Friday 3 May 2013

Site faithful migrants & news from Long Point

Yesterday was the first day of the BTO Constant effort scheme for 2013 and with the weather looking perfect we decided to go for it on day 1 and put 710 feet of nets up ready for a dawn start. Although foggy and very cold initially we started catching straightaway.
It was a day of seeing our old birds return from their migration. The oldest was a Reed Warbler, ringed by us in April 2009 and retrapped  every year in the same part of  the reed bed.
Many of our new arrivals were showing very worn feathers like this one after their winter in the sun and long flight back. Other previous years migrant retraps that faithfully return to our CES site included Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and Chiffs. Also one control Reed Warbler from the L052 series.
A total of  30 birds were ringed and 34 retraps. On our first CES day in 2009 we caught 208 of which 183 were new but that included a fall of 144 Sedge Warblers. Without those the numbers are similar)

The reeds are only just starting to grow but water level is normal compared to last year.
Access was very difficult all last spring and summer because of the heavy rainfall and most weeks the water level was above wader height so not possible to run all the nets. Hopefully a drier and less windy breeding season is ahead.

Meanwhile Richard is in his second week at Long Point Bird Observatory with Mick Townsend from Stanford Ringing Group.
The weather has been swinging from cold to hot but migrant warblers are now passing through. With  over 3000 birds banded at the tip this spring they are busy.
 Since the last update some highlights to give an idea of what is moving north into Canada
- a 107 new bird day (too hot and sunny for many migrants to drop in) including 7 Red-bellied Woodpeckers
- a 311 new bird  day including this Evening Grosbeak, now that is big, bright and yellow!
- a 133 bird day including first Black and White Warblers and Baltimore Oriole
- a 404 bird day with lots of warblers including Palm, Yellow and B&W warblers
- a 535 bird day, 56 species including Cerulean and Yellow-throated Warbler
(Dayna and Janice showing the birds here
 and yesterday a Swainsson's Warbler (Long Point's photo) A first for the Tip and 3rd for Long Point.

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