Yesterday’s Slav and today’s early start

Yesterday’s Slavonian grebe on Ibsley Water appears to have moved on during the night as it hasn’t been today as far as I’m aware. This is the fifth record for the area with birds on Mockbeggar lake in November 1976, Ibsley Water in Novemeber 2004 and February 2011 and Rockford lake in January 2013. Thanks to Clive Lachan for this photo of yesterday’s bird.

slav grebe

Slavonian grebe, Ibsley Water

This morning I arrived at 6.30 to assist Kevin and Brenda with there ringing studies of birds passing through the site during autumn. First a quick look from Lapwing hide showed that a fairly large roost of lesser black-backed gulls had spent night on Ibsley Water with perhaps 5000 birds present, but they didn’t hang around and had dispersed by 6.50 am.


Some of the Ibsley Water gull roost

We succeed in catching and ringing almost seventy birds, the bulk of the catch being chiffchaffs, goldcrests and long-tailed tits.


Long-tailed tit

We also caught a Cetti’s warbler, a species that didn’t breed on the reserve this year but is fairly common on the Avon nearby.


Cetti’s warbler


Cetti’s warbler, showing the large fan shaped tail

One of the highlights of the morning was a firecrest, but my photos turned fairly poorly in the early morning light. I did manage some better pictures of this goldcrest. This species is Europe’s smallest bird, with this indivdual weigh just 5.2 grams, a mere scrap of nothing when you compare it to a 2 pence coin that weighs 7 grams!



The tail feathers of this bird were sharply pointed indicating it is a juvenile fledged this year, an adult goldcrest would have broader and rounder tips to the tail.


Goldcrest tail

This bird was also a male indicated by the bright orange crown in the crown stripe, females have an all yellow crown.


Goldcrest crown   

Many thanks to Kevin and Brenda for their expertise and allowing me to join them this morning.


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