Its been very quiet the last couple of weeks hence the lack of updates, but this weekend I was back at the Coastal Park doing a bit of Ringing on the big mound. As great as that was, it was made even better by having Adrian join us for both days, something that hasnt happened for ages. Its great having him around, not just because he constantly teaches me new things and helps my training develop at a faster pace, but because he is genuinely good company. Birdwise, the two mornings were fairly quiet, the highlight being a lovely juvenile Pied Flycatcher which is one of my favourite birds and one that scores extremely highly on the cutesy scale!
The weekend saw me reaching a nice little landmark, as I Ringed my 500th individual bird. The bird in question was a lovely little Robin, not a bird considered too special or exciting, but on this occasion it was definitely the bird of the day.
On sunday evening I headed back to the Coastal Park as a Barred Warbler had been found in, of all places, our Ringing mound! It was a very skulking bird, but I still managed to get a number of good views. Its just a pity it waited until we'd finished Ringing before it turned up!
The Whitburn Ringing Group has recently gained permission to Ring in Slaley Forest, just north of Derwent Reservoir. Its a terrific area and we are absolutely delighted to have secured the rights to Ring there. There are a number of species resident in the area, but one of the real attractions are the Nightjars that regularly breed in the region. Last weekend Adrian went over and had a little try to net one of these scarce birds and to his utter surprise he ended up Ringing THREE adult males! So on thursday night myself, John and Adrian went over to see if we could get a few more birds. We were joined by a couple of local birders who wanted to get some good views of this normally elusive species, and in Steve's case see one for the first time. We put three nets out in various locations and it didnt take long at all for the first chirring bird to be heard. Shortly after, the first bird was seen flying. Then another. And another. This was terrific, and raised our hopes of getting some in the nets. As myself and John were checking one of the nets Adrian radioed us to say he had two adult birds in another net. Excellent! We rushed back to the car where Adrian was waiting with the birds and he handed us one each. My bird was a male, and Johns was a female, so maybe they were a breeding pair out hunting together? Or maybe it was coincidence. Who knows? I like to think they were Mr and Mrs though! We Ringed the birds and took all the relevant details before letting the lads take a couple of quick photos. It was a new Ringing species for both myself and John, and was the 50th species I have Ringed. I'm delighted I reached the landmark with such a special bird. These two birds turned out to be the only ones caught that night, but there were plenty more flying around so the potential is there for more Ringing.