Sunday, 12 June 2011

Not the Blyth's Reed Warbler but the Cuckoo was defintley the Highlight!

After 14 years of waiting, I finally ringed a Cuckoo which was one of my ultimate birds to handle. I had only seen two Cuckoo's in the hand before, all being on Fair Isle with the first being trapped in 2001.
Male Cuckoo Trapped in Spring 2001
The second was caught the following year on 1st July in the heligoland trap outside the observatory which proved to be quite an interesting record. The bird was an extremly young bird showing bits of down feathers around its head which must of fledged from a nearby nest. After its release, it was seen being fed by a pair of Meadow Pipits which turned out to be proof and the 1st confirmed breeding record for Fair Isle.

On 10th June 2011, Johan Nilson (our Starling researcher) spent the day trying to catch Starlings but to no avail (apart from two). He did manage to catch a good array of species including Redwing, Mealy Redpoll, Collared Dove, Lesser Whitethroat and  couple of Spotted Flycatchers.
Spotted Flycatcher
COPYRIGHT - Carrie Marrel Gunn
But the star bird (for me) has to be the Cuckoo, A very welcome suprise and dream come true. A big thankyou to Johan to giving it me to ring, I defintley owe him a few pints.
COPYRIGHT - Carrie Marell Gunn
Copyright - Carrie Marrell Gunn
Other contenders for the star bird of the day had to be a Blyth's Reed Warbler, A rare bird for the uk which requires a description for it to be accepted. As Jason checked the traps on the way back to the obs, he caught a short winged and billed unstreaked acro. Several Biometrics were taken of the bird which all fell in to the range of it being a Blyth's Reed Warbler.  The 1st ever record for Britian of this species was found 29th September 1910 on Fair isle but was shot the following day which was the only way to identify birds that they have never seen before.
  I did not have my camera for this bird but above is a picture of a bird which I had seen back in 2006.

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