Monday, 12 September 2016

Rings and Wrynecks

An early morning jaunt for Bob and I, from North to West Cornwall was a necessary evil to ensure we were in deepest darkest Nanjizal before dawn. With turbulent weather of late, migrant passerines have been thin on the ground. This mornings forecast looked much more promising! Little wind throughout the night and some cloud cover all appeared to good too be true, could a goody be lurking out there? And more importantly, were our British migrants going to have a chance to part from our shores for sunnier climes?

Thank fully the first net round rewarded us with a much needed year tick in the form of a juvenile Pied Flycatcher, and a cracking Spotted for comparison.

The nets were also providing a good support cast of warblers and we finished the morning with 7 species. These were: 

Common Whitethroat

Garden Warbler (showing fault bar in the tail, common in juvenile passerines')


Reed Warbler

Sedge Warbler 


A Great spotted Woodpecker added some variety to the morning.

The icing on the cake came in the last net round as the nets were being furled for the day. A juvenile Wryneck was caught and it was sublime in all its cryptic glory. Bob and I will remember this bird for a long time to come. It really is the type of species that makes you want to get up in the depth of the night and make the effort!

We also took this video of the bird demonstrating how it obtained its name.

We ringed a grand total of 94 during the morning and this was made up of 1 Wryneck, 1 Pied Fly, 1 Spot Fly, 1 Great spot, 1 Garden Warbler,1 Willow Warbler, 35 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 22 Blackcap, 6 Sedge, 4 Reed, 5 Robin and 11 Whitethroat.

After our morning at Nanjizal we stopped off for a look at Drift Reservoir. The long staying drake Mandarin was present in eclipse plumage doing his best to blend in with the resident Mallards. We also observed 2 Common Sandpipers and singles of Ringed plover and Dunlin, a little disappointing as it looks good for more species! A Kingfisher was a welcome sight as it flew over the reservoir. 2 Tufted Duck and 2 Teal were also present. We did observe a young Cormorant sporting a Red leg ring, digits reading TBT. 

This bird was ringed on Mullion Island, just off the Lizard peninsula in March, 2016 by West Cornwall Ringing Group.

Our final stop of the day was Hayle Estuary. Despite good numbers of Herring and Black-headed Gulls I could only locate 1 colour ring and this was a local Gull ringed at St Ives once again by West Cornwall Ringing Group.

Adult Herring Gull W:186

On the wader front we were pleased with the Bar-tailed Godwit count of 56. Other totals included 1 Ruff, 6 Ringed Plover, 54 Dunlin, 4 Greenshank and 3 Redshank. 

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