Posts Tagged ‘dartford warbler’

A couple of visits to Chobham Common so far this month, Thursday 2nd & Sunday 5th.

The Thursday session saw 5 of us turn out for a 06:15 start, a cloudless morning started of with a slight chill in the air but the sun was soon bathing us in warmth. We initially set 2 singles along a tree line just off the open area of heather and a 3 net box for Meadow pipit adding a single panel net for Dartford warbler later on. All but the Dartford net caught and at the end of the session we’d processed an excellent 74 birds with 42 Meadow pipits making up the lions share.


Meadow pipit

Meadow pipit



Having had such a productive day on Thursday we decided to go again on Sunday, a similar day weather wise and a similar net set-up with one extra net for Dartford warbler which paid dividend with a juvenile male ringed. 50 birds processed with Meadow pipits leading the way with 18 followed closely by 15 Reed Buntings, 7 of which were caught in one net at the same time which is rare for us and this gave us the opportunity to do some ageing and and sexing reed bunting comparisons in the hand and take some good photographs of heads, wings and tails, the results of which can be found here  Ageing and sexing Reed Bunting



Dartford warbler

Dartford warbler

Chobham Common

Chobham Common

So a very respectable 124 birds processed over the 2 sessions.

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It’s my favorite time of the year on the Common, the autumnal colours are stunning, especially at sun rise on a clear and crisp autumn morning.

We start to visit the Common more regularly in the autumn after all the CES’ have finished for the season, we do visit during the summer but that’s mostly in the evenings when we are trying to catch Nightjar.

Thursday 24th October.

A clear chilly morning; a rather large team of 13 ringers turning out. There was a little concern that there might not be enough birds caught to satisfy such a large team but our fears were laid to rest within a few minutes of set-up with Redpoll leading the way. It turned out to be very productive morning  with a total of 110 birds processed.

Species                        new    r/t    total
Meadow pipit                25      2       27
Wren                             1                 1
Dartford warbler            5                 5
Blue tit                          1                 1
Greenfinch                  14                14
Goldfinch                       1                 1
Common redpoll            4                 4
Lesser redpoll             48        1      49
Reed bunting               5         1       6
Common Redpoll

Common Redpoll

Saturday 2nd November.

Clear skies early on but the wind picked up around 10am which caused an early set-down. This session proved to be a little less productive than the previous with only 16 birds in total processed, I did however get to ring my first Dartford Warbler, the last bird of the day to be caught, which was fantastic.

Species                     new    r/t    total            
Meadow pipit               2       1      3
Dartford warbler          1               1
Goldcrest                     1               1
Long-tailed tit              3       2      5
Coal tit                        1               1
Blue tit                        3              3
Lesser redpoll              1              1 
Reed bunting              1              1
Dartford Warbler

Dartford Warbler

Dartford Warbler

Dartford Warbler

Saturday 16th November.
Another crisp morning and another army of ringers, 14 in total. 
Species                     new     r/t   total            
Meadow pipit               1       1      2
Wren                          2               2
Robin                          2               2
Dartford warbler         2      1       3
Goldcrest                    1              1
Long-tailed tit            3       2      5
Coal tit                               1       1
Blue tit                     1                1
Lesser redpol          27      2     29
Common redpoll        2              2
Reed bunting            3              3

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Chobham Common Sunday 6th January

A team had been successful on the common on Saturday 5th trying to catch Dartford Warbler with a 6M ringed, whilst there flocks of finches had been seen including Redpoll and Goldfinch along with a flock of Reed Bunting so a planned trip to Woolley Firs on Sunday was cancelled in favour of a return to Chobham.

It was a foggy start to the morning with heavy moisture in the air. We split into 2 groups and set up our nets in 2 locations. After a few rounds without any birds it was decided to set one more net up in an area where 2 Stonechat had been spotted.

The fog continued throughout the morning and didn’t clear until midday, there were birds flying about most of the morning but not to the same levels as the previous day, the weather having a major effect on movement. It was turning out to be quite a disappointing morning after many net rounds without any birds. At 1130 it was decided to do a final round and then take-down, we’d checked one set of nets and still no birds, while the second set of nets was being checked I went over to check the Stonechat net and was happy to see 2 birds, a Wren and a Stonechat, at least this was going to make all the effort worth while. On my return to base my happy level was elevated even more, another 25 birds had flown into the second set of nets!



My processed list for the day:

Goldc (Goldcrest)             1
Lesre (Lesser Redpoll)   3
Reebu (Reed Bunting)   2


Woolley Firs Saturday 12th January

The weather forecast wasn’t reporting ideal conditions for Saturday but we had bird box maintenance and GPS’ing to do if the weather did indeed turn out to be wet. As it happened very little in the way of rain turned up and we had no interruptions to our ringing.

Just 3 of us for this session saw us met at 0730. Just 2 30ft nets were put up near the feeders, we still had the weather reports in mind and didn’t want to over do the nets.

It was a slow to start numbers wise but the quality was not to bad, the first bird of the day was a Siskin followed by a Blackbird, Coal tit and Blue tit. A Mistle Thrush was spotted atop a tree so it was decided to try to lure it to the net by playing a tape lure, we had little success to begin with but about 10am our patience paid off and we managed to catch it. A double first for me with both an extraction and a ringing process.

We were reduced to just 2 at 1030 having caught just 2 more birds, Coal tit and Blue tit, we decided to call it a day at 1130 and headed off to the nets to take down, this however was put on hold with the discovery of 13 Long tailed tits in our second net.

So by the end of the session we had a total of 22 birds processed.

Mistle Thrush

Mistle Thrush

My processed list for the day:

Blabi (Blackbird)              1
Bluti (Blue tit)                 2
Coati (Coal tit)               1
Lotti (Long-tailed Tit)     12
Misth (Mistle Thrush)     1

We managed a little box maintenance, moving a tit box from high up in one tree to a more accessible position in another and GPSing a few others.

We retired to the pub for a well-earned meal and a pint.

Great start to the year!

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…on the Common.

We where able to start earlier this week thanks to british summertime ending last week. A 0630 meet in the car park saw 9 dedicated souls turn out, 3 trainers, a ‘c’ ringer, 2 trainees and 3 helpers.

The weather was misty and overcast early and stayed that way for most of the morning with the mist lifting mid morning.

We set-up plenty of nets with a mix of full height and single panels, the later targeting Dartford Warbler. The catch was 60% down on  last week but we still managed a respectable 39 birds with the stars of the day being 2 Darwa (Dartford Warblers) this was particularly pleasing as we didn’t catch a single one last winter. I was able to add this to my extractions list but not my ringed list!

Birds processed this session:-

  1. Goldc (Goldcrest) x 5
  2. Wren x 1
  3. Lesre (Lesser Redpoll) x 3
  4. Lotti (Long-tailed tit) x 2



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