Monday, 17 August 2015

Mid August on the Teifi Marsh..

As in previous years, we concentrate our ringing efforts at this time of year in the reed bed between Mallard pond and Heron hide on the Teifi Marsh.
Sedge Warbler numbers migrating through the marsh so far seem to be down on previous years but yesterday there were quite a few feeding around the edge of the pond. Looking at numbers being caught in Cornwall (Early autumn in Nanjizal) it seems that the birds aren't stopping with us on route south but flying straight over. We do seem to be catching more adults than usual this year though, all with very worn feathers...
 Looking at our stats at the end of the season will be interesting.
A good hirundine roost is developing in the evening with over 200 around tonight. A couple of small roost catches have been done with Swallows and Sand Martins caught.
Swans bred successfully on Mallard pond for the first time in years and had 4 cygnets but they are now down to 3. The adult male is ringed so we should soon be able to find out when it was ringed.

Our CES site is in another part of the marsh and yesterday we did CES 11 with 64 new birds and 16 retraps. A control adult Sedge Warbler was nice and we will post when we get the original ringing details from the BTO. The other highlight of CES was an adult female Redstart. We have caught juveniles before, but not an adult. As expected at this time of year there are plenty of juvenile Reed Warblers.
As the days turn more autumnal with foggy starts, ripening berries and dewy spider's webs we are seeing an increase in Blackcap and Chiffchaff numbers.
Early (foggy) Monday morning update - Chris and Richard are out ringing again at two sites on the marsh The first bird ringed was an adult male Kingfisher. Although we have ringed 43 on the reserve in the last 6 years this is the first adult male.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Sedge Warblers are moving ...but Stormies ?

A juvenile Sedge Warbler ringed (at Mallard) on 31st July already controlled at Icklesham, East Sussex on the 7th August.
Only eight Sedge and six Reed Warblers ringed this morning in the Mallard run nets, still low numbers for us, and perhaps surprising with numbers being caught in Cornwall..

On Tuesday night one of our Mwnt ringed Storm Petrels (ringed 9th July 2015) was controlled by Tony Cross further up the Ceredigion coast near Cwmtydu..not the first time on of our stormies have been recaptured elsewhere on the Cardigan Bay coast ....interesting...

Numbers and further details of our activities to be posted in the coming days...

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Stormies...simultaneous sites at Mwnt

We have the equipment to catch Storm Petrels at more than one site, and as we don't catch many along the Ceredigion coast, operating at two fairly close sites seemed an interesting idea.
Last night was our first attempt -

Two nets and sound systems were set up, one each side of the headland 480m apart. The light southerly wind made it possible last night.

At our older more westerly site we trapped three stormies (at 2340, 0110, 0120)
At our newer site Chris and his small team caught six including one control, and interestingly no stormies trapped before 0050. There was also no interchange of birds between the two sites.
Our most recent catches have been of one, five, five and seven stormies when only using one site.

A pity our stormie catching season is so short and weather dependent as our findings seem interesting....

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Sedge Warblers to Stormies

Stormies fact in the early hours of tomorrow!

Our migration monitoring at the Mallard nets on the Teifi Marsh is underway.
Plenty of juvenile Sedge Warblers but more interesting, two new adults this morning.
Quite often we miss the adults going through. Catching unringed adults and not retrapping any of our own breeding Sedge Warblers suggests ours have started moving and these adults are from elsewhere.
This pattern of movement is consistent with previous years.
This is quite a smart wing for a breeding female at this time of year.
Hopefully the weather will allow us into Mallard in the morning after Stormies at Mwnt tonight...

Friday, 24 July 2015

More Reed Warblers by day...Stormies by night

15 juvenile Reed Warblers were the highlight of CES 8 on the Teifi Marsh this week.
A total of 68 birds were caught with 56 new including 11 juvenile Chiffs. A young Whitethroat was the first of the year.
The following morning we ringed at our two other sites on the Teifi Marsh adding another 70 birds including  more juvenile Reed Warblers and the first Sedge Warblers of autumn migration. Also more Reed Buntings for our colour ringing project. Local photographers are still keeping their eyes open for ringed birds.
This adult male was re-sighted several times over the winter on the feeders at the Wildlife Centre, around the car park and now regularly seen near creek Hide. Thanks to Fred Cripps for this picture.

The Teifi Marsh is an important stopover for migrant Sedge Warblers with 3,024 ringed since 2009. Several have been controlled as they migrate south across England and the west coast of France but few from further north so good news this week from the BTO of a Sedge Warbler ringed on the Teifi Marsh in May 2013 and controlled by Kelvin Jones (BTO Cymru) at Llyn Ystumllyn near Criccieth,  in June this year as a breeding female. (100km)
As well as ringing on the Teifi Marsh, Storm Petrel ringing is being fitted in whenever there is a rare calm weather window. Last night another 7 were ringed at Mwnt before today's persistent unseasonal rain started at 2am.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

An old acro, a new grasshopper ...and a stormie

Chris and Wendy opened the Pentwd nets yesterday morning whilst preparing more rides for the acro migration season ahead. 25 birds caught of which L531065 stands out !
L531065 a Reed Warbler was ringed as a juvenile in the nearby Mallard run nets (by Wendy !) on 11/08/2010 and surprisingly never captured since.
The 3JP Grasshopper Warbler was the first juvenile since 2013. One adult earlier this year surprisingly our only bird since.

Ryan, our trainee, came down from Aberystwyth for a small Storm Petrel session at Mwnt last night. We were disappointed with only one bird, but Ryan was happier as it was the 30th species that he has now ringed.
Our low catch seemed to be mirrored by Skokholm where they only managed 16 birds at a site away from the colonies. They usually catch 100+. But Mark Grantham in Cornwall caught 75 - suggesting the northerly wind had moved these predominantly non-breeders temporarily south...

Friday update...
Last night on Skokholm Island a much better catch of 180 Storm Petrels. One in 15 were already ringed, 5 were ringed on Skokholm last year and 7 were ringed elsewhere. Had the wind changing round to the south and cloud cover made the difference? So many variables to consider when planning a Stormie session, not just the moon and wind speed.
See Skokholm Blog