Sunday, 24 April 2011

Lets get this blog back on track!

I really have to apologies for the lack of dialog in recent days. Not an awful lot has happened until today which was worth blogging about. So to make it up to you I thought I’d bombard you with pics before talking about today’s exciting exploration to the Lulworth Army Ranges.

This is a Sedge Warbler caught last week.

This is a Reed Warbler caught last week

This is a female Blackcap caught last week

And this is a Willow Warbler which desperately needs to blow its nose!

That’s enough pretty piccies. So this afternoon was spent on the army ranges at Lulworth which is the most amazing place for wildlife. Its got no access to the public and is only used as a training area for the army. Its quite a weird place as you regularly come across large shell which are occasionally unexploded, lots of bits of metal from something which has been blown up and there a railway track through the middle of the site which is used for target practice. I probably shouldn’t say anymore about the site as could possibly be shot on the spot. The site has been inherited through several generations of ringers. My grandfather (in ringing terms) was the first in our line to operate the site, then was the turn of my trainer (dad) who was my grandfathers trainee and now I have my very own pass to wander freely around the site, but only when there isn’t live ammunition being fired across the site.
Today visit with Steve was to check the nest boxes and to inspect a few areas for ringing in the autumn. Boxes were checked quickly so we got the scrub where we stuck a few nets up to see what’s about. We’ll ring this site more regular in the autumn as lots of  warblers move through as its the last decent bit of scrub before the sea. Today’s few hours didn’t produce much but it did produce this!

How stunning is that! A gorgeous Nightingale. The ranges are quite good for this species which is great as its becoming a scarce species in some part. When I was living in Wales it became extinct as a breeding species and is now of the welsh rarities list and requires a full description to be sent of the rarities panel! If I remember rightly, there some studies going on with nightingale to work out where they are wintering. The BTO has been using tiny tracking devices fitted to the birds and they log where the birds been during the winter. So its great to get a ring on a Dorset individual (hopefully a dorset one and not a passage one). On release this bird started to sing the most amazing song which quite clearly meant it was a male. Him and others started to sing as the evening wore on which was a perfect end to the day. We then decided to go one better and head out onto the heath for last light in the hope (this really was a long shot!) of a very early Nightjar but that didn’t happen, maybe next week?

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