Sunday, 15 April 2018

The first Spring migrants arrive...

In the early morning, usually pre dawn, we open the 5 nets that are sited around Mallard Pond. Until the 5th April Reed Buntings were the main target for our RAS though in the evenings we were catching a few Pied Wagtails and enjoying the 2-300 hirundines feeding.

On Sunday the 8th April at least three Sedge Warblers were singing and Andrew and I caught our 1st Sedge Warbler of the year. Not until the 12th did we catch our 2nd Sedge. This Sedge had a fat score of 4 and weighed 13.5g unlike the 1st bird with no fat and weighed 10.9g

Our 2nd Sedge Warbler with most of Mallard Pond in the background.

We did catch our 1st Cetti's Warbler of the year on the 9th which surprisingly was unringed, but the star bird that morning was a male Reed Bunting we ringed in August 2011...approaching 7 years old.

Mallard Pond with a setting sun...

In the evening the Teifi Marshes are a great attraction for hirundines and wagtails. Peak counts of over 100 White Wagtails are recorded and we have a recovery of a ringed male to Iceland. Swallows and Sand Martins both occur in the 100s and feed on the pre dusk feast of insects. Catching these species in Spring is less successful than Autumn and we caught our 1st White Wagtails on the 11th April.

We have taken the Mallard nets down for a few days due to poor weather and a visit to Skokholm Bird Observatory.
We will be back on the 27th and ready for the main passage of Sedge Warblers here to refuel on stopover and the arrival of our breeding Reed Warblers

Karen has been ringing on Goodwick Moor including catching the 1st Willow Warblers - 5 on 13th April and she heard the 1st Grasshopper Warbler singing too.

At Mwnt we catch migrant Wheatears in spring traps, Wendy with Charlie and Alison caught our 1st of the year on the 27th March in between whoosh net catches for our Linnet RAS project.

We catch breeding Siskins as part of a RAS study as well as migrant wintering birds.

A quick summary of birds at my Boncath site, so far in April (1-13th) I have caught 9 females with brood patch 3 and 22 males with active CP.

(photos Wendy J)

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