rain greeting everyone as they packed up to leave! 

Having spent several ringing days not catching many Chaffinches, 40 new ones made their appearance today.  Bullfinches have been in rude numbers for most of the year and another 20 new ones were ringed today.   Nine Chiffchaff and 8 Willow Warblers received new rings also.  The total catch was 187 and there were several new Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Blackcap.

Many thanks to all the  volunteers who prepared Foxglove for CES 7.  Net rides were cut, net poles were oiled and paths were strimmed.  Thank you also to the team today who ringed the birds and to those who supported them.

Other birds that have been ringed recently include some Swallows chicks.....

Ringing a Swallow chick

and some Pied Wagtails - so note the difference in the species and not Sandra's delicate nails !  Quite a difference it has to be said from the usual grubby, male fists that are often depicted on these pages!

Pied Wagtail chick ready to receive its ring

Last year, on an island in Loch Torridon, a sea loch, the Cape Wrath bird ringers rather unusually found and ringed a Barn Owl.  This year the owls were there again but the surprise was 15 eggs in the nest!  This photograph shows 13 of them.  Discussion took place about what the adults were feeding on as the vegetation on the island is very high and the next question was where were they feeding?  Two adults were found in the nest - could they both have been females!?

Barn Owl nest

Out on the training area around Foxglove Covert, we know of no Grey Herons that have raised young this year, however the ones further north have done well.  Again, on the islands in Loch Torridon, many nests have been successful.

Grey Heron Chicks

At Foxglove, 'our' Sedge Warblers have produced young and some have already been ringed. Further north the eggs are yet to hatch and here is one of their nests.

Sedge Warbler Nest

For the last two years the Cape Wrath team have ringed Red throated Diver chicks.  This year the eggs were still to hatch.  Each year the north and south are very different.

The visit to Cape Wrath is always heavily dependent on the weather and although unable to ring on some days they did ring many more seabirds this year than in recent years and the breeding seabird populations generally were considered to be much improved.

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