12th – A bit of catching up to do but not much to report for the 12th. We again had overnight southerly winds which made for a pleasant but uneventful ringing session of just a handful of birds at our Essex farm site.The Bar-tailed Godwit flock continued to commute between Longis Bay and the Golf Course with 22 birds present both yesterday and today. There were a couple of Wheatear on Longis common and a Kingfisher briefly over Essex fields that was later (if it was the same bird) observed catching palmate newts by Robert Manzano Rubio on Longis reserve pond in the afternoon. I received this super shot of two Sanderling feeding on Braye beach.
The 13th offered a short window of opportunity to ring ahead of a huge weather front approaching us from the south. We managed to ring 26 new birds and get the nets all furled just before the heavens opened in conjunction with some impressive thunder and lightning. There are plenty of Water Rail and Snipe present around the pond at the moment and we are regularly seeing the former flushed from the public footpaths, the latter hurtling along our net rides and today again into a mist net. The very low winds gave us another opportunity to open our net in the open grasslands and it was again productive with 9 Meadow Pipits, 2 Stonechat and 2 Whinchat. Other species processed today included Garden, Sedge and Reed Warblers, Whitethroats and Blackcaps. 1 Wheatear was on Longis common and just prior to the onset of the storm about 80 Swallows passed over in a single flock.