• Belvide 9th August

    Totals for today included willow warbler 7, sedge warbler 3, chiffchaff 6, blackcap 1, wren 2, robin 1, reed warbler 2, blue tit 1, kingfisher 1. For every 3 birds caught there were probably 2 retraps so we must have had 60+ birds including these.

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  • A steady trickle of migrants

    Not as many birds around as last weekend--but we still managed a decent catch of 67 new birds plus many retraps.

    Highlights were; 10 Sedgeis--more encouraging numbers now; 11 Reedies, 13 Chiffchaff, 7 Willow arbs, 3 Whitethroat, 2 Lesset Wh/throat --but only 3 Blackcaps.

    Highlights were-- the first Spotted Flycatcher, and 9 Sand Martin.

    Need to keep an eye on the weather and our website to check what is on this weekend.

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  • That's more like it!!

    The poor weather on Saturday had clearly brought a number of migrants in to the res. By chance we had a small team available on Sunday afternoon/evening to set and have a few nets open for catching--result 50 new birds--great. A strong team turned up on Monday morning to catch lots of retraps but another 53 new birds giving a good total of 102. Key migrants included- Blackcap 11, Willow warbler 3, Sedge warbler 17, Chiffchaff 32, Reed warbler 22, Garden warbler 2, Whitethroat 2, Lesser whitethroat 1. The star bird of the morning was a juvenile Redstart which has been around for a couple of days. The catch this time was the first so far this season to indicate that migration has licked in. Bring on the rest of August!

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  • Belting morning

    Another very good morning with 77 new birds of 18 species! It was great to see numbers of Sedge warblers increase to 13, the same number as Reed warblers we caught today. Other warblers were not as well represented with only 6 Blackcaps, 5 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow warbler and 1 Garden warbler. However, we had yet another Kingfisher, and as the cloud came down, so did the House Martins--with 12 caught and 1 Sand Martin.

    Next sessions on Friday evening then Saturday morning 2nd August

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  • Another lovely morning

    We made full use again of the still calm conditions where the only downside was the bright sun on the nets--but after the rubbish weather we have had over recent years I'm not going to complain--not too much anyway.

    Although there was again little sign of any migration we managed another 58 new birds ringed. Presumably birds from the surrounding area. 19 Reed warblers made up the bulk of the catch with yet more 'new' adults for the reserve. We reckon these are probably birds which have been nesting at Belvide over recent years but have gone unringed as we have not been able to net the biggest reedbed due to high water levels. There are also plenty of young illustrating a good breeding season so far with plenty more second and perhaps even third broods to come.

    7 Sedge warblers was more encouraging--most again caught in the main reedbed. The supporting cast included 8 Blackcap, 3 Garden warbler, 6 Chiffchaff and--at last--an adult Whitethroat.

    Next session on Wednesday 30th with possibly an evening session on Tuesday 29th. There seems to be a few Swallows gathering so we may try to see if they are roosting.

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  • A few Sedgies at last

    The cloud from the east as forecast was useful this morning as there was a bit of an east wind from which few nets are sheltered. Pete, Glynn, Moira and I had a pretty good moring with 44 new birds ringed of which 10 were Chiffchaff, 14 Reed warbler, and a welcome 6 Sedgies. 6 Blackcaps, 1 Garden warbler and another 2 juvenile kingfishers were notable.

    There should be some evidence of migration soon--lets hope it brings in some Willow warblers and Whitethroats.....

    Next session on Saturday as usual--member visitors welcome from about 6am.

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  • Getting Better...

    After cancelling Saturday's session--a good move given that it poured down most of the day--we didn't want to miss the whole weekend so a Monday trip was hastily convened. A small but beautifully put together team spent another lovely morning at Belvide--but this time managed a decent catch of 62 new birds. 25 Reed Warbler were the key species and this was helped by our first opening of the nets in the main reedbed. There were quite a few adults so there should be plenty more juveniles to come as second broods are starting. 14 Blackaps showed again how well this species is doing. Only 7 Chiffchaff was a bit disappointing but we missed lots in the roving tit flock which evaded the nets. On the flip side only 2 Sedge Warblers again showed how poor their breeding season has been with the high water--and still no Whitethroats. ( Other ringers in the area are reporting lots of this species so something specific to Belvide has virtually wiped them out this year.) Another juvenile Kingfisher was, as always a lovely bird to see in the hand and it seems like the local pair has got at least 3 chicks on the wing.

    Next session Wednesday 23rd.

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  • Oh what a beautiful morning.....

    ....As the old song goes--it was a perfect morning with little wind and bits of cloud gradually getting warmer. We had a decent catch of 48 new birds of 16 species, but no recoveries of note. There were 11 Chiffchaff and 15 Blackcaps--both species clearly having had a good breeding season. One of the Blackcaps was completely leucistic--photos are on many media sites.

    Modest numbers of Reed Warblers (5) and Sedgies(--only 1) are expected given the very high water levels--but Reedies should be raising second broods--and even thitd if the weather stays good. Our first Willow warbler of the season, another juvenile Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Garden warblers and a second Kingfisher provided the supporting cast. Next session Saturday 19th--all welcome after about 6 am.

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  • A bit better than Wednesday

    Although there does not seem to be many birds around at the moment, we managed 41 new birds, with the season's first Marsh Tit one of the highlights. Warblers were representaed by 9 chiffchaff, 4 blackcap, 6 reed warb, 7 sedge warb, 1 goldcrest and1 garden warbler.

    Next session is due on Wed16 but keep an eye on the blog because we may move to only Saturdays until migration kicks in

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  • A Tale of Two Reedies!?

    Although we had a disappointing total of new birds on Wednesday morning, I did mention that we had had a couple of potentially interesting Reed Warblers which were already ringed. A bit of research ( thanks Scott !!) has revealed an interesting lillte story.

    First, we look at Reed Warbler X 913035, this was a male which was hatched at Belvide in the summer of 2009. We have caught him at Belvide each year since and it looks like he is breeding again this year. This is interesting on several levels:- he is displaying high site fidelity, and a great ability to migrate successfully. We estimate that he had completed 5 round trips to Africa--(probably mid-west) avoiding all the hazards en route and completed somewhere between 15 and 20,000 miles just in migrating. Pretty awesome!!

    Second we turn to Reed Warbler L183182. Again this is a male, but is demonstrating a quite different type of behaviour in one key respect. This bird was raised in a reed bed ay Alscott near Shrewsbury and originally ringed there in the summer of 2010. He too has been very successful in migrating, but he has not shown the same site fidelity as X913035. At some point he made a move to Belvide--and we originally recaptured him in the summer of 2013. The site has clearly met with his approval because he is back this year, presumably with a mate. This second bird shows that while sticking with a site you know can be good for breeding--it is also very important for some individuals in a population to have a touch of wanderlust so that the gene pool can be mixed and avoid in-breeding.

    Just a few very interesting issues which bird ringing can help uncover.

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