Christchurch Harbour Ringing Station – Ringing News 2011


Nov 5
I have today updated the 2011 Ringing Totals.

Oct 8
On a cool and breezy morning at the HHC we could only manage 20 birds as follows :- 11 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Dunnock and a Robin. Thanks to Carol, Brenda and Jenny for their help today.

Adult male Green Woodpecker HHC Oct 2011 Brenda Cook

Oct 1
After a short break to Norfolk I was back in action at the HHC and we had a reasonable successful morning. We managed 45 birds of which the highlight was a juvenile male Firecrest. Other birds included:- Chiffchaff 19, Blackcap 5, Goldcrest 3, Cetti's Warbler 4, Lesser Redpoll 1, Green Woodpecker 1, Blackbird 1, Dunnock 2, Whitethroat 1, Greenfinch 1, Great Tit 2, Blue Tit 2 and 2 Song Thrushes. Thanks to Brenda, Kathryn, Annalea and Jenny for their help today. Also thanks to the many well-wishers who have asked after my health - finger is slowly on the mend!

Juvenile male Firecrest HHC Oct 2011 Kevin Sayer

Sept 15
A calm and sunny morning led to an influx of birds of which we managed a healthy total of 94 birds. Unfortunately, I managed to slip on a wooden plank crossing one of the reedbed ditches and tore a tendon in my finger. Therefore, I ended up in A&E and have a finger splint for the next 6-8 weeks. However, as every cloud has a silver lining one of the nurses there was an old schoolchum who I haven't seen for nearly 40 years! Todays' totals were:- Chiffchaff 50, Blackcap 9, Sedge Warbler 23, Robin 4, Reed Bunting 2, Blue Tit 3, Willow Warbler 1, Whitethroat 1 and a single Reed Warbler. Thanks to Sharon and Kathryn for their help and especially to Annalea for also getting all my ringing gear back to Ferndown. Whilst setting-up last night we noticed Otter tracks in one of our very muddy net-rides.

Sept 1
Although the breezy easterly wind may have given hope to some of our CHOG colleagues for a 'goodie' or two - it did us no favours! We could only manage 34 birds but it did contain a bit of quality with our first Kingfisher of the year and 2 Whitethroats trapped together, as we were taking-down, were an adult and a juvenile. This allowed for some comparison photos to be made. The totals were:- Sedge Warbler 19, Reed Warbler 2, Blackcap 4, Willow Warbler 1, Blue Tit 2, Robin 2, Kingfisher 1, Dunnock 1 and 2 Whitethroats. Thanks to Roger, Brenda, Carol, Sharon and new girl Jenny for their help today.

Kingfisher juvenile HHC Sept 2011 Kevin Sayer
Whitethroat Adult Male HHC Sept 2011 Kevin Sayer

Whitethroat juvenile HHC Sept 2011 Kevin Sayer
These 2 Whitethroats were trapped together and I could identify the adult immediately. The grey-blue crown and contrast between pupil & iris is typical of an adult male.

Aug 31
With the help of some additional Ringers we put up a few extra nets but in the end a total of 66 birds were trapped. The only interesting bird was a 'control' Sedge Warbler. The totals were:- Sedge Warbler 31, Reed Warbler 4, Whitethroat 5, Blackcap 3, Willow Warbler 4, Chiffchaff 5, Robin 4, Cetti's Warbler 2, Great Tit 3, Greenfinch 3, Long-tailed Tit 1 and a single Goldfinch. Thanks to Roger, Steve, Brenda, Carol and Kathryn for their help today.

Aug 25
A frustrating day at the HHC resulted in a small catch of 23 birds due to intermittent showers. The totals were:- Sedge Warbler 13, Reed Warbler 1, Blackcap 3, Willow Warbler 3, Whitethroat 2 and a single Robin. Thanks to Kathryn and Sharon for their help today.

Aug 24
A damp start at the HHC didn't slow migration down and a healthy 83 birds were trapped. Nothing too exciting but an adult Lesser Whitethroat at the end of the session did test our ageing skills to the limit! The totals were:- Sedge Warbler 43, Reed Warbler 12, Reed Bunting 3, Willow Warbler 12, Blackcap 6, Whitethroat 3, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Chiffchaff 1 and 2 Robins. Thanks ro Brenda for her help today.

Adult Lesser Whitethroat HHC Aug 2011 Kevin Sayer
A tricky one to age but the wear on the tertials and the white tips to 5th and 6th tail feathers helped clinch it.

Aug 23
News of some more recoveries were received today. A Blackcap ringed in 2009 turned up at Paxton Pits in Cambridgeshire, a Reed Warbler ringed last year found itself in a wood near Swindon this year and a Sedge Warbler ringed last year went all the way to East Yorkshire this year. Full details on the Recoveries page.

Aug 17
The weather forecasters got it wrong again and we got rain when we were promised sun! However, as every cloud....... we managed a very creditable 63 birds including 2 Sedge Warbler controls one of which was French ringed. The totals were:- Sedge Warbler 30, Reed Warbler 14.Reed Bunting 2, Robin 1, Willow Warbler 9, Whitethroat 4, Blackcap 1, Great Tit 1 and a single Blue Tit. Thanks to Brenda for her help this morning.

Aug 14
A quiet morning at the HHC under cloudy skies resulted in a reasonable catch of 37 birds. Nothing unusual except for an adult male Greenfinch in full wing moult - perhaps a bit early. The totals were:- Sedge Warbler 14, Reed Warbler 9, Reed Bunting 2, Blackcap 1, Willow Warbler 5, Robin 1, Whitethroat 3, Cetti's Warbler 1 and the Greenfinch. Thanks to Carol, Susan and Brenda for their help today.

Aug 11
I have updated the CHRS ringing totals for 2011 so far - click here . Some interesting comparisons are already showing in the totals - Sedge Warblers look as if they will be significantly down on last year whereas Common Whitethroat numbers have already exceeded the total for 2010 and we still have the main Autumn numbers to arrive.

Aug 10
A very still and warm morning resulted in a steady catch of 68 birds. The highlights being another juvenile Grasshopper Warbler, adult Lesser Whitethroat and a Belgian ringed adult Sedge Warbler. Lots of theories as to how this Belgian bird got to us but I would guess it probably bred in the UK this year and was ringed in Belguim in 2010 or earlier. Hopefully, the BTO can shed some light on this for us. The totals were:- Sedge Warbler 42, Reed Warbler 8, Reed Bunting 5, Cetti's Warbler 2, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Willow Warbler 6, Grasshopper Warbler 1, Robin 2 and a single Greenfinch. Thanks to Sharon, Carol, Susan and young Harry for their help today.

Grasshopper Warbler juvenile HHC Aug 2011 Kevin Sayer

Aug 6
After last night's excitement with The Red Arrows we got down to the business of catching birds this morning at the HHC. With just 4 nets Sharon and myself managed a very creditable 83 birds which included:- Sedge Warbler 65, Reed Warbler 6, Reed Bunting 5, Willow Warbler 3, Whitethroat 3 and a single Robin.

I have added an article by Brenda Cook on her experiences at the recent IOW Ringing Course - click here .

Aug 5
News received today of a Swallow recovery from Africa. See Recoveries page for more information.

A good view of The Red Arrows tonight as they flew overhead as we set nets for tomorrow. Must be getting in some practice for the forthcoming air-show..(Forgot, it's Cowes week!)

Aug 3
An excellent day's ringing at the HHC resulted in a catch of 118 birds, which is not totally unexpected considering the time of year! The highlight was a juvenile Grasshopper Warbler and an adult Treecreeper in partial moult - see photos below. The totals were:- Sedge Warbler 57, Reed Warbler 14, Grasshopper Warbler 1, Willow Warbler 19, Robin 1, Reed Bunting 4, Treecreeper 1, Blackcap 2, Whitethroat 16, Blue Tit 1, Garden Warbler 1 and a single Greenfinch. Thanks to Kathryn and Brenda for their help today.

Grasshopper Warbler Juvenile HHC Kevin Sayer
Adult Treecreeper HHC Kevin Sayer

July 31
A shift in wind direction to the East along with an increase in strength curtailed the number of birds trapped at the HHC today. Still a good number of Sedge Warblers were caught but a dearth of Willow Warblers. The total was 60 birds as follows:- Sedge Warbler 37, Reed Warbler 9, Robin 2, Cetti's Warbler 1, Reed Bunting 1, Blue Tit 1, Goldfinch 3, Whitethroat 4, Willow Warbler 1 and a single Chiffchaff. Thanks to Brenda, Sharon and young Harry for their help today.

July 28
A very warm morning at the HHC resulted in an excellent catch of 87 birds. Both Sedge Warbler and Willow Warbler numbers were up on previous days' catches. The capture of a Juvenile Coal Tit in the reedbed was slightly unusual. The totals were:- Reed Warbler 14, Sedge Warbler 40, Willow Warbler 25, Robin 2, Reed Bunting 1, Blue Tit 1, Coal Tit 1, Goldfinch 1, Greenfinch 1 and a single Whitethroat. Thanks to Sharon and Susan for their help.

Coal Tit Juvenile HHC July 2011 Kevin Sayer

July 24
A slight improvement in numbers compared to Friday. I still believe the main thrust of Sedge Warblers is still to arrive - or else they've had a poor breeding season - let's hope it's the former. A total of 64 birds caught as follows:- Sedge Warbler 20, Reed Warbler 14, Reed Bunting 4, Blackcap 4, Willow Warbler 4, Chiffchaff 1, Greenfinch 4, Blue Tit 1, Robin 2, Wren 2, Cetti's Warbler 1, Whitethroat 6 and a single Great Tit. Thanks to Susan, Sharon and Kathryn for their help this morning.

July 22
Our first "autumn" visit to the HHC reedbed resulted in a steady catch of 50 birds. The preceding days' rain probably reduced the number of birds on the move. A juvenile Garden Warbler was a good catch for the time of year - a bird from the Avon Valley or New Forest I expect. The totals were:- Reed Warbler 16.Sedge Warbler 26, Cetti's Warbler 2, Robin 1, Blue Tit 1, Greenfinch 1, Dunnock 1, Whitethroat 1 and a single Garden Warbler. Thanks to Sharon, Kathryn and Sue for their help.

July 2
A very pleasant summer's morning with no wind made for an enjoyable session at Solent Meads. With the help of Steve we managed a creditable 24 birds with just 4 nets. The totals were:- Whitethroat 4, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Robin 4, Wren 4, Blackcap 3, Reed Warbler 4, Cetti's Warbler 1, Dunnock 2 and a single Blackbird. The Lesser Whitethroat was a juvenile still to complete it's post-juvenile moult which indicates it probably bred locally.

Lesser Whitethroat Juvenile Solent Meads July 2011 Kevin Sayer

June 20
Ed has passed on some more Sedge Warbler recoveries just received from the BTO. We have had 2 go to Mauritania (only 4 UK-ringed birds have ever gone there before) and another went to Luxembourg (the 5th record for the UK to go there). One of the birds that went to Mauritania also put in an appearance at Icklesham on 19 August 2010. See Recoveries page for more details.

June 11
Whilst ringing at Blashford Lakes this morning, we controlled an adult female Reed Warbler which had been ringed at the HHC as a juvenile on 26 July 2009. Ed has passed on some more BTO Recoveries - see Recoveries page. These are mostly juvenile Sedge Warblers trapped in France during their first migration.

June 1
A windless and warmish morning at Solent Meads resulted in a very healthy catch of 61 birds. A lot of Tits (esp.Long-tailed Tits) were caught but we also had a good number of migrants and their young. The male Cuckoo in the area kept taunting us by doing numerous flypasts all around. I think he is a bit late in hoping to find a mate as most 'hosts' now have young - back to Africa is probably his next trip! The totals were:-Blue Tit 4, Great Tit 1, Long-tailed Tit 19, Blackcap 7, Robin 9, Dunnock 3, Greenfinch 4, Blackbird 2, Song Thrush 1, Reed Warbler 3, Whitethroat 4, Wren 1, Woodpigeon 1, Chiffchaff 1 and a single Cetti's Warbler. One of the Blackbirds and one of the Reed Warblers are possible controls - more information will be published as soon as we get it from the BTO. Thanks to Sharon, Carol, Kathryn and Brenda for their help today.

Ringing Team Sharon, Carol, Kathryn & Brenda Solent Meads June 2011 Kevin Sayer
Long-tailed Tit juvenile Solent Meads June 2011 Kevin Sayer

May 6
A warmish Spring morning at Solent Meads with little or no wind - at last! Not many migrants were around first thing but catches improved as the morning wore on. In the end we finished with 28 birds as follows:- Woodpigeon 1, Blackcap 5, Whitethroat 3, Robin 9, Reed Bunting 1, Wren 2, Dunnock 2, Blackbird 3, Cetti's Warbler 1 and a single House Sparrow. Thanks to Brenda, Sharon & Carol for their help today.

Apr 28
Wishing I had add worn an extra layer we arrived at the HHC to a chilly & windy but cloudless morning. There were no signs of any early movement of birds so it was no surprise to only trap 8 birds all morning! The totals (all singles) were:- Whitethroat, Blackcap, Great Tit, Wren, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Robin and a Dunnock. Thanks to Paul for his help today.

Common Whitethroat Adult Female HHC April 2011 Kevin Sayer

Apr 24
My first day of Spring Ringing at CHRS co-incided with the CHOG Members' Day Ringing Demonstration at the HHC. The cloudless skies and high temperatures meant we weren't going to get a large fall of migrants. However, we did get a sprinkling of newly arrived migrants along with some local birds. The mornings' totals were:- Reed Warbler 3, Sedge Warbler 2, Cetti's Warbler 2, Whitethroat 2, Robin 1, Reed Bunting 1, Dunnock 1, Greenfinch 1, Wren 1 and a single Blackbird. A total of 15 birds of which 7 were retraps.

The analysis of the retraps shows that one of the returning Reed Warblers was ringed at the HHC in Aug.2008 as a juvenile. We could presume that this bird fledged locally as the chances of it migrating thru' the same location must be slight. Reed Warblers are known for their site fidelity when it comes to breeding - some birds have been known to return to the same site for over 10 consecutive years! One of the Whitethroats was ringed at the HHC in May 2008 (& retrapped a further 3 times that year) as a breeding female - so again presumably it has returned to breed locally. Many thanks to Ed, Steve, Paul, Kathryn and Sharon for their help.

Feb 23
Some new recoveries have just been sent to us by the BTO. Checkout the Recoveries page for details.

Jan 11
I have updated the Recoveries page with some recently received records from the BTO, including the CHRS-ringed Sedge Warbler which was trapped in Senegal.

Jan 3
I have now updated the Ringing Totals upto December 31 2010. Click here for details.