Another week away, this time on the Scillies, saw seven days of glorious sunshine with St. Marys sat under a persistent area of high pressure. Not much good for blowing in the vagrants the islands are famous for but it would have been perfect for ringing. Naturally, the ringing curse immediately sprang into effect on our return with persistent rain and wind for the best part of the next week. However, a more benign forecast for the Friday saw me taking advantage of what will probably be my last late start before the clocks go back at the end of the month.
Late starts are all relative and it was 07:30 and decidedly chilly when I started opening the first nets. An apple-laden bough had fallen onto one of the poles in Blaca Ride, snapping it in half at a weak point. Luckily, I had spare poles and this was quickly rectified. As usual, heavy rain had battered reeds into both sides of Marsh Ride and this took another 15 minutes to clear with the hedge trimmer. With everything sorted and an extra 6m net squeezed in along a neighbouring hedge line I was ready to go.
With flocks of Woodpigeon and a few Redwings moving west throughout the morning, I was optimistic but the session was not particularly productive although the first Goldcrest and Firecrest of the autumn were a bonus as was the first returning, wintering Chiffchaff. Final totals were 29 birds: 3 Blackbird, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Cetti’s Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, 1 Dunnock, 1 Firesrest, 2 Goldcrest, 3 Great Tit, 3 Meadow Pipit, 3 Robin and 3 Wren.