May 22nd

Today, the latest visiting Naturetrek group had a productive session emptying the moth traps with our resident expert David Wedd and they later reported a Spotted Flycatcher from Longis nature reserve.

Caroline Yates reports: “While walking  towards Gannets/Giffoine, just past the last pen of pigs in the gorse on the left side of the path, we saw a pair of Dartford Warblers in the gorse, clearly nesting and working as a pair together“. Dartford Warblers have been reported from several locations this spring, hinting they may be heading for a good year. Numbers on the island are thought to be low but the number of sightings and reports this spring is very encouraging.

Ringing: A wonderfully still and warm morning but, given the threat of heavy showers, I limited myself to a couple of nets a stone’s throw from the Obs at Essex Farm. Westerly winds gradually increased as the day went on. My  restricted but very enjoyable session ended with 15 new ringed birds and migrants are still coming through here, 5 Chiffchaffs,  2 Reed Warblers and 1 Blackcap plus a UK ‘control’ Chiffchaff. Interestingly all 6 Chiffchaffs were very heavy birds with plenty of fat and muscle. Also ringed were 2 Song Thrush, 2 Robin, Goldfinch, Blackbird and Wren.

One of today’s Song Thrushes, a bird I took to be in its 2nd yr, showed quite clear differentiation of colour between the retained  old greater coverts against the moulted new ones. Maybe I have just overlooked this feature but on this bird it seemed very clear and is perhaps something more prominent in the European nominate race (see below outer 3 OGC’s browner than inner olive ones).

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