The Dark Room

Sunday 26 August 2018

Saturday and Sunday

Went out  onto the patch Saturday afternoon on my bike to try and twitch the Whinchat on the Ingrebourne hill that some of the lads had in the morning. Due to being at work till 2pm and not getting on site by 3.30pm the Whinchat had moved on. However, 4 Spotted  Flycatcher, Wheatear and a patch tick Tree Pipit made amends for missing the chat (113).

Sunday morning I was back out ringing with Paul Hawkins in London. I ringed 14 new birds which covered 10 species.

Great Tit 
Long tailed Tit 2
Willow Warbler
Lesser Whitethroat
Blue Tit
Cetti's Warbler 2
Reed Warbler 3
Common Whitethroat

Cetti's Warbler


Friday 24 August 2018

The King and I

A pre-work ringing session on Tuesday morning with Paul R and Louise produced 45 birds at a private site in Broxbourne.  25 Blackcap, Juvenile Kingfisher, 2 Cetti's Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Dunnock, Blue Tit, Great Tit and a Blackbird were ringed. We also had a re trapped Adult Kingfisher. 

 Two of the Blackcaps had ticks on their foreheads, which Paul carefully removed- something I've never seen before.

The highlight for me was to handle both Kingfishers and ring the Juvenile Kingfisher. Normally I just get  a flash of blue whizz past but to see one in the hand and to ring it's short, muddy orange coloured leg was a real high.

Look at the beautiful wing detail

Saturday 18 August 2018

In the net

Just 4 new birds ringed on Tuesday evening after work with Paul H. 2 Great Tit, Willow Warbler and a Blackcap all  Juveniles. However, Saturday morning was much better with 11 new birds ringed and 1 retrap. All Juveniles again, they were Song thrush, Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap x 2, Common Whitethroat and Reed Warbler x 7.

 Common Whitethroat

 Lesser Whitethroat

Reed Warbler

Some birds maybe common migrants but to see them up close in detail is just fascinating I'm really enjoying being a T' permit holder.

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Four more from Verde

Here's one of the Bar-tailed Larks that showed nicely in the dusty car park whilst we toured around the island on a 4x4 jeep excursion.

Juvenile Kentish Plover 

Male Kentish Plover

Photographing the above Plovers at low level was a real highlight for me- just loved that evening!

Black-winged Stilt

Sunday 12 August 2018

In the mist

Here are a few images of a recent mist netting session with Paul H. New birds ringed by me were 11 Reed Warbler, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Blackbird. We also had two re- trapped Long-tailed Tits which Paul ringed back in January. 

Reed Warbler

Willow Warbler

Lesser Whitethroat

Tuesday 7 August 2018

More from Cape Verde

In the sand dunes in Cape Verde Black-crowned sparrow-larks were seen regularly throughout our 11 day stay. A flock of 20+ consisting of Juveniles and Adults showed really well most evenings.



Everyday  lago Sparrows were seen around the hotel.



Brown-necked Raven, Hoopoe Lark, Osprey, Whimbrel, Alpine Swift were also seen daily and Brown Bobby were seen most days too. Add in Cape Verde Swift, Alexanders Kestrel and Bar-tailed Lark plus a female Magnificent Frigatebird I got very lucky on our family holiday.

For more info on birding in Cape Verde visit Josh Jone's excellent blog that he wrote back in 2016 when he payed a visit.

Sunday 5 August 2018

Red Kite ringing success

Went ringing Saturday morning with Paul R, Rob and Louise and caught a good number of species before the heat became too much for the birds being processed. Wood Pigeon, Blackcap, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Dunnock, Robin, Wren and Green Finches were all scribed in the book. The highlights though were a yellow wing tagged Red Kite ringed by our group at a nest site this summer as a chick was trapped to prove successful fledging.

Our re trapped Red Kite above.

Just like Buses, another Red Kite came in but this young bird was unringed which I was over the moon to be able to ring my first one and Paul added the wing tag- an amazing experience!

Please report any sightings of the above as it's so important to the group-thanks....

Wednesday 1 August 2018

Kentish Plovers in Cape Verde

With over 400 images taken in one session just on the Kentish Plovers in Cape Verde. Here are just a few of my favourites.


Adult Male