Tuesday, 28 March 2017

28/03 Greenham Common Western Enclosure

Location: Greenham Common Western Enclosure
Session: 28-Mar-2017 07:00 to 11:15hrs
Headlines: As the wind was forecast to be relatively calm I decided to try the Western Enclosure to see if winter finches were still about. I couldn’t find any yesterday on a walk round. It was really thick fog when I arrived that cleared around 09:30 unlike yesterday when it cleared about 11:30hrs. I did not expect to capture much if anything given the poor start to the year. The calls I played had an instant response on my last visit a couple of weeks ago, but not his time. The only interest was from four Goldfinches that hung around near the net for a few minutes before flying off. A pair of Woodlark flew into the enclosure disappearing into the heather as they do. We waited a few minutes then entered the enclosure in hope but they flew off. We were hopeful for a Stonechat but it flew straight over landing on the east fence. Nothing for the first couple of hours then a pair of Great tit crossed the heath into a net. Another 50 minutes or so and we captured a retrap Dunnock and a female Goldcrest. That was it for the session. We had several walk rounds and  a chat with Debby and David made the morning go quicker than it might have done.. While packing away the equipment ready to carry to the car, a Dartford Warbler began to sing in the gorse then flew over the enclosure, went into a full display flight before disappearing into cover; maybe next time.     
Weather: Thick fog and cool early clearing to bright sunshine, warm and a light breeze
Present: JL, IW
Nets: 48metres in three rides of 18M, 18M , 12M up from 07:30 to 10:45hrs
Lure (audio): Redpoll, Siskin and Crests intermittently.
Capture (New/Recapture) 4(3/1) Great Tit (2/0), Dunnock (0/1), Goldcrest (1/0)
Recaptures: (1) Dunnock 357 days
Todays female 1st CY Goldcrest
Sightings 29 Species: Returning Chiffchaffs now well established but no sign of any other summer visitors yet. The surrounding scrub is still fairly quiet. We appear to have gained a couple of Bullfinches pairs and two Song Thrushes sang for most of the morning. We had assumed the pair of Kestrels seen at the western end of the common held territory over most of it but when I drove through the control tower car park on the way out a male was in  display flight over; possibly there are two pairs this year.

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