After a couple of weeks at The Tip, i'm back at Old Cut for a short while. Migration has been slow to get underway but we're catching a steady trickle of birds, not much of any interest to the locals but heaps of new birds for me, i've already had 70ish lifers, and my world year list has been given a welcome boost after stagnating over the summer.
Highlight so far were 2 Willets that I found on the beach at The tip. We even managed to catch one on a midnight spotlightlighting session, and it became the 3rd ever banded at LPBO, we also got a Sanderling and a Semi-palmated Plover that night. I also banded a Sharp-shinned Hawk, which was pretty cool, and not at all bad for my 5th bird extracted from a mist net!! I even have a couple of holes in the webbing between my thumb and forefinger to remind me to to be slightly more careful next time I band a hawk, which should hopefully be pretty soon. Other interesting birds banded here (but not by me) were a Great-horned Owl that was found waterlogged in someones garden having been sprayed by a skunk it was attemtping to eat and then falling into a navigation channel after being blinded by the acrid liquid. The banding lab still stinks. Also an Eastern Screech Owl that was tap lured in one night.
Apart from awesome birds like that, i've been badning plenty of common warblers, sparrows, vireos etc,which has all been educational for when/if I ever find one back in the UK.
I've got plenty of photos of birds being banded and real birds in the field that I might get around to posting up here soon, don't hold your breath tho.
Oh and also, I completely forgot to mention how the Little Terns at Kilcoole did this year. In the end we had 74 pairs, with 130 young fledged, the 4th most succesful year at the colony since the project begun. We were all very pleased with this score, and hopefully will result in decent numbers coimg back again next year.