Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Mipits dropping out of the sky

This morning felt an overcoat warmer than yesterday so we were hopeful of better catches. Shortly after we set up the nets we could see there was bird movement and flocks of Meadow Pipits and Reed Buntings flying about. The first round we had only a few birds, however the next round started to produce better numbers and at one stage they were dropping into the nets as we were extracting. The total Mipits for the day was 135, an excellent result.

Other species that were coming fairly regularly were Lapland Bunting at 10 and Willow Warbler at 41.

Colin left us for a few hours because he had to do a presentation to the children at one of the schools, on bird ringing, what we do and why. It was the first of two that has been planned. In addition the children are coming to the ringing site from tomorrow for some supervised practical experience.

This is a female Wheatear aged as a juvenile. This was the sixth bird since we arrived

Similarly this is a Sedge Warbler the thirteenth we have caught since we arrived.

A Willow Tit the second bird we have caught. They are very similar to uk birds but do not have the pale buff underparts, they are more whiteish.

The highlife for me are the few waders we caught in a new trap Colin had designed and sent to Norway long before we arrived here. We had Curlew Sandpiper (left) and Dunlin (right).
As can be seen in the picture the bill of the Curlew Sandpiper is longer and more evenly decurved than that of the Dunlin.

The pattern of breast feather differs between the two birds. The Curlew Sandpiper has a peach wash and the Dunlin has dark spots.

In the Dunlin the rump and upper tail coverts are more extensive and dark than those of the Curlew Sandpiper.
The Curlew Sandpiper is another new bird for me and to ring it as well was a bonus.

Tomorrow the forecast looks better than today so we are hoping for another good day!

Please see http://varangerringing.blogspot.co.uk for more information.

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