Wednesday 28 March 2012

Two firsts for the garden....

- a Treecreeper and using five AA rings consecutively !
Not many birds needing an AA ring have been caught in the garden in the past, so it was a bit of a surprise today when five consecutive birds had rings off the blue string - the Treecreeper, then 2 Chiffchaffs, a Goldcrest and a Wren.
A Bullfinch had started the morning off nicely and retrap Goldcrest, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Blackbird all ringed last year were good too.
The Siskins seem to have gone now.
With migration getting underway, our site in the dunes down at the Teifi estuary will now take over from garden sessions.
The marshy area that runs through the dunes is looking wonderful a the moment with the Marsh Marigolds out - an area that caught us some good early migrants last year.

Saturday 24 March 2012

"Curlew" Tit

Having read the recent BTO blog about birds with deformities, it was interesting to catch this odd looking Blue Tit. It was a retrap, having been ringed by us in September as a juvenile when it had a completely normal beak. It was the same weight as others caught this morning so must be managing to feed sufficiently well, though the bird had moulted less coverts than expected.
A nice selection of warblers today too, including our first Blackcaps for the year, some Chiffs - one Chiffchaff - CNP216 was ringed as an adult in June 2009. Also nice to ring a new Cetti's Warbler, Cetti's singing from the usual five territories.

In Ffynone wood, a new project for the group this week was to help some local children put up nest boxes that they had made. This was organised by Kate from Growing Heart Workers Co-operative as part of their aim to make it a community woodland.This wood is the site of the first record of breeding Pied Flycatchers in Pembrokeshire. They are seen here every spring but no recent breeding records so hopefully the boxes will be successful. The wood has some good areas for a potential new ringing site.

Sunday 11 March 2012

Snow in March !

Small numbers of Snow Buntings are regular winter visitors to the man- made breakwater at Fishguard.
The female above was one of three seen in November 2011. From other photographs taken and monthly WeBS counts there do seem to be different birds using the breakwater. The answer to the question of whether they are wintering or passage birds and from where, came a step closer today when we caught the first of what is an ongoing project with permission from Stenna Line.
This was a first year male of the ssp nivalis. Mike Young-Powell was with us today as he has a special interest in Snow Bunting races and led to some interesting discussions as we watched the birds. We suspect that one of them was a male of the Icelandic ssp insulae.
Yesterday we had a good morning on the reserve checking nets and tidying net rides ready for the CES season ahead.
The first Chiffchaff of the year was the highlight of a few birds ringed.

We are grateful for the continuing support of Environment Wales with funding from the Welsh Government. The grant enabled us to purchase some tools which were put to good use yesterday.
Also the funding of a digital projector has been a great aid for talks about ringing that we have given to local groups.

Tuesday 6 March 2012

Site faithful in the garden

Site faithful wintering Reed Warblers a memory in Uganda, so back to West Wales.
Back in the garden and 0f 48 Siskins caught, 3 from last winter. On top of the hills, 78 new Woodcock caught and 6 retraps.
Wendy is giving a talk, " An introduction to bird ringing - the Teifi and beyond" tomorrow in Cardigan, our AGM on Thursday...Mist net fitting in the Marsh rides on Saturday....Let us get ready for Spring, 2 Sand Martins were over the Marsh on March 1st.. !!