Friday 29 April 2011

Spring Wagtails

With the White Wagtail passage tailing off, last night was probably the final session of the spring to target the roost at dusk. A total of 119 birds were ringed in April with no retraps. Only a handful were Pied Wagtails, the rest were White Wagtails. This was our first effort at catching them in Spring and we have been surprised at the number caught.
Whether this was a just a particularly good year for migration along the West Wales coast remains to be seen when we repeat the exercise in 2012. We have successfully targeted Autumn Wagtail roosts on the marsh before so will be trying again this year, a much more challenging time of year to separate the races so some homework to do before then.

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Paris 6580750

Following on from last nights 2 retrap Reed Warblers, 1 more this morning. The 3 Reed Warblers all retraps, were all adults when ringed last year.

12 new Sedge Warblers over the 2 sessions, but quite exciting, a control - Paris 6580750... we await it's history. Also a retrap from last year, ringed as a 3J, our first returning ringed juvenile.

To finish the morning (0730) this Grasshopper Warbler our 1st of the season !!

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Reed Warblers back home !!

Putting up nets to furl, ready for a couple of early hours in the morning, 2 Reed Warblers trapped, both ringed last year. Very pleased with our efforts. Also a couple of new Sedge Warblers, and perhaps the last White Wagtail ringed of the Spring passage?, only c20 over the reedbed tonight.

Monday 25 April 2011

TRG trip to Portland

The hot, dry summery weather failed to drop the hoped for migrants into Portland for us. Good to catch some different species though including this Skylark. Those caught by the group previously have all been at night by dazzling.

We probably caught more Broad bodied Chasers than birds!

We managed some good birding instead with a Lesser Yellowlegs and Garganey at the Somerset Levels on the journey down and this Long Billed Dowitcher at Lodmore RSPB.

A fall of Wheatear on Sunday was impressive with c300 birds in just a few horse paddocks with a couple of Yellow Wagtails too.

Little Terns at Ferrybridge and the Marsh Harrier and Bearded Tits at Radipole too with Avocets and 2 Hobbies at Goldcliff on the Gwent Levels on the way home added variety to the trip.
Although the ringing was quiet we learnt a lot as usual especially about nets so a lot of new ideas to try. Thanks to Peter Morgan and Martin Cade at Portland Bird Observatory.
(Photos - Dawn)

Thursday 21 April 2011

Ringing Group Trip

No ringing on the Teifi over Easter as we are off on a TRG trip to Portland Bird Observatory in Dorset. Hopefully some interesting migrants to ring.
The Springwatch Easter special was filmed at the Observatory. Should be worth watching on Monday at 8pm.

Wednesday 20 April 2011

Today's birds

Some photos that Dawn took this morning at Gwbert, a female Blackcap and a Willow Warbler.

The passage of White Wagtails continues with another 8 ringed this evening on the marsh.

A morning at Gwbert

A net waiting for a fall of migrants!

It was a very cold dawn start today at this new, potentially superb, estuary site in the dunes with a good marshy area and scrub. Caught a few Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and a Chiffchaff as it warmed up but generally quiet. A good number of Whitethroats around starting to nest.

Monday 18 April 2011

Teifi Marsh

Another 20 White Wagtails ringed tonight and a Sedge Warbler. Our new 2 shelf nets in a ride adjacent to the Mallard hide pond have proved invaluable for catching Wagtails.

This was the same ride where we caught the first of the 2 Aquatic warblers in 2010.

A Teifi chiff goes to Spain !!

A constant effort site juvenile (3) Chiffchaff ringed on 22 August 2010 , was controlled by ESA San Sebastian in Northern Spain on 10 October 2010...
....what a nice route or destination for your first Winter holiday !!!

Sunday 17 April 2011


A smaller roost this evening c100 White, but 2 Yellow Wagtails joined in, a smaller catch, 12 White and the dream of the Long-eared Owl roosting nearby disrupting events didn't materialize.

Saturday 16 April 2011

White Wagtails

A very large roost this evening maybe due to sea mist rolling in late?
Of c215 Wagtails (count by Janet), the 19 that were ringed were all White, and of c60 White Wagtails caught this Spring no retraps.

Friday 15 April 2011

A quiet day at Mwnt

After an early start the only bird ringed this morning was a male wheatear:

Ten white wagtails were ringed last night on the Teifi Marshes.

Thursday 14 April 2011

Jack Snipe

Another nocturnal wander around the newly cut reed bed last night to look for Jack Snipe. One is still there but we didn't catch it on a night that turned bright and still. It favours the more open muddy area, confirmed by its footprints and droppings.
A Cetti's was still singing at 22.30. There was also a strange call from the reed bed that was probably the nocturnal call of a Moorhen - very different to the sound it makes in the day.

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Sedge Warbler this evening

Just ringed the 949th sedwa for the group and the earliest by 6 days. This bird had a fat score of 3, plenty of fat in the tracheal pit, presumably not finished it's journey north ?
3 more White Wagtails ringed tonight, and c200 Sand Martins feeding until 19:50 when they departed. Cetti's and Grasshopper Warblers still singing well at 21:00.

Sunday 10 April 2011

White Wagtails

Teifi Marshes;-
A different sort of success this evening, compared to catching 18 White Wagtails last night. Only 2 "wagtails"caught but up to 200 attempting to roost. Our local male Sparrowhawk came for his usual evening meal and the roost formed elsewhere.

The two we caught shown together, both 2nd calendar year birds, aged on various unmoulted juvenile feathers, eg showing contrast amongst the greater coverts, and the noticable old and faded juvenile secondaries and primaries. The Pied being not a very black mantled bird.
Two in the hand id features show, the Pied with the black rump, the White with the grey rump.
The median coverts on the Pied being white, and on the White Wagtail being grey.

Greenland Wheatears...

Another early trip to Mwnt;-
The first Wheatears to be trapped this morning...!! What measurements...!!
Males with wings of 107mm (both) and weights of 30.9g and 27.6g.
The 4th Wheatear of the morning, a female Northern brought us back to Wales, a wing of only 92 mm and a weight of 21.7g. The Greenland Wheatears being an incredible, almost 50% bigger !!.

This morning we also ringed more Linnets, it will be nice in time, to study these birds presumably a mix of local population and passage, no retraps yet.

Saturday 9 April 2011

White Wagtails

Teifi Marshes;-
An attempt to catch wagtails prior to roost went well this evening.
18 White Wagtails and later 2 Pied Wagtails in a net nearby.....still around 200 Sand Martins over the marsh this evening.

Another Wheatear

We managed a couple of hours at Mwnt before the wind picked up.
There were a few Wheatear about early on but they soon headed inland and we only caught one. A Willow Warbler was our first at this site and we also added a few Linnets, Meadow Pipits and a Dunnock.
Keeping an eye on the Spring traps is no effort at Mwnt with the chance to sit in the sun and watch Chough, Kestrels and a Peregrine. A non-bird bonus today was the sight of some Bottlenose Dolphins passing the headland.

Wednesday 6 April 2011

MUSEUM PARIS 6051318 ...........!!!

Teifi Marshes;-

A lovely evening, a chance to see what was going on in the marsh. Quiet really, still awaiting the reed-bed warblers. Through the evening the Sand Martin numbers were increasing, with the occassional Swallow heard.
8pm look at the net, c20 birds in the net, mostly Sand Martins, but 3 Swallows.
Following a text, Wendy came along to help process,......Sand Martin number 9 of the catch...didn't require a ring ! Wendy in shock as she read MUSEUM PARIS...
We have only caught 6 Sand Martins in our previous three years, so tonight's catch of 10 new and 1 control is very nice.
I suspect that when we see the original ringing location, that it may well be ringed in Senegal by French expedition ringers.......we will see..

Saturday 2 April 2011

Mwnt again

A successful morning at Mwnt despite the wind. Using 8 Spring traps and a couple of 2 shelf nets we caught 10 Wheatear and 3 Meadow Pipits. Interesting that only 27 Wheatear were ringed in the whole of Wales last year of which 10 were pulli.