A very interesting day at Longham Lakes, with the site’s 2nd Avocet swimming in the deep water of Longham Reservoir South this morning, close to the main island. Presumably it was stopping off on its way to Brownsea Island, where these birds winter. At the same time, the site’s first Red-crested Pochard was still in the NW corner of LR South. Also 1 Goldeneye there, the first of the winter, and a flying flock of 7 Common Pochard (see below). A raft of 110 Tufted Ducks in the south-west corner of LR North looked mainly like first-winters and could well be many of this year’s fledglings (Dominic Couzens).
The Red-crested Pochard was present in the NW corner of LR South, diving for weed. Also 75+ Wigeon, 25+ Shoveler and 1 Pochard, constituting a decent influx of wildfowl. Also 100+ Meadow Pipits on Hampreston Fields and 1 Mediterranean Gull (George Green).
A good ringing session this morning on the old Settling Marsh, with 57 new birds (36 Chiffchaffs, 18 Blackcaps and latish Common Whitethroat and Reed Warbler), two re-trapped Great Tits and a Chiffchaff control (ringed elsewhere). (Roger Peart).
Ringing today produced 37 new birds, including 26 Chiffchaffs and a juvenile Bullfinch. There were also 5 re-trapped Long-tailed Tits, 2 of them from 2012. Also a Reed Warbler control (Roger Peart). Meanwhile the Red-crested Pochard was still present.
There was a new species for Longham Lakes today with the discovery of a Red-crested Pochard, a male in eclipse plumage. Admittedly it is probably an escape, but even as such it is quite surprising that it has taken such a long time to get here, as there have been other reports from nearby. The season gives us faint hope that it might be possibly a real wild bird, but short of catching it and performing isotope analysis on a feather, we will never know!
News of some recent controls from birds ringed at Longham Lakes:
Reed Warbler – ringed here on 27th May 2013, controlled at Blashford Lakes, Hampshire (15km NE) on 6th July 2013.
Robin – ringed here on 27th May 2013, killed by a cat at Muscliffe, Bournemouth (4km ESE) on 7th August 2013. Clearly it should have stayed put! (Roger Peart).
A bit quiet, but 3 Kingfishers, 1 juvenile Hobby, 1 Green Sandpiper (first of the year, Robin Trundle) and 1 Lesser Whitethroat (Chris Parnell). Also lots of Migrant Hawkers.
Ringing this morning produced 40 new birds, no less than 16 of these being Blackcaps. Also 6 Chiffchaffs, 6 Sedge Warblers, 1 Reed and 1 Willow Warbler, plus a re-trap of a male Bullfinch that was ringed as a juvenile last June. While putting up the net at 6am, Roger flushed a Woodcock (same place as he flushed two last April 1st). Also a Hobby over.
Two site ticks for Chris Parnell today: 1st a Greenshank flushed from the shore of Longham Reservoir South, and then an American Mink feeding near the Pumping Station. These mammals are trapped by the fisherman on site but it is most unusual to see them. Also Reed, Sedge and Willow Warbler, Common Whitethroat and a Sparrowhawk. (Chris has 103 bird species for the site this year).
8 Wigeon and the first 2 Teal of the year, plus Kingfisher, Common Sandpiper, Peregrine and 2 Little Egrets (Chris Parnell).
On a hot day the highlights were 1 Common Sandpiper and 4 Clouded Yellows (Chris Parnell).