Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Wood Warbler, Mallard and CES 2

Interesting news from the BTO this week that a Wood Warbler we ringed in Ffynone Wood in May 2016 was retrapped this May in a wood near Maenchlochog 19 km away. Read about this in Paddy's post on the Pembrokeshire Bird Blog
Spotted Flycatcher and Wood Warbler

We have been continuing our Spring reed bed migration ringing for a couple of hours every morning that weather allows. Sedge Warbler numbers have been reducing after the big days 2 weeks ago. Since the first Sedge Warbler on the 8th April we have ringed 356 on the Teifi Marsh, retrapped 9 from previous years plus the controls detailed in the last blog.
As mentioned in the blog of the 6th May we have the impression that our number of returning Reed Warblers is much lower this Spring than previous years. We have had a look at some historic data to see if there is a rough trend to support our thoughts.
The graph shows a year on year comparison of new Reed Warblers (blue) and returning ringed birds from previous years (red) with similar effort to the 15th May each year.

It is easy to remember the bumper years like 2016 and forget the normal baseline. Hopefully there are still more to arrive back. As we do a Reed Warbler RAS (Retrapping adults for survival) this data makes a contribution to national trend analysis by the BTO. See RAS results for more information.

Last Saturday was an unusual morning with some species not usually caught in the reed bed. A Blackcap and this Whitethroat

 and a 4 year old Great Spotted Woodpecker

Mallard hide is an excellent base for our ringing as we can chat to early visitors to the reserve about ringing and show them birds in the hand.  Not many birds for a group of interested youngsters..

but some Sedge Warblers , a returning Reed Warbler and a 7 year old Reed Bunting provided good discussion points.
With just one Sedge Warbler ringed this morning we will be leaving the Mallard area of the reserve this week. We will return to weekly visits until Autumn migration starts at the end of July.

The first juvenile Siskins were ringed in Richard's garden on 12th May.  10 juveniles ringed which will go towards future years RAS study population (Retrap adults for Survival) at this location.

Just a few lines about CES 2 . It was a cold, delayed start as the nets were frozen. Mist was hanging over the adjacent River Teifi

It was a quiet morning for the 5 enthusiastic trainees. Only 31 birds with no juveniles of any species unlike last year when we had many. We made the most of the time though with some useful learning points for all. By mid morning it was very hot and sunny and some emergent insects added interest like this Broad-bodied Chaser.

At other group sites, Karen has been ringing at Goodwick Moor and caught the first Grasshopper Warbler of the year. She has also been ringing Dipper pulli in the Gwaun Valley with a trainee. Charlie is continuing his Tree Sparrow nest box project in the Towy Vally with help from Andrew.
Two of us are off to Skokholm on Monday to assist with general ringing and to colour ring adult Great Black-backed Gulls and Oystercatchers.

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