Friday, 31 August 2012

Kvismare fågelstation, Sweden - Day 50

1cy male Greenfinch/Grönfink
Wing and tail of 1cy male Greenfinch - Note how yellow on outer web out outer two tail feathers touches shaft of feather, and extensive yellow in the primaries, even at this age.
Incredible wing-deteriorating disease or disorder in a 1cy male Blackap/Svarthätta. Never before have I ever seen this!
Brown Long-eared Bat/Långörad fladdermus found its way into the elevator net. Incredible little mammal!

This morning we were really excited about the possibilities of Ässön as there was rain over night followed by a light 1m/s wind from the north. Strangely, it never really kicked off, presumably due to mild weather, so we 'only' managed to catch 70 new birds and 4 recaps.
There wasn't really any highlight species today except the 2nd Dunnock of the season and a very interesting Blackcap that appeared to have extensive wing-deterioration on almost all of the flight feathers! It made it look incredible short winged when it had its wings closed. Most peculiar!

Totals for the morning: (recaps in brackets)
Reed Warbler - 13 (1)
Sedge Warbler - 4
Willow Warbler - 10 (1)
Blackcap - 1
Whitethroat - 1
Garden Warbler - 2
Dunnock - 1
Robin - 6 (2)
Swallow - 17
White Wagtail - 1
Reed Bunting - 6
Blue Tit - 5
Great Tit - 2
Greenfinch - 1

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Kvismare fågelstation, Sweden - Day 49

Adult male Yellow Wagtail - Bird presumably flava, however in the field, the head seemed surprisingly dark, so thunbergi/thunbergi hybrid influence was considered.
Craig did well to catch this stunning juvenile Black-headed Gull that was hilariously tame. The 'most juvenile' Black-head I've handled outside of a colony.
I posted a photo on 14th August of a juvenile Lesser Whitethroat's tail based on the brown tip to the 2nd outermost tail feather. This adult showed a lovely white tip. A nice reminder for future reference.

Today we visited Ässön, however I stayed in bed for a little longer in order to let out last nights 53 Swallow that roosted in a large cage in the house last night.
We caught a total of 77 new birds and 8 recaptures today and we took down the nets earlier than normal because Ässön is a place where the birds just 'switch off' and three consecutive net rounds produced no birds.
Highlights came in the form of the first adult Lesser Whitethroat of the year, a new juvenile Great Reed Warbler and a smart juvenile Black-headed Gull.

Totals for the morning: (recaps in brackets)
Reed Warbler - 10 (1)
Sedge Warbler - 3
Willow Warbler - 5 (1)
Garden Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 5
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Whitethroat - 1
Great Reed Warbler - 1
Blackbird - 2
Robin - 24 (1)
Reed Bunting - 3 (1)
Swallow - 2
White Wagtail - 12
Yellow Wagtail - 1
Tree Pipit - 1
Wren - 1
Blue Tit - 1
Great Tit - 2 (4)
Black-headed Gull - 1

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Kvismare fågelstation, Sweden - Day 48

I have posted a picture of a 1cy and adult Spotted Flycatcher in the last week, so thought I'd post one of a 1cy undergoing moult of the median coverts. (Maybe, I'm just noticing moult in birds a little more, but this is again something I don't think I've seen before? Shows how much I pay attention!)

This morning I visited Öby Kulle with Hectar and Tage in the hope of catching Robins for the Spanish project.
Totals for the morning - (Recaps in brackets)
Robin - 4 (1)
Willow Warbler - 3
Spotted Flycatcher - 1
Chaffinch - 16 (1)
Tree Pipit - 5
Blue Tit - 5 (1)
Marsh Tit - (1)
Great Tit - (9)
Blackcap - 2
Garden Warbler - 1
Nuthatch -  (2)

Öby Kulle is also a fantastic spot for watching migration because it is a high up vantage point in which to scan the valley. It is almost surrounded by trees meaning there is a significant wind blog, so any birds flying over can be heard easily, and is very rarely windy, meaning there are lots of insects for migrants to be attracted to.
Observation of migration today came in the form of:
Tree Pipit - 150+ (first observed at 05:49)
Northern Bullfinch - 1+ heard 05:53
Taiga Bean Geese - 2 with 8 Greylag
Siskin - 10+ over
Tree Sparrow - 14 (12 juv) landed in Öby from high up
Mistle Thrush - 1 (new for Kvismaren for me)
Chaffinch - c200 in Öby itself with several moving overhead too
Jay - 5
Redpoll sp - 2 over >S

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Kvismare fågelstation, Sweden - Day 47

3cy+ female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Wing of a 3cy+ Lesser Spot
Shrikes are known for their feistiness...this was no exception
The first time I have seen a contrast within the Great coverts of a Blue Tit. The first time I have been 'excited' by moult in a bird...ever!
(For future reference) Wing of a Garden Warbler

Weather was perfect for Ässön, so we set off from the Obs at 03.45 and were set before it was light. There was a clear movement of migrants overhead with the highlight for me being a single Parrot Crossbill flying low south, calling.
In terms of ringing, we caught 129 new birds and 14 recaps. Highlights came in the form of a new adult female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (my first female EVER!) which was really nice. It was great to see how obvious the bright red eye was, compared to the juveniles. A large surprise was also to catch a juvenile Red-backed Shrike in what we call 'the crap net' because it's in the worst place you could imagine for catching birds (exposed and in the open with very little cover next to the net), but it can be amazing for catching birds!

Totals for the day were: (recaps in brackets)
Swallow - 61
Reed Warbler - 22 (2)
Sedge Warbler - 2
Willow Warbler - 10 (1)
Garden Warbler - 3
Blackcap - 2
Blue Tit - 5 (2)
Great Tit - (4)
Goldcrest - 2
Robin - 11 (2)
Spotted Flycatcher - 1
White Wagtail - 1
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - 1
Red-backed Shrike - 1
Nuthatch - 1
Reed Bunting - 5 (3)
House Martin** - 1

**House Martin would've been a highlight for me as this would be a new species seen in the hand, however this was on the one net round that I didn't attend because I drove back to house to get more rings...which we didn't even use! Gutted!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Kvismare fågelstation, Sweden - Day 46

My 1001st bird at Kvismaren!

''1001!?!'' I hear you say! Well I knew today, I would ring my 1000th bird at Kvismaren, so when I reached that number, I took a photo of the said bird. It happened to be a juvenile female Chaffinch which was really smart.
It wasn't until we got home that we realised that there has been a Great Reed Warbler record entered into the ringing database under the name of Craig, and not me. As a result, this is my 1001st, and my 1000th was, would you believe it, a Blue Tit!

This morning we woke up to a very strong, bitter North Westerly wind. The only ringing we could do was at Öby Kulle. This is a fantastic spot because it acts as an ampitheatre, so wind is blocked from about 270 degrees. It is also a small hill with dense vegetation, so is a fantastic spot to drop migrants in in conditions such as this morning.
We managed to catch several Tree Pipit, Chaffinch, Robin and Blue Tit as well as a Goldcrest, Lesser Whitethroat and a Great Tit.

The main aim for the morning was to try and catch Robins because a man called Hectar is here from Spain to do some measurements on Robins and compare them to Spanish birds. We will try our best to catch several throughout his stay. Hopefully Ässön will be ringable tomorrow as we should catch in the region of 20.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Kvismare fågelstation, Sweden - Day 45

 1 of 4 bats caught this morning when setting up the nets.
Tage wasn't too impressed with the lack of birds... (can you tell today wasn't that eventful?)

There was a certain theme about today. We set up the nets and it starts raining very heavily, so we take down very wet nets.
We ventured out to Ässön for first let and set up 18 nets. Literally as I put the last loop of the last net up, it started spitting, getting gradually heavier and heavier. I thought we'd wade it out as it may just be a short shower...5 minutes later, we were running to the nets to take them down. I however couldn't do this until I took 8 Robins and 4 Bats out of the elevator net!
It was a real shame that the rain 'stopped play' because it looked like it may be a really good morning as even before first light, there appeared to be a decent passage of birds, so we could have had some fantastic totals.
We went home and caught up on data until the rain stopped. We then went to Öby Kulle, but again, literally 10 minutes after we'd set up, torrential rain appeared as if from nowhere! We did however catch a Tree Pipit and a recap Great and Blue Tit.
The afternoon saw us have another shot at Öby Kulle, but 30 minutes into ringing, a very very dark thunderstorm was heading our way, so we took down to avoid getting killed! We caught a new Chaffinch and 2 recap Great Tits.

Normally we probably would have called it a day after the dawn ringing with varied weather throughout the day, however I have now ringed 995 during my time at Kvismaren, so was really eager to get out and catch my 1000th!
Hopefully tomorrow will see us catch at LEAST 5 more birds!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Kvismare fågelstation, Sweden - Day 44

Last night we caught Swallow again at Vallen and caught an impressive 183 Swallow, 3 Sand Martin, Yellowhammer and 5 Reed Warbler
This morning, we arose rather reluctantly and headed off to Ässön 3 hours after we had gone to bed! We caught 180 new birds and 10 retraps, which is mainly thanks to 42 Swallow and a large(ish) Tit-flock. Highlights came in the form of a smart juvenile male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, juvenile Yellow Wagtail, juvenile female Goldcrest and a lot of Swallow! We also recaught an adult Sedge Warbler, which is my first I've seen for weeks!

Totals for the morning: (retraps in brackets)
Reed Warbler - 26 (2)
Sedge Warbler - 9 (1)
Willow Warbler - 14
Blackcap - 5
Garden Warbler - 1
Whitethroat - 1
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Blue Tit - 23 (1)
Great Tit - 10 (3)
Swallow - 42
White Wagtail - 9
Yellow Wagtail - 1
Reed Bunting - 15 (3)
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - 1
Greenfinch - 1
Goldcrest - 1
Song Thrush - 1
Robin - 18
Tree Pipit - 1

Weather permitting, we shall try again for Swallows and if last night was anything to go by, we could easily reach 300 birds today, which would be quite impressive!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Kvismare fågelstation, Sweden - Day 43

 Juvenile Barred Warbler
 Juvenile Barred Warbler wing and tail.
1 of 5 juvenile Bearded Tits

This morning, Craig and Heather went to Öby Kulle, leaving the three of us ringing at Vallen. They caught a total of 38 new birds including 2 Wood Warbler and 13 Tree Pipit. I am slightly 'gripped' by the Wood Warbler as I've wanted to see one of these in the hand for a while now!

It didn't matter to me know, because we caught a bird that could well go down as the highlight of my trip! A juvenile Barred Warbler was caught on the 2nd net round. I walked up to the net and thought to myself 'That's a big Garden Warbler...'. It then made a crazy noise reminiscent of Great Reed Warbler. I grabbed the bird and it felt massive! I saw the 'barring' on the rump and undertail coverts and it suddenly clicked what I was holding. I was amazed by how impressive this bird was, as I'm used to a lot of people being quite nonchalant when a Barred Warbler turns up as they aren't as 'pretty' as the leaf warblers etc. This bird however was massive, taking the same ring as a Great Reed Warbler! I had no idea they were so big. I have only ever seen one before and that was a scope view at Spurn back in 2007. A truly awesome bird.
We also managed to catch 5 of a flock of 9 juvenile Bearded Tits which is always really nice. Especially the orange billed males.

Totals for the ringing at Vallen were: (retraps in brackets)
Reed Warbler - 18 (2)
Sedge Warbler - 21
Willow Warbler - 1 (1)
Garden Warbler - 1
Barred Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 2
Whitethroat - 1
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Blue Tit - 6 (2)
Great Tit - 1
Bearded Tit - 5
Reed Bunting - 8 (2)

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Kvismare fågelstation, Sweden - Day 42

 1cy Ortolan Bunting
 wing, mantle and rump of a 1cy Ortolan Bunting
 Tail of 1cy Ortolan - note pointyness.
1cy Spotted Flycatcher wing. Compare to yesterday's adult. (note pale fringed uppertail coverts, and wing coverts.)

Last night we went to Vallen to do another Swallow roost and caught an impressive 160 Swallows (including 1 'control' that we ringed at Ässön a couple of weeks ago.) As a result, we were ringing until almost midnight, so I was very tired indeed this morning.
The weather was pretty poor at first light with strong winds and very heavy rain, so Craig waited until it stopped and headed off out to Öby Kulle. I made the decision to stay in bed for a couple of hours and then do data input. Craig came running in after a short while and shouted 'Zac, you might want to come to Öby. We've caught an Ortolan!'. I don't think I've ever got dressed so quickly!

Martin got to ring the bird, but I was just happy to see my first 1cy Ortolan and my first Ortolan in the hand. Very nice indeed, but I was amazed by how Pipit like the plumage was at this age.

Additional birds caught this morning were 12 Tree Pipit, Garden Warbler, 8 Willow Warbler, 3 Robin and a juvenile Spotted Flycatcher.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Kvismare fågelstation, Sweden - Day 41

 Adult Spotted Flycatcher which has just started moulting. Not fresh central tertial on both wing.
Juvenile female Bearded Tit

Last night we did a Swallow roost at Vallen, catching 63 Swallow, 5 Reed Warbler, 1 Willow Warbler and 1 Great Reed Warbler.
This morning we were back at Vallen for first light in the hope of a Bluethroat, but sadly this did not happen. Highlights for the morning were a Teal caught in the first round, 3 Marsh Warbler and a Bearded Tit, as well as a recap Lesser Spotted Woodpecker which was again, fantastic to see in the hand.
The totals for the morning were 85 new and 15 recaps, comprising of (recaps in brackets)
Reed Warbler - 51 (4)
Sedge Warbler - 7 (2)
Marsh Warbler - 3
Willow Warbler - 2 (1)
Blue Tit - 4 (3)
Great Tit - 1
Bearded Tit - 1
Whitethroat - 1
Blackcap - 1 (2)
Robin - 1
Swallow - 1
Spotted Flycatcher - 1
Blackbird - (2)
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - (1)
Teal - 1

Throughout the morning, there was a really good passage of passerines overhead with the highlight being a reasonably low flying Hawfinch and a really good passage of 100+ Tree Pipit. As a result, Craig and I set 4 nets at Öby Kulle with the hope of Tree Pipits. We managed to catch 6 juvenile Tree Pipits, 1 juvenile Marsh Tit and a retrap juvenile Great Tit. We also managed to see 2 Honey Buzzard and 2 Golden Plover.

A successful day!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Kvismare fågelstation, Sweden - Day 40

We woke up this morning to rain, which was quite a shame, because I was really looking forward to ringing today with the prospect of perhaps a Bluethroat at Vallen.
Instead, I went back to bed for a couple of hours and then headed off to Hammarmaden in search of waders. There was loads of water at our wader catching site so only saw 2 Ringed Plover, plus 2 Garganey and 458 Teal.
Viewing Hammarmaden from the bridge, I saw 43 Bean Geese (that increased later in the day to 65), c500 Greylag Geese, 3000+ Lapwing (including a leucistic bird) and 12 Ruff

When I got home, we found out that a Greater Yellowlegs had been reported from Hammarmaden about 40 minutes before I had arrived! We went straight back in the hope it would have been refound, but there was no sign. Hopefully, if the report was genuine, it will be refound locally.

We decided to have a couple of net rounds at Öby Kulle as quite a few Tree Pipit were flying over. We managed to catch 1, plus 2 Willow Warblers, a Robin and 2 Marsh Tit.

The weather looks better for tomorrow, so Ässön could be our target. We also intend on catching Swallows this evening at Vallen

Monday, 20 August 2012

Kvismare fågelstation, Sweden - Day 39

1cy Thrush Nightingale
1cy Thrush Nightingale wing - note fresh white tipping and thorning to flight feathers as well as 5 retained juvenile outer greater coverts.
2cy+ Thrush Nightingale
2cy+ Thrush Nightingale wing - note overall monotone quality to the wing and uniform Greater coverts lacking the obvious ginger tips.
juvenile female Common Redstart

This morning Craig went to Öby Kulle, whilst the rest of us went to Banvallen. Craig caught a total of 27 birds including 7 retraps. Highlights came in the form of 3 Tree Pipit and a Spotted Flycatcher
Totals for Öby Kulle: (Retraps in brackets)
Great Tit - 6 (5)
Blue Tit - 1
Marsh Tit - (1)
Willow Warbler - 4 (1)
Robin - 1
Spotted Flycatcher - 1
Garden Warbler - 4
Tree Pipit - 3

Highlights from the 33 (1 recap) birds we caught at Banvallen came in the form of a juvenile female Redstart which had almost completed it's post juvenile moult so looked very smart indeed. After worrying that I wasn't going to see many more Thrush Nightingales whilst in Sweden, I was very happy to catch 4 today, including a 2cy+ bird that was ringed in June. It was nice to be able to compare the ageing criteria of a freshly moulted adult and a juvenile which is very close to completing post-juvenile moult. The adult was carrying a lot and was 'Fat 7' on the scale of 0-9, so I think we were very lucky to retrap this before it migrates away from Kvismaren.

Totals for Banvallen: (Recaps in brackets)
Reed Warbler - 1
Willow Warbler - 3
Blackacap - 1
Garden Warbler - 2 (1)
Whitethroat - 1
Redstart - 1
Thrush Nightingale - 3 (1)
Robin - 5 (1)
Blue Tit - 4 (2)
Great Tit - 3
Blackbird - 2
Song Thrush - (1)
Nuthatch - (1)

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Kvismare fågelstation, Sweden - Day 38

Autumn has struck Kvismaren with 2 Taiga Bean Geese in amongst lots of Greylag
Part of my largest flock of grounded Cranes featuring 642 birds!
The majority were flushed by 2 freshly fledged White-tailed Eagles

Today we woke up at 3am ready to get out ringing at Banvallen, however we quickly realised that it was pouring down with rain and did so until about 10am. Early morning the wind also picked up massively from the south and therefore we have done no ringing at all.

I have however 'twitched' 2 Bean Geese at Hammarmaden which are the first for the Autumn here that arrived yesterday. It's quite strange to see what I would call Winter birds in mid-August! I also enjoyed the spectacle of a marsh full of 642 Common Cranes, 2500+ Greylag Geese, 1000+ Starling and 700+ Lapwing.

The weather is supposed to calm down a bit tomorrow, so should hopefully get some proper ringing done again. Stay tuned.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Kvismare fågelstation, Sweden - Day 37

A recording of a Wolf pack last visit to the Pine Forest (Martin Carlsson)

Last night, Craig, Martin, Heather and I went to look for the Wolf pack again. It was a really clear night so was really cold. Unfortunately we were unable to see any this visit, but we were able to find the pack again and we were lucky to find an alfa male with c5 puppies that were yapping away. It was quite strange to hear the power of a big male and then the, almost patheticness of the puppies yapping away.
My absolute highlight came from something that I really, really wasn't expecting... We were making wolf howls to get them to respond when we heard a deep 1/2 second long 'roar'. It was quite quiet and we guessed it must have been coming from the forest edge c150 meters away. It was reacting to our howl, and did so 6 times. I couldn't believe it when we realised it was actually coming from a male Lynx, and a big one at that!

Lynx are by far my favourite non-avian animal in the world and I would pretty much pay anything to see one in the wild. The fact that I was only c150 meters away from, and communicating with my favourite animal is just breathtaking. In a way, I am slightly glad that I didn't see the animal because it not only remains an almost mythical beast (or a CMF in birding terms), but it means I still have lots of things to acheive before I 'climb Everest'. Again, one of the best noises I've ever heard and was made even better by the wolves. A night to remember, yet again!
Freshly moulted 1st winter Thrush Nightingale
The weather was pretty miserable today, so we weren't able to do much ringing. It cleared up for a couple of hours this evening, so we attempted a swallow-catch at dusk. We weren't able to catch any swallows, but caught several Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, a single Thrush Nightingale, Willow Warbler and a Great Reed Warbler.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Kvismare fågelstation, Sweden - Day 36

 Sunrise over a millpond-like Ässön
 My first Grey Wagtail
With 0m/s wind and cloud cover overnight forecast, we visited Ässön again where we caught 105 new birds and 7 recaptures. It was quite strange that throughout the whole day, we only caught 2 adult birds which came in the form of 2 White Wagtail. All the other birds were 1cy birds. It would appear that the vast majority of adult summer migrants have made a dash for the south (except for maybe Swallow). Unless we catch some adult migrants from further north, I may have to come to terms with the fact that my next adult Reed and Sedge Warblers will be in 2013!
The obvious highlight of the day for me was a juvenile Grey Wagtail which is I species I had never before ringed so was handed the bird bag with it in. This is even more special because Grey Wagtails aren't common in the province of Närke. A really stunning bird

Totals for day are as follows: (recaps in brackets)
Reed Warbler - 18 (2)
Sedge Warbler - 7
Willow Warbler - 22 (1)
Garden Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 1 (1)
Robin - 4 (1)
Blue Tit - 2 (1)
Great Tit - (1)
White Wagtail - 4
Grey Wagtail - 1
Swallow - 38
Reed Bunting - 5 (1)
Spotted Flycatcher - 1

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Kvismare fågelstation, Sweden - Day 35

 Freshly moulted 2CY+ male Blackcap
Another juvenile Red-backed Shrike leaving a lasting impression on our fingers!

Today we attended Vallen for the first CES here in 6 days which was nice as it is obvious that the juvenile Reed Warblers are getting ready to move with a lot of stored fat and in good numbers too.

Totals from the morning were: (retraps in brackets)
Reed Warbler - 42
Sedge Warbler - 6
Willow Warbler - 15 (2)
Marsh Warbler -2
Great Reed Warbler - 4
Garden Warbler - 4
Blackcap - 4
Whitethroat - 5
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Blackbird - 1
Song Thrush - 1
Red-backed Shrike - 1
Reed Bunting - 8
Taking a blood sample from a Great Reed Warbler
It was really nice to catch 4 unringed juvenile Great Reed Warblers, because Kvismaren have been undertaking a study on this species for 29 years. Over the past week I have been undergoing training to take blood samples on birds which has been really interesting as I don't think I'll ever get the chance to do this in Britain due to requirements of vet licenses etc.
I have found myself being really comfortable with the delicate procedure and a Great Reed Warbler is a really nice bird to take a sample from because they are a proper sized bird, so aren't too fiddly... We are also helping out with a project for Lund University and I have, in the last week, taken samples from Garden Warbler, Reed Warbler, Willow Warbler, Blue Tit, White Wagtail and Wren (the latter being only a very very small sample for obvious reasons).

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Kvismare fågelstation, Sweden - Day 34

recap juvenile Marsh Warbler - Sorry if I am boring you with Marsh Warblers...I just really like them!
Note the long primaries of the closed wing with obvious pale fringing and that p9 is longer than p7 on the open wing, which is one of the diagnostic features of the wing formula
Again, the long primaries, with pale fringing and the very clean looking tertials help to ID this as Marsh.
One of the best birds of the day came in the form of a controlled Reed Warbler which was ringed in Belgium
Continued good weather for migrants ensured a follow up trip to Ässön where we caught 62 new bird and 8 recaptures. The decrease in birds from yesterday is presumably due to the sudden increase in wind mid-morning. Non-ringing highlights came in the form of 3 Honey Buzzard and a movement of Cormorant away from their colony with a flock of at least 50 birds which was quite a sight.

Totals for the morning included: (recaps in brackets)
Reed Warbler - 4 (2)
Sedge Warbler - 6
Willow Warbler - 11 (2)
Marsh Warbler - (1)
Garden Warbler - 1
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Robin - 3
Great Tit - 3 (3)
Marsh Tit - 1
White Wagtail - 14
Blackbird - 1
Swallow - 13
Reed Bunting - 4
This evening, we went to a usual spot where a Beaver hangs out. Because it was lovely calm weather, I took the opportunity to get some pleasing photos of this fantastic animal. We also saw c650 Common Cranes which is quite a sight!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Kvismare fågelstation, Sweden - Day 33

1CY Willow Tit (with presumably a new tail being grown after an attack/accidental loss?) - My favourite bird!
1cy Lesser Whitehtorat wing - general overall freshness with 3/10 unmoulted Greater Coverts
1cy Lesser Whitehtroat tail with 5th Primary (2nd from left and right) lacking a white tip)
3cy+ male White Wagtail (don't get a chance to catch these at home really, so thought I'd blog it again!)

Ringing took place today at Ässön at dawn where we set 19 nets. The day started off really slowly with several 1/2 bird net rounds which was very hard work on a cold morning. Luckily the wind dropped slightly and the birds started to move with a total of 111 new birds and 7 recaps. Highlights were 1cy Willow Tit, 1cy Goldcrest (first of season), Lesser Whitethroat and 44 Willow Warbler (inc. 2 retrap). There is also a retrap Thrush Nightingale that we keep catching almost every visit, which is nice to see it's Post-juvenile moult progress.

Totals for the morning were: (recaps in brackets)
Reed Warbler - 15 (2)
Sedge Warbler - 6 (1)
Willow Warbler - 42 (2)
Garden Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 1 (1)
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Whitethroat - 1
Blackbird - 1
Song Thrush - 1
Thrush Nightingale - (1)
Blue Tit - 7
Great Tit - 18
Willow Tit - 1
White Wagtail - 6
Reed Bunting - 3
Swallow - 2
Robin - 3
Wren - 2
Goldcrest - 1 (first for season)

Non-ringing highlights came in the form of something that was almost a ringing highlight, as a flock of 15+ Northern Long-tailed Tit almost brushed the top shelf of one of our nets! This is the first time I've see the caudatus race of Long-tailed Tit and I can't quite think of a cuter bird I have ever seen if I'm honest! Stunning in every way!