Winds breezy and from the SE this morning allowed ringing sessions at Longis and Mannez both cut short as the wind increased mid morning. A Merlin across the common was a fine sight as we closed the nets at Longis. The Greenfinch flock has joined forces with increasing numbers of Goldfinch and there were still 4 Whinchats present. This afternoon there were 3 Buzzards over Essex Hill and a female Sparrowhawk near the airport. On Braye Bay 2 Grey Plovers, 5 Sanderlings, 21 Ringed Plovers, 5 Bar-tailed Godwits, 1 Mediterannean Gull (ringed) and 3 Sandwich Terns.
30 New birds were ringed, the pick being a Firecrest at Mannez.
Little Egret numbers at Longis bay High tide had risen to 12. A very still day saw the ringers deploy across our 3 main sites and from the off it was clear that Swallows were making the most of the improved conditions passing through in good numbers constantly with around 500 through by ealry afternoon. Migrating Meadow Pipits were also in abundance and the Starling and Greenfinch flocks on the common both numbered around 70. In the afternoon the ringing centred around Longis reserve continuing until dusk and Anne Isabelle Boulon reported a Hen Harrier heading South over the airfield. Martin Batt was out on the common taking advantage of the magnificent late afternoon light to photograph some of the 10 Stonechats and 5 Whinchats gathered on the grasslands. The Rose-coloured Starling was again showing well on the common.
Ringing totals surpassed our previous highest day total this year for new birds ringed and also the most species processed in a single day.New birds Essex Farm 27, Mannez Reserve 25 and Longis Reserve 214, a total of 266 birds ringed from 22 species. This grand total was dominated by Swallows (150) also 38 Blackcaps, 21 Meadow Pipits, 15 Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, 3 Sand Martin, 3 Starlings, 3 Whinchats, 4 Stonechats, 8 Greenfinches, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Linnet, 1 Song Thrush. This busy day took us over 9,000 birds ringed since 1st March. See ringing totals page for full details.
For the last two weeks we have hosted the first of many staying guests at the ABO. Despite the wind direction being unfavourable for migration for just about the entire period, persistence and enthusiasm paid off and some great birds were enjoyed by all. Thanks to visiting ringers, Jenny Wallace, Richard Charles, Paul Thorpe, Paul Roper, John Mceachen, Keith Dean, Bazza Williams and John Haddaway. We hope to see you all next year following the Obs renovations. We really appreciated your input and support.
Stonechat – Longis nature reserve- Photo – Martin Batt