Up to Beer Head again this morning with the nets, joined by Peter for the first time this year - sadly I couldn't offer him an exciting session though.
It was soon evident the bushes were quiet, with just the odd Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler filtering through. They could clearly see the nets as well which really didn't help - at one stage I watched a group of five Willow Warblers flitting along the bushes right towards one of my nets, but two went over it, two went around it and I caught just one!
Two nets in two and a half hours saw 14 birds of six species ringed;
4 Willow Warbler
2 Blue Tit
1 Long-tailed Tit
|Chiffchaff (left) and Willow Warbler (right).|
With the clear skies I guess I wasn't surprised how few birds were in the bushes, but I was really surprised about how few birds were passing over. I only noted five 'vis mig' birds overhead; two Swallows, two Meadow Pipits and.... well the and was a bit of a good one...a Short-eared Owl!
As can be seen from my video it was harassed by every Crow in Beer for a short while before it gained height and flew off south east across Lyme Bay. What a lovely surprise, and one of the bonuses of having Beer Head as a ringing site :-).
Despite then spending the rest of the day at work, I still managed another year tick today. Whilst walking the dog around my estate tonight (about 20:30) I could hear a Grasshopper Warbler reeling from the edge of the marshes. A few minutes later and I was stood right next to it - one of the best sounds of the bird world if you ask me.