Monday, 1 November 2010

Patch Tick!

This morning the Axe Estuary Ringing Group had a session planned at Colyford Common - at this time of year we net in the crop field and the north end of the reserve. I was there at half seven, and although ringing was never 'busy' - there was always a trickle of birds.

Just as I was closing the ring on a 'new' Cetti's Warbler that we had just caught, these small clumps of reeds...

(known as Fraser's reed bed)

....suddenly came alive with the calls of Bearded Tits! EPIC!

After a bit of scanning, I spied a female/juvenile sat out on top of one of the nearest patches of reeds. Another female/juvenile joined it and they spent the next few minutes flitting between reeds calling to each other. PATCH TICK!!!!

All nine of us managed to see them, and as we were cursing ourselves for deciding NOT to put a net up in the reed bed today, the Beardies took to the air and gained height rapidly. They started heading off north, but turned around and disappeared into the sun south east. Calling all the way.

Now if I hadn't have had a Cetti's Warbler in my hand, then I'm sure I would be posting some photos of them. But I did, so here's a photo of another Tit with a long-tail...

Pity it didn't bring a stripey warbler with it!

Saw plenty of other birds whilst ringing. A couple of Brambling paused briefly in trees, where a Fieldfare 'chaked' from for half an hour or so early on. A few Redwings were knocking around, as were up to ten Reed Buntings. Overhead Skylarks were passing over in good numbers, and a few small flocks of Wood Pigeons totalled c250 birds.

On Colyford Marsh, a low flying Buzzard spooked over 300 Wigeon and 150+ Lapwing. At least four Rock Pipits were on Colyford Common with a Green Sandpiper and a Snipe also noted.

Nice to see plenty of Common Darters still out in the sunshine, and a female Migrant Hawker.

For some unknown reason, I put a moth trap out last night! I really shouldn't have bothered as this morning I had only one moth to look at....a worn Large Yellow Underwing.

I'll end this post with a couple of photos I forgot I took! They were taken during my second unsucessful search for Lap Bunt at Axe Cliff sometime last week...

Now that's what I call a Bunting!