Wednesday, 3 January 2018

2017....A year of variety

2017....A great variety of species for members of the Teifi Ringing Group now well into our 10th year.  We ringed our first birds on the 15th August 2008 on the Teifi Marshes at a site that became our CES site in 2009 and ....remains so

Our first Green Woodpecker caught by Charlie at one of his two regular sites.


A few words from Charlie a relatively new  member of the Group.
  
From a bird point of view I had 2 new species this year. Firecrest from Ffynnon Gro and a Green Woodpecker from Fygyn Common.
I also supervised 2 trainees Molly Heal and Andrew Hughes and laterly Katie Dix visited me for some taster sessions. Although not a trainer at the time I looked forward to the challenges ahead and seeing trainees grow in knowledge, experience and hopefully passion. The highlight was MH after attending the BTO assessment weekend on the Gower and being recommended for her C permit. I decided with the approval of TRG it was time I was assessed for my Training Endorsement and had the BTO approval in December last year.
Last year was most productive for my two sites processing 3388 over 49 species.

Trainees ringed and processed nearly 1100 of the birds captured at Charlie's two sites in 2017.

Molly was a trainee who regularly ringed with Charlie when in the UK !!
....Highlight for me was Charlie being assessed to be a trainer, and aceing it! We caught a lot of lovely meadow pipits that morning too, so I got to do a lot of hind claw measuring, which was fun.


See Fygyn - developing a new ringing site  for a summary of  the development of  Charlie's ringing sites this year.

Bluethroats !! ....not one but two 


This 1st summer female was caught on the Teifi Marshes in late August...
A species that we had predicted, and along with a Spotted Crake seen in the same area a couple of months later added to the attractions of our Teifi reedbeds away from our CES site.

This smarter looking boy.....


.....Wendy and I caught on a visit in late May to Skokholm Bird Observatory where we were opening nets in the morning before catching breeding Oystercatchers in the afternoon.
See the Skokholm Blog  for details of all activities at our closest bird observatory.

In June, Chris and Jenny went to Ramsey (RSPB) and colour-ringed a nest of Chough pulli as part of the long term study of the species in Wales.


We ring at several sites around the Teifi, visiting our more estuarine sites from late Summer into the Winter mainly targeting waders, but sometimes other species. We moved our historical Rock Pipit monitoring site due to tidal erosion, but retrapped a Rock Pipit that we ringed 7 years ago and another new species for the Group - a Water Pipit


We highlight our controls and recoveries on the blog and via Twitter as we receive details but for the full years history including our ringing totals by species see the Ringing Totals links on the side bar

2017 Ringing Totals
2017 Recoveries and Controls


If you are interested in any further details or wish to join our activities when in the area please use the contact form at the end of the blog.

We have a few projects managed by various group members, as well as CES and RAS projects.
Here is Charlie erected nest boxes for Tree Sparrows in the Valleys of west Carms, a 100 box project he has taken over from John Lloyd.



At Mwnt, the second year of Chris's Linnet RAS project has continued to amaze us with the number of birds using the site. This year we ringed 563 new birds, and re-trapped 241, 110 of these being birds ringed in 2016.

Of the new birds ringed, 251 were juveniles and post-juveniles that had fledged this year.

Looking at the RAS season itself, running from April 1st to July 31st, the numbers were 125 juveniles, 101 new adults, and 66 re-captures from 2016. In the 2016 RAS period we ringed 52 juveniles and 171 adults, so 2017 appears to have been a much better year for productivity.


As we saw in 2016, it appears that the nearly all the area's breeding birds and their offspring leave us during the late summer, to be replaced by a different wintering population from elsewhere. It was noticeable that many of the adults that returned in the spring displayed the bleached primary feather tips that we normally see on migrant warblers that have wintered somewhere sunny. We are still waiting to catch a single bird ringed elsewhere, and none of ours have been controlled.

All the birds trapped at Mwnt were caught using a single whoosh net, which also accounted for a range of other species, most notably a Chough. The latest edition of the BTO publication Lifecycle, their magazine for ringers and nest recorders, includes an excellent article describing this trapping method - co-authored by Chris.

Group members are also active ringers abroad, with members ringing at Long Point Bird Observatory in Canada, ringing with Costa Rica Bird Observatories, in Cyprus, and a Group trip to Gibraltar.

The experience gained at Jew's Gate Bird Observatory in Gibraltar was the highlight of Andrew's year.


He found the whole experience of ringing in a small group at a Bird Observatory, helping to make decisions, responsibility and a new range of birds a great asset to his development as a trainee. He has also very much appreciated the time that Charlie has spent training him.

Alison has joined us recently as a trainee with a passion for our activities...
I think the highlights for me this year have been, as a complete novice the friendly welcome from the group and the patience and help given.
Ringing - wise, it’s hard to pick a favourite as they’re all new to me, but perhaps ringing a Kingfisher and a Firecrest, just because of their beauty. I’m also really enjoying generally improving my knowledge, understanding and identification skills.


We would like to thank all of the landowners who give us permission to ring especially the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (Teifi Marshes, Pengelli Wood, Goodwick Moor) and National Trust (Mwnt).
We also ring and monitor on several areas of private farmland, to which we thank all the landowners.

Finally, a reminder to all TRG members that the AGM is on Wednesday 10th January at Wendy's house

Thanks to all contributors for photos, words, and thoughts.....




Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Wandering Tits and Cetti's Warblers

This Autumn, the Tits have been on some local adventures, with Blue Tits making the sea crossing to three Pembrokeshire Islands, Skomer, Skokholm and Ramsey..... an unusual event !!

We have had a few Great Tit movements over the years, the furthest being c100km.
This Autumn we have controlled a juvenile ringed by the Pembs Ringing Group at Kilpaison Marsh in the south of the county, and bizarrely they have controlled a Blue Tit from ourselves on the Teifi.(53km)
To complete the season to date..the Pembs RG  have also had a juvenile Great Tit to Tenby (23km) and a juvenile from Rhandirmwyn mid Wales to Kilpaison Marsh (98km).


Cetti's Warblers were first recorded breeding in both the Ceredigion and Pembs sides of the Teifi Marshes in the early 1970's. - Unbelievably at the same time as the Reed Warbler started breeding in West Wales.

The Cetti's from Farlington Marsh.

Though ringing of Cetti's including a colour-ring project took place during the 1990s I am not aware of any  movements involving Teifi Marsh birds until recently.


We have ringed 152 Cetti's Warblers on the Teifi Marshes since 2008 and we have 2 controls, a bird from Llangorse Lake in Powys and a bird from Farlington Marsh in Hampshire.
We also have a  recovery of a Teifi Marsh bird in Northamptonshire and now our latest recovery from our new ringing site Goodwick Moor at Fishguard to the south of  the county, Kilpaison Marsh near Rhoscrowther.

With 39 new Cetti's Warblers ringed this year, 10 of which were ringed on Goodwick Moor by Karen we are looking forward to further movements as the population expands. Our current oldest bird was ringed in 2014 and has been recaptured each year since.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Pipits...worth the 7 year wait...!

We have been ringing Pipits on the Teifi estuary since since September 2010...
Totals to date...Rock 86, Meadow 34 and today we added Water Pipit.
As time passes the estuary is changing and their old feeding haunt of the Patch spit is disappearing.This morning Wendy, Chris and I went to the area currently favoured by the Pipits


This Water Pipit was feeding with the Rock and Meadow Pipits and was one of 8 Pipits caught along with 2 Meadow and 5 Rock Pipits.

We have only had same winter recaptures of Rock Pipits and we rarely see ringed birds during the breeding season. A great surprise this morning with recapture of 2657817..


Ringed 6th October 2010, one of 11 Rock Pipits ringed that morning by Wendy and I on only our 3rd ever session trapping Pipits.

We have no recaptures of Meadow Pipits from the Teifi. We have a recapture of 349 days at one of our upland Woodcock wintering study sites near Boncath, and a 3yr 350 day recapture at Mwnt, one of our migration monitoring sites.

Rich. D
(Rock Pipit photo Wendy)


Sunday, 26 November 2017

Recent recoveries, and the Woodcock season ahead.

We have received details from the BTO of three recoveries on Skokholm of Storm Petrels ringed at our Mwnt site this summer.


2674671 was ringed on the 20th June and retrapped on Skokholm on the 25th July, 35 days later.
2721405 was ringed on the 22nd July and retrapped on Skokholm on the 25th July, 3 days later.
2721410 was ringed on the 26th July and retrapped on Skokholm on the 5th August, 10 days later.

Mwnt to Skokholm 65 km
This raises some questions. Are the birds we capture at Mwnt from the Skokholm population though we don't see obvious signs of breeding, or non-breeders roaming the Irish Sea whose origins may be from further afield ?
Some questions might soon be answered as interesting research is going on at Cork University in Ireland with trackers on Storm Petrels. This has shown that they forage considerable distances up to 330km from their breeding colony. A map which illustrates this by Dr Adam Kane was on Twitter from a recent Irish Ornithological Research Conference...
Storm Petrel foraging

Other news this week from the BTO was the original ringing details of a Reed Warbler with a Jersey ring that we caught on the Teifi Marsh on the 30th July this year.
Not ringed on Jersey but....


It had been ringed at Longis reserve on Alderney on 18th September 2016.

Some other control news:-
Sedge Warbler 7505874 ringed at Tour aux Moutons, Loire-Atlantique, France on 8th August 2015 caught Teifi Marsh 22nd July 2017  560km, 714 days later.
Sedge Warbler 12257597 ringed at Jonkershove, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium 15th August 2011 caught Teifi Marsh 28th April 2016 538km, 1718 days later.

The French ringed bird, a typical movement. The Belgian ringed bird is probably our oldest Sedge Warbler, though no doubt a passage bird.

Reed Warbler S191815  ringed by Pembs RG at Rhoscrowther 17th July 2017
caught Teifi Marsh 11th August 2017 25 days, 53km later.

The Reed Warbler, an inter county movement between the two main county acro ringing sites.

Our Preseli Woodcock study season is here.....


Since 2009....382 captures, including 30 recaptures and 7 recoveries -  2 to Russia, 1 to Denmark, 1 to Norway, 1 to France and 2 to Cornwall.


The map above shows our latest recapture.
EY81422 was recaptured two nights ago on the 24th November, ringed on the 15th January 2015.
The two capture sites being 150m apart, showing the usual wintering site fidelity.

We are in the first few days of the new season. We hope to achieve our 400th capture during the next moon phase and we will be targeting our three main sites Crymych, Frenni and Boncath. The current Woodcock capture totals for each site are 113, 89 and 89 respectively. The three sites have also produced other species captured totalling 188 birds, a combination of mainly Golden Plovers, Snipe, Fieldfare, Redwing, Skylark, Meadow Pipits and the nicest.. a Stock Dove...




Friday, 10 November 2017

September and October at Fygyn Common and Ffynnon Gro

I called my last post "Fygyn..... developing a new ringing site". I thought this time I would summarise the results from both my sites Fygyn Common and Ffynnon Gro for the months of September and October.
This year I have had fewer ringing sessions abroad and have had more time to ring at Fygyn Common in particular, the months from August to September producing some interesting birds and caught some new birds for this site as well.

Fygyn Common Totals


Species
New
Re-traps
Totals
Sparrowhawk
1

1
Green Woodpecker
1

1
Swallow
41

41
Tree Pipit
2

2
Meadow Pipit
115

115
Grey Wagtail
1

1
Wren
3
1
4
Dunnock
7
6
13
Robin
5
3
8
Stonechat
2

2
Blackbird
2

2
Song Thrush
1

1
Redwing
1

1
Grasshopper Warbler
1

1
Chiffchaff
14

14
Goldcrest
21
3
24
Long-tailed Tit
1

1
Willow Tit
1
7
8
Coal Tit
4
5
9
Blue Tit
33
9
42
Great Tit
11
8
19
Chaffinch
38
5
43
Goldfinch
7
6
13
Siskin
7
5
12
Bullfinch
8
1
9
Reed Bunting
4
1
5
Totals
332
60
392

The highlights of the ringing sessions at Fygyn Common were:-


The Green Woodpecker was a first for Fygyn Common and a new bird for me. It was totally unexpected even though I have seen a number of them about and have investigated with ringing friends and on the internet the best way to catch them. Within a few days of each other I also caught a male Great Spotted Woodpecker from my garden site at Ffynnon Gro 


This year has been the best since I started to ring at Fygyn Common for Grasshopper Warblers. The first to be caught was on 20/04/17, in total 12 birds were ringed 6 juveniles and 6 adults. 
I strongly suspect they have been breeding at the site.


The last bird caught was on 02/09/17 and was this scraggy looking adult above and as with some of the other birds they were probably on migration passage.


Not big numbers but 6 Tree Pipits have made a presence again this year, all juveniles. Again probably have bred on the site. They were first heard calling by Karen Meatyard from the Teifi Group in late Spring when she came to ring with me. 


More success with Meadow Pipits. They started to arrive in late August and increased in numbers and 115 being caught for September and October. The last bird caught was 30/10/17 and brought the total to 151 birds this year.


This picture just gives you some comparison between a Tree Pipit and a Meadow Pipit
Tree Pipit claw 6mm - 9mm, Stronger supercilium and bill is thicker and stumpier
Meadow Pipit claw 10mm - 13mm, weaker supercillium and the bill is finer.


First for the site this Grey Wagtail


My first Stonechat was caught in 2013 in a spring trap, many attempts since then has caught Robins but no more Stonechats but 2 birds were caught in mist nets this year, the one above in September.

        Ffynnon Gro Totals


Species
New
Re-traps
Totals
Great Spotted Woodpecker
1

1
Swallow
3

3
Wren
1

1
Dunnock
1
2
3
Robin

2
2
Blackbird
1
1
2
Mistle Thrush
3

3
Redwing
78

78
Chiffchaff
1

1
Goldcrest
2

2
Marsh Tit
2
2
4
Long-tailed Tit
3

3
Willow Tit
3

3
Coal Tit
7

7
Blue Tit
28
5
33
Great Tit
22
2
24
Nuthatch
1

1
House Sparrow
5

5
Chaffinch
10
1
11
Goldfinch
36
13
49
Siskin
4
5
9
Totals
212
33
245
                                                                                 
The highlights of the ringing sessions at Ffynnon Gro were:-


This male Great Spotted Woodpecker caught on 28/10/17 was a juvenile,  looking closely at its head you can still see some red juvenile feathers that have not moulted.


3 new Mistle Thrush have been caught in October which brings the total to 4 birds for this year and a total of 7 birds for the site.


Redwing, regular every year have shown up in bigger numbers with a total of 78 new birds, site total this year being 151. All the birds have been caught in my High Flyer and still birds fly over the top of the nets. Another project coming on I think.

Many thanks to all members of the Teifi Ringing group that came along to help this year and especially the last couple of months:- Karen Meatyard, Dawn Jay, Arfon Williams, trainee's Molly Heal, Andrew Hughes and Katie Dix. Their presence has given opportunities to increase the number of nets used and experiment netting arrangements in new areas. I enjoy their company and it's nice to have like minded people ringing with you.

I am looking forward and hoping that I may have Firecrest and YellowBrowed warbler this winter. Goldcrest have started to show on Fygyn Common. Woodcock and Snipe have also started to arrive, so catching any of these species would be special.