Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Making the most of migration

Well since a trip to Flat Holm island to monitor migrants was called off due to blustery conditions, the only option was to monitor at our usual haunts. The bay was the ideal substitute and a modest number of birds were caught - mainly willows and chiffs with a splattering of blackcaps and reed warblers. The later are now getting thin on the ground  (much to Vaf's relief) and migration for the species presence in the country is petering out.

Oh yes, what would science be without a graph. This one from BirdTrack
showing the reporting rate of reed warblers showing reed warbler migration
nearing its end.

The black caps we caught were very chunky and some had some major fat stored up - giving Facey a run for his money. But the stars show went to a spotted flycatcher and a mippit. The former was only caught for the first time at the site in 2011 but has put in an annual appearance since although at very low numbers. The mippit was only the twelfth we have caught; the first eleven all being caught in 2009!

Separating mippits and trippits involves things like measuring the hind claw. 

Close up of the meadow pipits head with data sheets in the back ground.

A picture of a meadow pipit to illustrate the fact we caught a meadow pipit.