This Saturday we captured 17 Reed Warblers across the CES and Pentood sites. All were retraps from previous years, the oldest ring from 2011. Our RAS season total is now 30 Reed Warblers and with another 15 from the CES site.
We caught our first juvenile Wrens, Chiffchaff, Dunnock, Song Thrush, and Chaffinch. Moulting adult Blue Tits and Great Tits gave us the opportunity to introduce moult scoring to our three new trainees.
Highlights included two Cetti's Warblers recaptures. This brings our site total for Cetti's to 14 this year, (11 adult retraps and 3 new adults). Two new adult Lesser Whitethroats were our first for the year.
We tried our first Storm Petrel session of the year at Strumble Head after CES on Saturday. Great to start the season with an early successful catch with a couple Strumble sea-watchers joining us.
Strumble Head Seawatching blog
Over a year ago our group were asked if we could help resume the monitoring of Chough on the RSPB reserve of Ramsey Island after a gap of 10 years. This has turned out to be a fairly complicated process of co-ordinating the Schedule One licence (us), a team of RSPB accredited climbers (by Greg the reserve manager), and the Choughs' own breeding timetable (themselves) which meant that we were too late in the end to do anything last year. This year however, Chris and Ryan were able to colour-ring one brood of three at the most accessible site, which is a good start at least. Unfortunately the second brood that we had lined up was predated by a Raven earlier in the week.
Wendy and I visited Skokholm Island Bird Observatory, where as well as general ringing nets, and 3 Helgoland Traps, we were also being trained in using special methods for catching breeding adult Oystercatchers and adult Great Black-backed Gulls.
The colour ringing of adults in addition to the young clearly advances this project forward. We will be returning to Skokholm in a couple of weeks to help colour ring this year's young.
We caught a few Spotted Flyctchers on our visit, a bird we rarely catch on our ringing sites, though we have ringed a few nests of Spotted Flycatcher pulli in our gardens.
Tonight - Tuesday we are planning to introduce a couple new members of the Group to Storm Petrel ringing at our Mwnt site, then we plan to catch more Linnets in the morning there too.