Sunday, 29 April 2018

Cyprus Day 6 - Herons galore


7th April


The rest of the trip owed us nothing after yesterday and although we were still keen to check Cape Greco thoroughly it was nice to take things easier and have a day of relative rest (almost like normal people would be on holiday!). We got to the Cape nice and early although I had a bit of a hangover from celebrating the Caspian Plover at the bar! It felt as if the birding was changing and we started to pick up later spring migrants including 10 stunning European Beeaters , a Quail calling from the stubble field , a much welcomed Turtle Dove ( sadly getting much scarcer on migration, changes in breeding habitat and continued hunting persecution around the Mediterranean may cause extinction in my lifetime. Although I hope we can change this!) and an impressive flock of 44 Gull Billed Tern over the sea.

Hoopoe

Crested Lark

Tawny Pipit

 
We had lunch at our favourite restaurant by Orlikini Marsh and enjoyed views of 40 Glossy Ibis ,6 Purple Heron, a male Little Bittern feeding right underneath the hide and a good breeding record of Red Crested Pochard with 8 ducklings. We took our time watching from the hide as it was so windy everywhere else today,  more Garganey were present with at least 25 showing at any one time. The heronry was also very busy with many breeding Cattle Egrets whilst the final Flamingos seemed to have departed to their breeding grounds.


Little Bittern

We just had to go back to Paralimni to see the Caspian Plover and sure enough it was showing well straight away! We walked out to the bird again and had the bonus of seeing 2 Great Snipe which were flushed by another Pallid Harrier! Another great lifer for Pete. I walked further into the marsh and realised just how much more habitat there was to look through, seeing many more Purple Herons, Spotted Crakes and a good variety of waders including 2 Common Sandpiper ( the only ones we saw all week). We then met back up and watched the reed bed for Crakes again, seeing another Spotted Crake and yesterdays Little Crake. There was also a nice flock of Larks and Pipits near to dusk and it was a pleasure to watch 40 plus Greater Short-toed Larks at close range.  It’s amazing how much these birds vary in appearance and it’s always good to study them abroad and get your eye in (and learn the calls, the two I have found in Cornwall I picked up on call before I saw them). It was getting late by now and it was time to go back to the Hotel to pack and get ready for our last day on the island. Paralimni had been so kind to us and it felt like a good time to make it our last visit of the trip here , rather than rush back tomorrow when we would be heading back to Larnaca to catch our flight home.

Purple Heron's




Cape Greco: 7 Isabelline Wheatear, 1 Water Pipit, 1 Red-throated Pipit, 1 Quail, 1 Turtle Dove, 5 Tawny Pipit, 40 Short-toed Lark, 1 Audouins Gull, 44 Gull-billed Tern, 5 Little Egret, 8 Grey |Heron, 2 Red Rumped Swallow, 10 European Beeater. Orlikini Marsh: 1 Little Bittern, 2 Red-Crested Pochard with 8 young, 6 Purple Heron, 16 Glossy Ibis. Paralimni: 1 Caspian Plover, 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Pallid Harrier, 1 Little Crake, 3 Spotted Crake, 16 Purple Heron.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Day five : Caspian Plover ! A dream come true



Cape Greco was still quiet for numbers of birds but every day something new arrives here and there are always birds to found in this magical spot. Pete found a stunning male Bluethroat of the White Spotted Race ( which breed in Northern Europe) which was probably bird of the morning. I was impressed that we had picked it up on call and his time spent studying them in Egypt certainly seems to have paid off. He just needs to find one in Cornwall now! ( Which I like to remind him of when we see them abroad, as I found one on the Camel Estuary a few years ago). A Woodchat Shrike was also a nice gaudy addition to our list for the week and whilst more Hoopoe'
s seemed to be arriving there was little else happening so we headed away towards Aknah Dam. En route we stopped at Agia Napa football fields ( which are surprisingly good for pipits and wagtails) and saw amongst other things a smart male Grey headed Wagtail ( a new subspecies for Pete) , it was good to see it alongside a male and female Black-headed Wagtail for comparison and also to hear both subspecies calling.

Woodchat Shrike
These large Lizards are very common in Cyprus, we only saw one snake which was a Whip Snake, very large but harmless

Hoopoe
Soon we were at Aknah and it was exciting to see the water level had dropped a tiny bit and plenty of birds were feeding along the margins of the lake. Squacco Heron’s buzzed around ,Purple Herons crashed out of the Reedbeds and a group of 14 Grey Heron spiralled out of the sky. We continued our walk noting a typically noisy Great Reed Warbler croaking away and yet another Ferruginous Duck feeding out on the lake. We stopped to scan a nice looking bay when all of a sudden a bird hovering over the water caught our eye and we couldn’t believe we were looking at a stunning Pied Kingfisher! It soon landed in a lake side tree and we enjoyed watching this marvelous bird for twenty minutes or so and couldn’t believe our luck at seeing another good bird on this holiday. As we headed away from Aknah I said the day couldn’t get any better but how wrong was I!
Ferruginous Duck

Migrating Grey Herons

Pied Kingfisher


 We really wanted to go back to Paralmni , to check our Crake pools as Pete was desperate to see Little Crake and also to check the Plover flock which had held 2 Greater Sandplover over the last couple of days. It was still very hot when we arrived so after a little siesta it was time to get back birding again now that the light was behind us and much less hazy. What happened next was a moment in birding I will never forget. Pretty much the first bird I looked at had a bright reddish /orange breast that was bordered by a black line across the belly, it was very attenuated and ran at speed towards me! Pete was also on it and even though we both knew it was a Caspian Plover due to the distance the next few minutes were a mixture of elation and incredible stress! Sorting it out, getting closer and managing a few photographs seemed to take an eternity but we were soon ecstatic about finding this Western Palearctic Mega! This bird was so stunning, picture perfect and our photo’s don’t do it justice, to think we found it as well is what dreams are made of in birding! What made it even more special was the incredible variety of Plovers it was feeding with. Common Ringed, Little Ringed, Greater Sand Plover, Caspian Plover, Spur winged Plover and Kentish Plover all in the same flock! As if things couldn’t get any better Pete finally had his Little Crake and we had great views of Pallid Harrier and Common Cuckoo as the sun set.

Caspian Plover

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                                                           Video of the Caspian Plover


                                                              Video of Little Crake
                
Cape Greco: 1 Black-winged Stilt, 7 Baltic Gull, 1 Woodchat Shrike, 9 Hoopoe, 1 Bluethroat, 1 Isabelline Wheatear. Agya Napa Sewage Works: 2 Spectacled Warbler, 1 Hoopoe, 1 Eastern Black eared Wheatear, 2 Black-headed Wagtail, 1 Grey-headed Wagtail. Aknah Dam: 4 Purple Heron, 3 Squacco Heron, 14 Grey Heron, 4 Little Egret, 1 Great Reed Warbler, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Pied Kingfisher, 2 Common Redhsank, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Ferruginous Duck. Paralimni: 1 Caspian Plover, 2 Greater Sand Plover, 4 Marsh Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Pallid Harrier, 1 Little Crake, 7 Red-throated Pipit.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Cyprus Day 4 - Cream Coloured Courser and a close encounter with a deadly spider!


Day Four – 5th April

Both me and Pete were decidedly groggy this morning ! We had gone down to the hotel bar for a couple of games of pool when I learnt that the cocktails were only 2 euros! I also learnt that Cypriots don’t measure spirits out like we do! So after four cocktails I could hardly walk straight ! So we made it to Cape Greco by about 7am. It was difficult to find much around the Cape itself but the pines area again came up trumps with a stonking male Semi-collared Flycatcher ( a big lifer for Pete) and 2 Collared Flycatchers, it was also nice to see another Blue Rock Thrush and get some better photo’s.

Blue Rock Thrush

Eastern Black Eared Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear

After Greco we planned to explore Larnaca and then kill some time in the afternoon to wait it out for Cyprus Scops Owl (we had been given a couple of sights by the Cyprus Bird Recorder close to Larnaca). Armed with Gosney’s guide to Southern Cyprus ( which is excellent but his directions sometimes are a bit random, only slightly better than mine would be!) we wanted to check the Salt Lakes around the airport but we were a tad lost. Pete decided to pull off the road to check Google Maps and as he stopped and with the reactions of a cat ( I’ve never seen him move so quickly!) he put his bins up to a bird running around in the stubble field next to our car, I knew it was good before I looked at it by Pete’s reaction but I was totally stunned when I eyeballed what it was ‘ It’s a Cream Coloured Courser mate’ and we both just looked at each other stunned! Now there are some birds that you always hope to see in life and you wonder how good they will look in real life, well all I can say is that Cream Coloured Courser is even more stunning than you could hope for! This desert dweller is seriously stunning but also has an edge to it, like it knows it’s good looking and would probably peck your eye out if it had a chance! Quite why it was running around in a stubble field is still beyond me, it was also a total fluke that we even stopped when we did , but that’s how birding goes I guess, sometimes you can work so hard to see something different and fail whilst other times the birds almost find you.

Cream Coloured Courser

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After the Courser I have to admit we hardly checked Larnaca at all, we were both still buzzing and I hardly even bothered checking the Salt Lakes as the heat haze was really bad. So from here we checked Kiti Dam which is supposed to be good for migrants, I’m sure it is but we didn’t feel that comfortable in the area and it was by far the worse place we saw for hunting / bird shooting evidence, there were gun shells everywhere! So we carried on to Potenta Point, what a stunning little place this was! So unspoilt and it also had a nice variety of birds. I had a sunbathe on the beach and a little snooze but still saw a smart male Collared Flycatcher , 2 Pallid Harrier, 1 Purple Heron, 2 Red Rumped Swallow and a Hoopoe.

Potenta Point

By now it was starting to get dark so we headed a few miles inland to a small village to search for the endemic Cyprus Scops Owl. I had seen them on a previous visit but for Pete it was a must to get one as after all Cyprus is the only place in the world where they occur. Now as much as I like looking for Owls it does involve being out at night in a foreign country in the middle of nowhere and both of us have a track record for ‘incidents’ in the past ( it isn’t easy explaining that you are looking for Owls to the Police and Fire brigade believe me!) so we are both usually a little on edge. But tonight seemed ok, with a bit of patience we soon located up to three Cyprus Scops Owl’s in the countryside surrounding the village and all seemed good in the world. Then things changed ! We had got back into the car and Pete had the internal light on messing with the sat nav on his phone to get us back to Proteras. All of a sudden a spider spiralled down on its web inside the car right in front of me on the front dash! Now I don’t know much about spiders but I noticed a weird red shape on its body and it looked pretty evil , oh great a Black Widow? I went into a bit of a meltdown! All I could say was ‘ PETE PETE LOOK!’ whilst I pointed at the window! But poor  Pete got excited and thought I was looking at an Owl outside so he leaned right forward with a funny look on his face and said ‘ oohh where??’ turning his head from side to side! Now this knocked the spider off it’s web and I was gone! In a flash I was out of that car and running away! When I was a safe distance I told him about the spider and Pete went in to his manager mode, swatting the spider out the car and we headed on our way! Pete calmed himself down, realised he touched a spider, did a massive shudder and asked me to never mention the spider again! Which of course I did many times as it was so funny! But at the end of the holiday and at the airport a few days later we googled the spider and it turned out to be a Cyprus Brown Widow. ‘ bites are painful but rarely fatal, limbs may balloon to twice the normal size and may also lead to vomiting and muscle cramps that can last for up to 5 days.’ That is one good thing about England, we don’t really have any creatures that can f#ck you over! All in all an eventful day!




Cape Greco: 9 Nightingale, 2 Collared Flycatcher, 1 Semi-collared Flycatcher, 1 Blue Rock Thrush, 1 Common Redstart, 3 Eastern Black-eared Wheatear
Larnaca: 1 Cream Coloured Courser
Potenta Point: 1 Purple Heron, 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Black Franklin, 2 Red Rumped Swallow, 1 Collared Flycatcher, 1 Hoopoe, 1 Reed Warbler
3 Cyprus Scops Owl, 5 Stone Curlew

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Cyprus Day three; April 4th




It was much windier today at Cape Greco and we spent most of the morning driving about along the many tracks that criss cross the nature reserve in order to get some shelter from the wind.  One of the very first birds we saw was a wader I picked up coming in off the sea , a definite Plover with white underparts and a plain looking upperwing, I really wasn’t sure what it was so I was very pleased when it appeared to land on the opposite cliff face! We rushed over and got on the bird, we still weren’t sure what it was! A couple from Finland and a Swedish birder assured me it was a Greater Sandplover ( a lifer for me!) but if I’m honest I’m still not sure why it couldn’t be Lesser Sand Plover and I wish I had spent more time sorting it out, it just seemed very petite and had a delicate looking bill and an upright stance. I think it does show however that Sand Plover ID is very difficult as there are many different races , ie each population of Greater Sandplover can look very different from the next, some are rather strong billed , whilst others look more like Lesser Sandplover, a total minefield! Hopefully in the future I can travel somewhere and study them more.  Although there had been a clearout overnight we still saw plenty of other birds including two Cormorant , 3 Isabelline Wheatear, 1 Eastern Black-eared Wheatear and 2 Ringtail Harriers which I assume were Pallid Harrier.

Eastern Black-eared Wheatear

Eastern Black-eared Wheatear- note the black underwing coverts,a feature shared with Pied Wheatear and Seebohms Wheatear but not Northern Waheatear as far as I know..

Sandplover species at Cape Greco 




With it being so windy we then headed to Orlikini Marsh again to take shelter in the hides, several trip ticks were seen with the highlight being 5 Red-crested Pochard and another smart Great-spotted Cuckoo. We had lunch at the visitor centre which did amazing food ( and had an amazing blonde waitress!) . After chilling out here for a while and having a couple of drinks in the middle of the day we headed back to Sotira again for the evening. More waders had arrived and we were delighted to see 2 Temmincks Stint and a Jack Snipe along with a very showy Spotted Crake on a small muddy pool. The icing on the cake however was 2 Greater Sand Plover (much more obvious heavy billed individuals including a stunner in summer plumage) which gave me a bit of closure but still made us worry even more about the Greco bird!

Spotted Crake; Sotira Pools


Cape Greco: 2 Cormorant, 1 Sand Plover sp, 3 Isabelline Wheatear, 1 Black-eared Wheatear, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Little Egret, 2 Tawny Pipit, 1 Common Whitethroat, 1 Eastern Subalpine Warbler, 10 Blackcap, 1 Collared Flycatcher. Orlikini Marsh: 1 Red-crested Pochard, 5 Greenshank, 5 Green Sandpiper, 2 Reed Warbler, 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Great Spotted Cuckoo. Sotira Pools: 2 Temmincks Stint, 1 Jack Snipe, 2 Greater Sandplover, 10 Common Ringed Plover, 12 Kentish Plover, 3 Marsh Sandpiper, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Purple Heron, 1 Night Heron, 1 Spotted Crake, 1 Water Pipit, 1 Red-throated Pipit,





Monday, 16 April 2018

Cyprus Day 2 - Caspian Stonechat


Day Two 3rd April:

We woke up to a much cloudier and unsettled day today and although neither of us said much as we headed to Cape Greco I think we were both hoping for a bit of a fall today. Early signs were good, a Marsh Harrier quartering the fields together with a ringtail Harrier ( most likely Pallid) and at the end of the headland more pipits and wagtails flying through including two Red-throated Pipits. A little further back from the masts at Cape Greco is an area with more bushes and greenery and it was here where there were even more birds to be seen. I was watching a shattered looking Great Spotted Cuckoo resting in a small tree when some shouts from a couple of other birders and Pete dragged me down to a stunning male Caspian Stonechat! The first really good bird of the trip and a really good species for Pete’s Western Palearctic list. I had never seen a Siberian Stonechat of any race in full adult plumage so it was a pleasure to watch this pristine bird for the best part of an hour, noting the distinctive Wheatear like tail pattern and in comparison with our Stonechat's as home it looked more like a snowball!

Great spotted Cuckoo

Caspian Stonechat

This stunning bird is usually only found in a small area west of the Caspian Sea in Asia




The pines area of Cape Greco was also especially busy today with an incredible amount of warblers. We found Eastern Subalpine, Eastern Bonnellis , 1 Ruppells Warbler, 2 Eastern Orphean Warbler and a stunning male Collared Flycatcher but we still missed a male Menetries Warbler that was found by another visiting birder.

Tree Pipit

 Having spent most of the day on Cape Greco we decided to explore the Paralimni Area in the late afternoon and I think we both realised the potential of the site within a couple of hours, although it is only a shadow of it’s former self as it has sadly been drained ( I worry deeply about habitat loss in the Middle East, I think in my lifetime most wetlands will be lost, thank god there are organisations out there such as Birdlife Cyprus that are fighting for at least some areas to be saved.) we still had a hell of a list of birds including a lifer for me after I flushed a Corn Crake out of a stubble field and another lifer for Pedro being his first ever Citrine Wagtail! We decided that we would check Paralmni every day which turned out to be a very good idea indeed!

Male Pallid Harrier


Cape Greco: 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Shag, 1 Sand Martin, 1 Caspian Stonechat, 1 Great Spotted Cuckoo, 2 Red-throated Pipit, 1 Eastern Bonellis Warbler, 1 Collared Flycatcher, 2 Eastern Orphean Warbler,1 Ruppells Warbler, 1 Sardinian Warbler, 1 Eastern Subalpine Warbler, 1 Eastern Olivacaous Warbler, 20 Chiffhcaff, 4 Willow Warbler, 1 Whinchat. Paralimni/Sotira Pools: 1 Blue Rock Thrush, 2 Spotted Crake, 1 Corn Crake,2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Kentish Plover, 1 Common Snipe, 2 Marsh Sandpiper, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 106 Ruff,15 Common Ringed Plover,  5 Spur Winged Plover, 1 Black Franklin, 2 Green Sandpiper, 2 Marsh Harrier, 1 Stone Curlew, 15 Little Stint, 1 Citrine Wagtail, 2 Pallid Harrier , 2 Red-throated Pipit, 1 Laughing Dove, 3 Ferruginous Duck.



Sunday, 15 April 2018

Cyprus 2018 Day One


A 7 day birding trip to Eastern Cyprus

Day One 2nd April : After a hassle free flight from Exeter to Larnaca we picked up our hire car and arrived at our hotel at Proteras at 2am. Though we got up again at 6am so that we could have a full days birding we decided to take it easy and explore the area, suss out the local birding spots and make some plans for the week ahead.
Chukar , Cape Greco

Our first stop was the Cape itself, you could see why it is such an exciting place for migration , it sticks right out towards Israel and Lebanon and I couldn’t help but feel excited about what we might see here during the week. The first bird we saw was a lifer for Pete! A handsome Chukar Partridge running along the rock face and I soon heard the second lifer for him, a male Cyprus Wheatear singing away was soon located and it was nice to see this stunning Wheatear again after so many years. Migration seemed a little slow but there was still plenty of exciting birds to be seen including Audouins Gull off of the Cape, a Wryneck in the scrub , 2 Eastern Orphean Warbler on the track towards the Sea Caves and then good views of the island’s second endemic; a smart male Cyprus Warbler.

Wryneck at Cape Greco

Cyprus Pied Wheatear, Cape Greco

Masked Shrike, Kermia Beach

Our next destination was Kermia Beach and although it was quiet we were made up with a stunning Masked Shrike showing well in the tamarisk, yet another lifer for Pete! From here we headed up to Agia Napa Sewage Works, the circular track which overlooks the pools is in a pretty bad state but we made it around in the hire car and whilst it wasn’t the most inspiring place to visit there were still loads of birds to see including a nice male Ferruginous Duck on the pool plus 2 Cretzschmars Bunting and a Blue Rock Thrush on the slopes above the sewage works. Another 20 minutes down the road and we were soon enjoying masses of birds at Orlikini Marsh , a local nature reserve with two good hides , there was plenty of water at this site and many different waders and ducks were to be seen including a late Pintail, a great count of 10 Ferruginous Duck , a showy Black Francolin and a single Marsh Sandpiper. Our last visit of the day was to Aknah Dam , by now we were both shattered ( and a little on edge after I managed to navigate Pete to a military checkpoint only to be escorted out of the area by armoured car!) and didn’t really do the site justice, but we realised it would be worth spending plenty of time here as there was plenty of water. A Bittern showed well from the car ( we didn’t realise at the time that this is somewhat of a Cyprus rarity! A local birder was very excited by it and hadn’t heard of another record for the year.

Great Bittern - a Cyprus Rarity



After a few beers back at the hotel I was ready for a good nights sleep and I was full of excitement for the next day ahead!
Cape Greco: 6 Chukar, 1 Black-headed Wagtail, 5 Tree Pipit, 4 Cyprus Wheatear,2 Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, 2 Isabelline Wheatear, 5 Northern Wheatear, 1 Tawny Pipit, 2 Short-toed Lark, 3 Nightingale, 8 Chiffchaff, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Audouins Gull, 1 Stone Curlew, 3 Corn Bunting, 1 Wryneck, 1 Willow Warbler, I Common Whitethroat, 2 Eastern Orphean Warbler, 2 Red-rumped Swallow, 2 Hoopoe, 3 Blackcap, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Blue Rock Thrush, 1 Alpine Swift, 1 Cyprus Warbler. Kermia Beach: 1 Masked Shrike. Agia Napa Sewage Works: 1 Ferruginous Duck, 2 Spur Winged Plover,1 Little Stint, 7 Green Sandpiper, 1 Blue Rock Thrush, 1 Eastern Olivacous Warbler, 1 Cettis Warbler, 2 Cretzschmars Bunting. Orlikini Marsh: 10 Ferruginous Duck, 1 Pintail, 2 Garganey, 22 Ruff , 1 Marsh Sandpiper, 1 Black Franklin, 2 Marsh Harrier, 2 Hooded Crow

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Constant Effort Ringing in 2017

Sat here in the howling wind and rain pondering what to do and where to go, got me reminiscing about the summer months of last year and some of the avian joys that I encountered. Not least of which was some of the birds that I met whilst carrying out a newly formed CES study at Goss Moor, Cornwall. 

What is a CES? 


CES is a BTO led study and stands for Constant Effort Ringing. More information can be found here: www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/ringing/surveys/ces

The CES Scheme uses catches from standardised mist-netting to monitor key aspects of the demography of 24 common breeding songbirds. Around 130 sites are monitored through the breeding season, with twelve standard visits between May and August. Changes in the total number of adults caught provides a measure of changing population size, whilst the proportion of young birds caught forms an index of breeding success. Re-traps of adult birds ringed in previous years are also used to estimate annual survival rates.

I had been ringing on the Goss for about 3 years and decided that, whilst my results were good and the data valuable, I wanted to make the study of more use long term. Setting up a CES seemed the best way to do this to achieve useful long term data on a local and national scale. I opted to use 7 nets spanning 380 ft, with my ringing station centred in the middle of them. This meant that I could extract and process birds in a timely manner and let them on their merry way straight after. After talking with the wardens from Natural England I opted for this location as I knew from previous ringing sessions that there were Willow Tit in the area and both the BTO and Natural England both valued data on this declining species. It was also a good area for general Warbler populations and I was especially interested in studying Garden Warbler which is prolific on the Moor and is one of the few locations in Cornwall were the population is dense.   

Goss Moor is a 480 hectare National Nature Reserve (NNR) which is owned and managed by Natural England.

The Results 


8th of May

A selection of the first birds ringed on the newly formed CES

I was pleased with my first visit and processed more than I was expecting as species can be quite elusive at this time of year.

Long-tailed Tit x 2, Blackbird x 3, Willow Warbler x 6, Treecreeper x 2, Reed Bunting x 2, Goldcrest x 1, Garden Warbler x 1, Dunnock x 1, Chiffchaff x 3, Bullfinch x 3, Blackcap x 1, Robin x 3 and a Willow Tit.

Total = 29

18th of May

Slightly quieter as birds begin to settle on nests and are generally less active before young birds hatch. 

Robin x 1, Goldcrest x 1, Willow Tit x 1, Long-tailed Tit x 1, Chiffchaff x 1, Blackcap x 2, Bullfinch x 4, Willow Warbler x 6 and Garden Warbler x 3.

Total = 20

29th of May

This visit saw the first fledged young on the wing. All juvenile birds will be shown in brackets.

Garden Warbler x 4, Wren x 1 (1), Willow Warbler x 5, Song Thrush x 1, Robin x 2 (6), Goldcrest x 2, Dunnock x 1, Chaffinch x 3, Bullfinch x 4, Blue Tit x 2, Blackcap x 4 (1), Blackbird x 1, Long-tailed Tit x 2 (8).  

Total = 48

4th of June

Lovely to see recently fledged young out on the wing

Perhaps a bit too soon since my last visit but my circumstances dictated when I could carry out the session.

Long-tailed Tit x 1 (1), Bullfinch x 3, Wren x 1, Willow Warbler x 2, Treecreeper x 1 (2), Robin x 4 (1), Blackbird x (1), Chaffinch x 1, Chiffchaff x (2), Blackcap x (1) and a single Garden Warbler.

Total = 23

18th of June

Juvenile birds were starting to become much denser in this visit and made up over 50% of the birds processed.

Willow Warbler 5 (2), Wren (1), Robin 1 (6), Long-tailed Tit (1), Great Tit (1), Goldcrest 1, Chiffchaff (1), Chaffinch 1, Bullfinch 2, Blue Tit 1 (3), Blackcap 2 (7), Blackbird 1 (1), Garden Warbler (2).

Total = 39

1st of July 

61 juveniles were caught in this visit and seen large flocks of tits starting to flock together and rove around the Moor. 

Coal Tit 2 (8), Willow Warbler 5 (8), Robin 1 (2), Marsh Tit 1 (1), Long-tailed Tit 5 (12), Great Tit (10), Goldcrest 1, Blackcap 3 (3), Dunnock 2 (1), Chiffchaff 2 (4), Bullfinch 5, Blue Tit 2 (8), Garden Warbler (3).

Total = 90 

9th of July

This session saw the largest catch of the year with over 80% of the catch juvenile birds. 

Coal Tit (5), Blackcap 5 (49), Blue Tit 2 (8), Chiffchaff 2 (12), Swallow 1 (3), Bullfinch 7, Willow Warbler 5 (6), Robin (6), Long-tailed Tit (3), Great Tit 2 (4), Goldcrest (2), Garden Warbler (6), Dunnock (2), Wren 1 (10).

Total = 141

17th of July

The first juvenile Willow Tit of the year

Whilst not such a large catch as the last session over 90 % were juveniles during this visit.

Robin 1 (2), Dunnock (3), Wren (4), Willow Tit (1), Long-tailed Tit (1), Great Tit (1), Garden Warbler (6), Chiffchaff (3), Chaffinch (2), Bullfinch 5 (4), Blackbird (1), Blue Tit (3), Blackcap 1 (36), Coal Tit (4), Willow Warbler 2 (5).

Total = 85 

31st of July

Two more juvenile Willow Tits during session 9

Still a good session but had got quieter compared to the last few visits.

Coal Tit (2), Willow Warbler (6), Willow Tit (2), Robin (2), Great Tit 1 (4), Goldcrest 1, Dunnock 1 (1), Chiffchaff (5), Bullfinch 2, Blue Tit 1 (3), Blackcap 1 (6), Wren (2), Garden Warbler (1).

Total = 41

6th of August

Lotti (8), Willow Warbler 2 (5), Treecreeper (1), Sedge Warbler (2), Robin (4), Marsh Tit (1), Garden Warbler 1 (1), Dunnock (2), Coal Tit (2), Chiffchaff 1 (3), Blackcap 2 (4), Blue Tit 2 (3), Goldcrest 1 (2).

Total = 47 

20th of August


Nice to get to see a Tree Pipit up close and personal

Robin (4), Wren (1), Willow Warbler 1 (1), Tree Pipit (1), Sedge Warbler 1, Jay (1), Garden Warbler (2), Coal Tit (3), Chiffchaff (4), Bullfinch (3), Blue Tit 1 (2), Blackcap 1 (8), Great Tit (1), Swallow 1 (1).

Total = 37

28th of August

Goss Moor harbours good numbers of Bullfinch throughout the year
Blackbird (1), Marsh Tit (1), Long-tailed Tit 3, Great Tit 1 (3), Goldcrest 3 (3), Dunnock (1), Coal Tit (2), Chaffinch (1), Blue Tit (13), Robin (1), Bullfinch (3). 

Total = 36

A grand total of 636 birds processed which I was most pleased with. I hope that 2018 is another successful year for the breeding birds on the Goss Moor.