Wednesday 20th March 2019


A newly arrived Chiffchaff with its face encrusted with pollen.

The spring equinox heralded an end to the string of storms, high winds and wet weather, which had been battering the SW for the previous four weeks. With the jet stream finally moving north and benign weather forecast, I made an early start and headed back to South Milton Ley. In the event the forecast was off the mark and I was greeted by low cloud and persistent light drizzle. Arriving at 06:30, it was two hours before the weather cleared and I could open the nets.

The conditions were not conducive to migration and just 15 birds were trapped, half of which were retraps. Amongst them was one lingering, wintering Chiffchaff and one obvious newly arrived spring migrant, its face encrusted with pollen, presumably picked up somewhere in southern Iberia. The total included 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Cetti’s Warbler, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Great Tit, 2 Blue Tit, 3 Long-tailed Tit and 1 Blackbird.

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