Redpolls, Finches, Pipits and a Warbler

Chobham Common Ringing ~ 30th October 2013 ~ 

After almost a month without any ringing, I was very pleased that the weather cleared up enough for a session to go ahead this morning. The lead ringers in our group decided to visit Chobham Common, a SSSI reserve. It is Site of Special Scientific Interest because of these 3 rare birds that breed there: Woodlark, Nightjar and Dartford Warbler. We weren't targeting any particular species today, however we were hoping that we would catch some Redpolls, Meadow Pipits and, if we were very lucky, a Dartford Warbler.

We arrived at Chobham for 06.00 and had all the nets set up by 07.00

Fieldfares were everywhere, apart from in the nets. Wood Pigeons were moving over in their hundreds. And Meadow Pipits found that they are very good at balancing on the top strings of our nets.

Much to our surprise we caught not one, but two Stonechats-a ringing first for me and a privilege to see in the hand. We also caught a Dartford Warbler and by 'eck are they amazing!! I never knew there were so many shades of burgundy.

Below are a few images of some of the birds we caught:

3M Stonechat

3J M Dartford Warbler (Image 1 of 3)

3J M Dartford Warbler (Image 2 of 3)

3J M Dartford Warbler (Image 3 of 3)

3M Greenfinch (If I remember rightly)

Totals for the morning: 58 (3)

MEAPI  - 21 (1)
LOTTI   - 8 (1)
LESRE   - 19 (1)
COATI   - 1
STOCH  - 2
GREFI    - 5

Dartford Warbler is a species that I have always wanted to see in the hand primarily because I have had many close encounters with them while out birding. I never really imagined I'd actually manage it, but to see them up close and be able to study them in detail really is an incredible and interesting experience. 

Anyway, it was another great session in which I learnt loads (as usual) and one that reignited my admiration for the insectivorous Dartford Warbler.

Many thanks for reading!


  1. Nice photo's Josie. Glad you got to ring a Stonechat!

    1. Thanks Karl! It was a great privilege to be able to handle one! :)