Sunday, 30 October 2011

Moxey on Tour: Atenor

We journeyed north to Atenor in the blazing heat. This site is very different to Faia Brava. The habitat had open fields which had been harvested with hedgerows and woods. A stream bordered by trees bisected the ringing site. In total four lines of nets were erected, three along hedges and one a dogleg of two nets, one of which crossed the stream at a dry spot. Azure Winged Magpies were calling all around us and Greenfinches were coming to roost in the trees above the stream. Woodlarks were in evidence and landing in the small trees which were frequented by Pied Flycatchers and Robins. The evening catch was fourteen birds and reflected the change in habitat.

Robin - 9
Whitethroat - 2
Chaffinch - 1
Pied Flycatcher - 2

In the evening we dined at the home of Jambas in the village. We were made very welcome and I have to say his green wine was excellent. He showed a photograph of himself holding his baby son on one arm and a Golden Eagle under the other. The eagle looked at least three times the size of the baby and carrying a new born lamb would be no problem for it. Jambas by the way is an expert at trapping eagles.

Bonelli's Country

The day dawned bright and calm with the nets already opened by my two stalwarts. Trainees take note. The Young Pretender has (Editor Note: Scouse Ringer would like to state that days of being a trainee are long behind him...but would welcome someone to put the nets up for him). After an excellent breakfast prepared as ever by Paulo we did the net rounds. It was to be a busy morning and we each took responsibility for different net lines. Later we were joined by Jambas and his wife Barbara. Paulo Ferreira (PJF) also joined us in the late morning having made the long trip from Aveiro. He got his reward.

Firecrest (Regulus igniacapilus)

The catch was dominated by Sylvia Warblers and they accounted for exactly fifty per cent of the 142 birds of 25 species ringed. Blackcaps dominated the catch and 50 were ringed. One Subalpine warbler was ringed, in keeping with the results elsewhere. One unusual event was the capture of a Grasshopper Warbler in the top pocket—by no means my first but the site was- in the trees. A single Chiffchaff was caught and there was no sign of its Iberian cousins. The third species of wagtail for the trip was a Grey Wagtail caught typically by the stream. The variety of species was very good with some nice species for PJF.

When he arrived we had a new species for him, a Woodlark, one of two caught. He was also re-acquainted with two species he had ringed with me last year, Rock Bunting and Crested Tit. I know he felt the long drive was worth it.

Crested Tit (Parus cristatus)

Rock Bunting (Emberiza cia)
Blackcap - 50
Subalpine Warbler - 1
Garden Warbler - 7
Whitethroat - 11
Sardinian Warbler - 2
Chiffchaff - 1
Willow Warbler - 3
Grasshopper Warbler - 1
Firecrest - 1
Pied Flycatcher - 10
Robin - 12
Redstart - 3
Blackbird - 7
Blue Tit - 4
Great Tit - 3
Crested Tit - 1
Long tailed Tit - 2
Short-toed Treecreeper - 1
Serin - 2
Chaffinch - 9
Woodlark - 2
Grey Wagtail - 1
Cirl Bunting - 2
Rock Bunting - 1
Azure Winged Magpie - 5

TOTAL: 142

After a late lunch, with more of the excellent green wine, and the donkeys had been milked we went off birding. Jambas had promised to show me a Bonelli’s Eagle so off we went to the Douro. The journey took us to places my Volvo or the camper van could not go. I feared for the Land Rover but Jambas was obviously well used to the terrain. We stopped high above the Douro looking across to Spain and waited patiently seeing Crag Martins and some Swifts. Paulo also saw a Goshawk and a Rock Sparrow put in a brief appearance. The scenery was magnificent and the weather glorious but there was no sign of an eagle. We waited patiently and then in the distance on the Spanish side a Bonelli’s appeared. Jambas assured us it was a Bonelli’s but it was distant and I could not see any plumage details. It was quickly lost to view but then another appeared in the same area. This was more obliging and it drifted closer to us. We watched as it glided from right to left along the slopes above the gorge giving superb views. It looked as though it would continue off into the distance but it did a u-turn and we were treated to another flypast giving even better views before turning and disappearing up river. Then the first one re-appeared so I was treated not one but to two Bonelli’s. Thanks Jambas.

José Jambas - The man, the myth, the legend!

Jambas was eager to show us one of favourite places so off we set to the Land Rover. The time for daylight was running short. Another fast journey over rough tracks was followed by a brisk walk over rocks and through scrub to another view of the Douro. It was almost brown trouser time for me as Jambas took me to the edge of a shear drop to show me a roosting Griffon Vulture directly below. The scenery was fantastic and I could happily have stayed there for a few hours but daylight was fading. As we returned to the Land Rover a Nightjar flew past and as we drove on our way to the road I saw another.

The next stop was Mogadouro and the restaurant for the famous steak. It was a must for me and is fast becoming a tradition for us. The steaks are massive and cooked on an open fire. They are from locally bred cattle and are very tender. Last year I managed to eat it all but with the late lunch I have to admit I failed this time. Then it was back to Atenor for a final night in the camper van before returning to Brasfemes.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Moxey on Tour: Faia Brava

After a damp, blustery weekend here in North Liverpool, there wasn't much to report, so to lighten the mood, here is another instalment from Moxeys September Portugal Tour. I'm off to Portugal for a few days myself now...so see you when I am back. Scouse Ringer

The Douro Landscape

After lunch we set off for the only private reserve in Portugal, Faia Brava. The journey north took us to the border town of Vila Formosa where I had crossed into Spain a few weeks before on my way home with my wife Anne, alias the Mothership, and eldest daughter Julia. Paulo, as usual, was keen to show me the sights so there were several detours. There were spectacular views of the Douro with roosting Griffon Vultures on the cliffs.

We arrived at Faia Brava in the early evening and in time to put up the nets. The formation of the reserve was initiated by Antonio Monteiro. From small beginnings it has expanded and is now quite large. The group have great plans for the area and have made a good start. A small herd of horses keep the grassy areas cropped which encourages rabbits which provide food for both Golden and Bonelli’s Eagles. It also has the aim of reducing the risk of fire which is a real danger in the summer months. Egyptian Vultures breed and along with Griffons frequent the feeding site particularly in the first fifteen day after the eggs have hatched.

The reserve is hilly and boulder strewn with not a great deal of cover for the nets. This meant that the net lines were more apart than usual. The terrain and the glorious weather made net rounds hard work for me - not so for Paulo and Luis.

The evenings catch was twenty nine birds of ten species. The main species was Pied Flycatcher Which was great for me as I don’t handle them at home very often. They seem to by-pass SW Lancs RG area on their migrations.

Whitethroat 1
Pied Flycatcher 10
Blue Tit 9
Sardinian Warbler 1
Short-toed Treecreeper 1
Blackbird 1
Redstart 1
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Cirl Bunting 1
Great Tit 1

TOTAL: 27


26th September: Faia Brava

The day dawned bright and chilly. Paulo and Luis had the nets open and after breakfast we ringed the roosted birds while Paulo did the rounds.

Luis was keen to ring Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and I was very keen to see one as they are absent from my sites and the only one I had ringed was over 20 years ago. As usual, Paulo did not disappoint us. In the first round he brought one with a Nightjar from the first line – not bad for quality.

Lesser-spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocops minor)

Redstart (Pheonicurus phoenicurus)

The weather warmed up and I was grateful I did not have to do the hard slog around the nets. Luis and I were helped greatly by Vanessa doing the scribing. Paulo brought us a steady stream of birds including a Reed Warbler. What was that doing there in such an arid place? Three Griffon Vultures drifted over while we were ringing just before Paulo brought us two Hoopoes. There was an added bonus as we could compare them and see that one was a juvenile and the other an adult.

Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandara)

Dartford Warbler (Sylvia undata)

Cirl Bunting (Emberiza cirlus)

Like Vale de Senhora da Pova, the bulk of the warblers caught were Blackcaps and the Subalpines had largely gone. Only two were ringed but there was a nice surprise for Luis, his first Dartford Warbler. Then Paulo brought back a sparrow. Now Spanish Sparrows breed commonly in the village and surrounding area but alas it was just a House Sparrow. I now have a reason to return here – not that I need one though.

Antonio alerted me to a Golden Eagle that was drifting by directly overhead. This gave me the opportunity to break off from ringing and do the scribing thus allowing Vanessa to do some ringing. She showed great potential and i hope she gets the bug.

Towards the end of the session as Paulo was extracting at one of the lines, some Thekla Larks decided to fly into the nets right next to him. So Paulo and Luis got to ring them. They brought the total of species ringed to 25 for the day and in all a very satisfactory total of 87 birds were ringed.

All too soon it was time to move on and say our farewells. Many thanks are due to Antonio and his colleagues for their help and hospitality. I will return next year given half the chance.

Sardinian Warbler - 9
Blackcap - 23
Robin - 3
Stonechat - 2
Pied Flycatcher - 5
Blue Tit - 5
Cirl Bunting - 2
Corn Bunting - 1
Reed Warbler - 1
Redstart - 1
Whinchat - 1
Garden Warbler - 1
Blackbird - 12
Hoopoe - 2
Nightjar - 1
Whitethroat - 1
Nuthatch - 1
Thekla Lark - 4
Great Tit - 2
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - 1
Willow Warbler - 3
Subalpine Warbler - 2
Dartford Warbler - 1
Short-toed Treecreeper - 2
House Sparrow - 1

TOTAL: 87

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

A Damp Day of Diversity

Me and Moxey made the fourteen mile trip to Kings Moss on Sunday morning, to meet Steve for the third session at the site. The weather was not in our favour early on, a slow movement of low cloud and intermittent light drizzle but we didn't let this dampen our enthusiasm. We quickly got the nets up, the usual line (originally identified as being ideal for thrushes during migration), the two feeding stations and a dog leg at the pond.

A grey, damp start at Kings Moss

It was a slow start, largely due to the mist that decended shortly after dawn that seemed to curtail any significant dawn movements, in contrast to Saturday on Rimrose. The feeding stations produced the bulk of the birds early on, with Chaffinch, titmice and Bullfinch coming in in numbers.
Willow Tit (Parus montanus)

Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)

The mist started to lift by 9am and with that, the thrushes started to move, the line picking up the Redwing and later on the Song Thrush and Fieldfare. As Moxey and Steve continued the ringing, I was constantly circulating around the nets removing the steady stream of birds. Once again the thrushes were abundant in good numbers, despite the lack of overhead migration.

Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

Steve with his first Redwing

Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)

Steve and Natasha with their first Fieldfare

By the end of the morning, we had finished on totals approaching the hundred mark, making this the most productive session so far at Kings Moss with twenty different species being caught and ringed. The feeding stations are yet to really establish and with the thrush migration starting to pick up, next weekend, weather permitting, may yet be a bigger one.

Blackbird - 9 (1)
Fieldfare - 3
Redwing - 4
Song Thrush - 4
Reed Bunting - 2
Blue Tit - 16
Great Tit - 16
Willow Tit - 1 (1)
Coal Tit - 1 (2)
Greenfinch - 2
Nuthatch - 1
Goldfinch - 5
Goldcrest - 4
L.T.Tit - 1 (7)
Bullfinch - 5 (1)
Wren - 1
Chiffchaff - 1
Chaffinch - 8
Robin - 2 (2)
Dunnock - 3

TOTAL: 89 (14)

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Upthrush

On Saturday morning, I met Charlie (not very) bright and early at Brook Vale with hopes of late Blackcap and Chiffchaff and the first real thrush movement. It was to transpire that we were to have a little bit of everything. Using the usual line at the feeding station, where activity has increased this week, and a couple of extra nets in the elder, we were a smaller operation than usual, however we were using mp3 to try and call in the thrushes, 'crests and late warblers.

The first net round brought the first Redwing of the autumn, with a couple of late Blackcap and a handful of Goldcrest. The first Goldcrest out of the net was already ringed, which is reasonably unusual given that we don't ring many Goldcrest at Brook Vale and most of the ones that we do are on passage. So, with a closer inspection, the ring was read: DRN954 - the bird was a young male, and the ring isn't from an SWLRG sequence, so this is likely to be a northern bird, possibly a similar movement to the Goldcrest from Fife last year. If you recognise this ring number, let us know!

DRN954 - Goldcrest (Regulus regulus)

As the birds started to arrive in numbers, Moxey arrived, to lend a hand with proceedings. In the meantime, the massive thrush passage happened. Estimates were made of 600-800 Redwing and 500-700 Fieldfare during the morning, as well as small number of Redpoll, Goldfinch and Chaffinch. As usual, it was difficult to make any accurate observations due to the attention to the ringing.

The thrush passage continued until mid-morning, with Redwing and Blackbird being caught in good numbers along with a solitary Fieldfare. It was interesting to look at the measurements of the Blackbirds, with weights over 105g suggesting that there was a small Blackbird migration along with the other Turdus.

Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)

Redwing (Turdus iliacus)

Comrade Fletcher rings his first Fieldfare

It was a good day for Charlie, ringing four new species - Magpie, Redwing, Fieldfare and, a new bird for the site, Lesser Redpoll. The Lesser Redpoll is only the third that we have caught in 2011, but it has been a long time since we have ringed significant numbers of Redpoll in our area, so hopefully we will start to see an increase in our ringing totals of this species.

Lesser Redpoll (Carduelis flammea)

The wind and the temperature eventually started to rise, so we called it a morning at 11:30 whilst Steve made preparations for Sundays session at Kings Moss.

Goldcrest - 4 (1)
L.T.Tit - 3 (2)
Wren - 2 (1)
Lesser Redpoll - 1
Blue Tit - 9
Great Tit - 6
Goldfinch - 1
Chaffinch - 4
Dunnock - 2 (1)
Robin - 1 (2)
Blackcap - 6
Redwing - 17
Blackbird - 9 (1)
Fieldfare - 1
Magpie - 1

TOTAL: 67 (7)

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Moxey on Tour: Vale de Senhora de Povoa

Moxey continued his trip around the interior of Portugal with members of the PADA Group of Ringers and writes....
Scouse Ringer

Vale de Senhora de Povoa

The area was very different. Nets were set around the edges of the small fields against the cover of brambles and small trees such as olives. Four lines of nets were put up using a mixture of 15m and 12m nets. While they were being erected we could hear the calls of Azure winged Magpies everywhere.

Before the nets were furled for the evening we had caught 20 birds of 11 species for ringing in a very short time.

Azure winged Magpie - 6
Blackbird - 1
Blue Tit - 2
Pied Flycatcher - 4
Blackcap - 1
Sardinian Warbler - 1
Whinchat - 1
Robin - 1
Great Tit - 1
Wren - 1
Willow Warbler - 1

TOTAL: 20

What a fantastic day—great company, great weather, great scenery and great birds. As I looked up at the clear sky and surveyed the stars, I wondered what tomorrow would bring, and how privileged I was.

Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus)

The day dawned clear, calm and a little cold. Paulo and Luis already had the nets open by the time I got up, which I hasten to add was at dawn. Paulo prepared breakfast so I was well fed before the first net round. It was Sunday and the hunters were out. Their shots and voices were very clear but Paulo soon re-assured me that they were a distance away from us and the nets. It was so still and free from traffic noise that the sounds of the hunters seemed to be much closer than they actually were.

Catching was good from the offset although the good numbers of Willow Warblers which were present the previous evening had obviously upped and gone south with the perfect conditions overnight. The first net round produced two Azure-winged Magpies with at least another two escaping from the nets. There were birds everywhere in the trees and bushes with Woodlarks and what appeared to be Crested Larks in the open areas. Cetti’s Warblers were calling from the scrub which I did not expect as the habitat was very different to that of the places I have caught them before. Soon the temperature rose and Paulo did the rounds of the nets while Luis and myself did the ringing.

In late August Paulo, Miguel and The Young Pretender had caught a few Orphean Warblers. These I did not really expect and if any were present they avoided capture. In their place were Blackcaps - No worries ; something to look forward to next year. Most of the Subalpine Warblers had moved on and just two were caught. From the line that in August had produced about sixty Subalpines, Paulo made the three of us very happy by bringing back a Woodlark each. They are really great little birds.

As the morning rolled on the goodies continued to arrive. Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Whinchat and Nightingale as well as Cirl Bunting and Serin were ringed. A female Hawfinch, only the second I have ever handled, was treated with the utmost caution. Then the identity of the second lark species was confirmed after reference to Svensson – Thekla Lark. Two new species of lark ringed in a day by me was most unexpected.

When things started to quieten down I managed to get to the nets near the campervan. I was rewarded with a real beaut of a Hawfinch, a male this time. Somehow, I managed to extract it without being bitten by that fearsome bill although earlier the female did have a go as I handled the closed bag It was great to see the difference between the sexes.

Female Hawfinch (Cocothraustes cocothraustes)

Male Hawfinch (Cocothraustes cocothraustes)

Lunch time approached and we had to take the nets down before heading north. This was not before 119 birds of 26 species had been ringed. - a very satisfying mornings ringing in a really great place.

Azure winged Magpie - 2
Blackbird - 11
Great Tit - 1
Blue Tit - 8
Long tailed Tit - 9
Thekla Lark - 1
Woodlark - 3
Whinchat - 2
Stonechat - 1
Nightingale - 1
Redstart - 1
Robin - 4
Serin - 7
Chaffinch - 2
Hawfinch - 2
Cirl Bunting - 1
Tree Sparrow - 1`
Wren - 1
Short- toed Treecreeper - 1
Pied Flycatcher - 3
Blackcap - 32
Sualpine Warbler - 2
Sardinian Warbler - 11
Garden Warbler - 6
Willow Warbler - 2
Cetti’s Warbler - 2

TOTAL: 119

Thekla Lark (Galerida theklae)

Thekla Lark (Galerida theklae)

Woodlark (Lullula arborea)

Woodlark (Lullula arborea)

Next stop: Portugal's only private nature reserve - Faia Brava

Monday, 10 October 2011

Moxey on Tour: Salreu

Having completed a very successful Migration Atlas trip with Paulo Tenreiro and Miguel Araújo at the end of August (which you read about here, here and here), it was Moxeys turn - referring to Scouse Ringer as a Young Pretender, the old folk these days eh? Scouse Ringer

Moxey writes:

After the Young Pretenders road trip in August it was now my turn.

On 22nd September I took Mr. O' Leary's evening bus from Liverpool to Porto. The landing was a bit heavy, probably due to heavy mist which meant we only saw the runway a few seconds before. Got the Metro into town and met up with Rui Brito. Rui is great company and as it was too late to get down to Brasfemes near Coimbra so I spent the night in his flat which. In the morning, despite the mist the view was amazing. From his terrace you can see a lot of Porto including the magnificent football stadium, the Douro river and much much more. After a leisurely stroll to Campanha, I caught the train down to Coimbra where I was met by Isabel Teneiro, Paulo's wife and taken to the family home in Brasfemes.

Paulo soon arrived from his morning ringing session and lunch was taken. The camper-van was loaded with the provisions and ringing gear and off we set on the first leg of a very memorable trip picking up Luis on the way. Salreu was our destination and we arrived with about an hour of daylight left. In spite of the mosquitoes a line of nets was quickly erected in the reeds as the Flava wagtails were coming into roost. I was concerned we were too late but such is Paulo's efficiency the nets were up in no time and immediately started catching. We even had time before dark to put up two other lines ready for the morning. The nets were emptied and the birds brought back to the 'caravan'. Paulo Ferreira (PJF) joined us for the evening and soon we got stuck into the ringing and processing. The evenings catch resulted in 180 birds being ringed.

Flava Wagtail - 173
Alba Wagtail - 1
Reed Warbler - 3
Reed Bunting - 2
Nightjar - 1

TOTAL: 180

Motacilla flava thunbergi

Juvenile Motacilla flava

Adult Motacilla flava

Motacilla flava flavissima

All of the birds with the exception of the Nightjar were roosted overnight. The Flava Wagtails included a lot of stunning individuals of several races including flavissima.


24th September


Paulo and Luis rose before dawn and opened the nets while I remained in bed. They were the orders, not that I minded. That was to be the pattern for the whole trip. The day dawned clear, bright and very sunny. Catching was good from the off and after the first rounds Luis and myself, even though we were joined by PJF, found ourselves confined to the ringing table. Paulo did the rounds constantly and while we observed a small passage of Swifts and Swallows over the ringing table he put on the tape and both Red-Rumped Swallow and Swallow were caught. After one round Paulo's face was beaming - a juvenile Reed Warbler bearing a Norwegian ring. We had obviously caught most of the Flava Wagtails at the roost as only one was caught. Willow Warblers were present in good numbers and also responded to the the song recording. In total 236 birds were ringed in the morning of 22 species including a Wryneck which really did put on a performance. What a spectacular bird.

Swallow - 22
Red-Rumped Swallow - 5
Flava Wagtail - 1
Pied Flycatcher - 1
Blackbird - 1
Nightingale - 1
Stonechat - 1
Wryneck - 1
Bluethroat - 12
Reed Bunting - 13
House Sparrow - 1
Yellow Bishop - 1
Blue Tit - 3
Great Tit - 3
Garden Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 3
Whitethroat - 6
Cettis Warbler - 26
Grasshopper Warbler - 3
Sedge Warbler - 2
Reed Warbler - 36
Willow Warbler - 93

TOTAL: 235

Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca)

Juvenile Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica)

Paulo Ferreira (PJF)


STAVANGER, Norway!!!

Male Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)

Wryneck (Jynx torquilla)

Wryneck 'wrynecking'

Juvenile Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica) - note the tips to the GC's

Yellow-crowned Bishop (Euplectes afer)

After lunch with the temperature about 30C and not a cloud in the sky it was time to move east and say farewell to Salreu. Our destination was Vale de Senhora da Povoa - a drive from the Atlantic coast to near the Spanish border. In late August the Young Pretender had caught lots of Subalpine Warblers there and a few Orphean Warblers, a species I have never handled. Would they still be around?

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Going Solo: A 'crest cracker!

Scouse Ringer took the show out solo this morning amidst forecasts of strong winds and heavy rain. Never one to be detered by the Met Office, a quick peek out the window at 6:30am suggested that the forecast was wildly wrong and so it would be worth heading out. The original plans for the weekend had involved a Rimrose double-header, but yesterday was cancelled at the last minute due to the strong winds and rain, this morning it was due to be Brook Vale but due to the weather, where Brook Vale is more spread out and more exposed, a switch to Crosby Hall was made. The main advantage to hitting up Crosby Hall was the close proximity of the nets and the shelter that the site offers...I wasn't to be disappointed.

Getting on site at 7:45, it didn't take long to get the five nets up and open. Moxey only got the feeders up on Friday but when he visited yesterday to clear the net rides, there was a lot of activity at the feeding station, but he also noticed a lot of Goldcrest sound from the Pine stand and the Yew 'hedge'. With a bit of music to aid the process, it wasn't long before the 'crests started to find their way into the nets, along with three juvenile female Blackcap (total now at 414). As expected, the tits were the first to find the feeders and for the first two hours, there was a steady stream of Blue and Great Tits, punctuated with the occasional Coal Tit.

Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)

Coal Tit (Parus ater)

Returning from the feeding station on the third net round, I heard the thrushes going mental, which usually means one thing, as four Blackbird and a Song Thrush hurtled into the net, a Sparrowhawk wasn't far behind, looking like a young male....I sprinted....well, I kind of ran, not sure you could call it a 'sprint' but the bird managed to get out before I could get to it, along with the Song Thrush and two of the Blackbirds.....you win some....

As the activity slowed at the feeding station, I started to take down the nets, collecting another three Goldcrest in the process. It was interesting that the two retrap Goldcrest (both ringed earlier in the year) were carrying no fat reserves, whereas all the 'new' Goldcrest were carrying at least a fat score of 2, most carrying 3 and all had muscle scores of 3. This suggests that these birds are likely to be migrants rather than local birds, possibly coming from Scotland - one control from November last year was ringed in Fife only a month earlier.

Goldcrest (Regulus regulus)

During the morning there was a lot of Grey Squirrel activity...although this was reduced by at least three when my old school mate Graham turned up with his shotgun. With Red Squirrel in the wood, it's important that every opportunity is taken to reduce the Grey population - Lancs Wildlife Trust are doing a lot of dedicated trapping in local woodland to humanely cull the Grey population and also take blood samples from any Reds that are incidentally captured.

A Raven made a noisy flypast heading south and three Mistle Thrush were a constant presence in the park. The only other migrants that were in evidence was a small number of Redpoll that flew over mid-morning, followed by a small flock of Meadow Pipits. The warm weather of last week seems to have brought a second wave of blackberries and even some of the Rhododendron were back out in flower! A Red Admiral was the sole butterfly of the day but the honey bees were out in force, seeming to be feeding on the berries on the Yew tree.


Rhododendron

Goldcrest - 13 (2)
L.T.Tit - (1)
Dunnock - 1
Chaffinch - 9 (1)
Great Tit - 17 (2)
Blue Tit - 12
Robin - 2
Coal Tit - 4 (1)
Blackcap - 3
Blackbird - 3 (1)

TOTAL: 64 (7)

Over the next few days, Moxey will be making a contribution to the auld blog with a report of his recent trip to Portugal. Expect large volumes of birds and photo's to make you extremely jealous!