Friday 31 August 2012

Last CES, first Wryneck!

CES 12 had started well this morning with more juvs than the last few sessions including two Cetti's warblers. Just as catching had slowed down, Tommy was delighted to take this Wryneck out of the net. A first for the Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve.
Juvenile Wrynecks undergo an almost complete moult shortly after fledging so rapidly become similar in appearance to adults. This is a juv based on eye colour (iris grey-brown not mahogany) and the pattern and shape of the primary coverts.
(photos - Tommy Evans)

Sunday 26 August 2012

Wiltshire to Wales..& 101 in Mallard

101 new birds ringed in the Mallard nets Saturday am to Sunday am inclusive. Wendy and I were joined by Olly Fox from Wiltshire RG on his third ringing visit to us.

The highlight our 2nd heaviest Sedge Warbler ever. This bird, a retrapped adult weighing a massive19.2g, (fat score 6).
This Sedgie was ringed by us on 18th August 2010 (not retrapped since)....with an Aquatic Warbler and in a large Sedge Warbler movement's origins...??

Some numbers from this last 26 hours, all new birds totalled below;-
Reed Warbler - 19
Sedge Warbler - 12
Chiffchaff - 10
Cetti's Warbler - 1
Swallow - 54(34 juv, 20 adult)
Pied Wagtail - 1
Wren - 1
Blue Tit - 3.

Thursday 23 August 2012

48 hours of firsts for the year......and CES 11

The first juvenile Ringed Plovers ringed - on Newport beach.
Tonight the first juvenile Pied Wagtail ringed in a newly cut area around the Mallard pond.
This cutting around Mallard pond is carried as part of the general site management by the Wildlife Trust, it helps us by producing open feeding areas for waders, and wagtails before going to roost nearby.
Yesterday the first juvenile Reed Warbler control of the year too....
Back to today.......... and CES 11.
Continuing the season's trend of poor numbers, but of the 40 birds this morning, more new juvenile Blackbirds, Bullfinches, and Blackcaps...

Tuesday 21 August 2012

A hungry Hobby helps.........

The weather has postponed the current CES until Thursday we hope ?
Whilst waiting for an improvement in the weather - busy we are !!

Last night on time at 20:45 an immature Hobby came on his regular hunt into the Swallows...above the Mallard net runs...No catch this evening for him ? But he certainly concentrated the pre-roost gathering and helped us catch 40 new Swallows, five of which were adults.
To acros next, 10 this morning before 6:30 am, c50 on Saturday and Sunday.....
and still no Aquatic found ....... !
Three new Storm Petrels on Sunday night - a rare night for us with no controls or retraps...
Tomorrow Wendy and  I are off to the islands, Skomer  I think, though we are attending a Skokholm Bird Observatory steering group meeting......more news on this exciting project soon..

Friday 17 August 2012

1 Dunlin ringed...........but 500+ terns

Newport Beach;-
High tide too early, but we thought we would give a walk with a spotlight a go !
One juvenile Dunlin caught easily, a juvenile Curlew was a "nearly", but then total distraction by roosting terns !! c200 we thought....juvenile Black Tern too??
See Pembsbirds for this morning's birding visit....and the true picture...quite a spectacle.

Wednesday 15 August 2012

"Stormie ....83"

Last night a visit to Mwnt in a break between the wind.
The photo above shows the net in position on the northwest facing slope of the headland, with Cardigan Island in the background.

Only 2 Storm Petrels last night, both caught early,...and with a fisherman on a ledge below the net.
With no known breeding birds between Bardsey and the Pembs Islands, we presume the stormies we catch are just passing whilst feeding in the Irish Sea ?
We are not aware of any petrels ringed in Ceredigion with 15 new birds trapped, and 2 controls to date we are delighted with our efforts !
Last night no different - with Wendy extracting - and her call of another control  I was delighted - but  NO ! On checking the ring we find it is a retrap , 2661483. We ringed it on the 24th July 2012, c3 weeks ago.
Is it regular to find a non-breeding Storm Petrel  remaining or repeatedly passing through our inshore waters .........?

Sunday 12 August 2012

16th and 18th August 2010.... !!

Also one on the 4th and two on the 19th August 1995 !
No surprise for guessing -- dates of Aquatic Warblers caught and ringed on Teifi Marshes !!
This juvenile in 2010 was the first of this millennium.. and hopefully not the last -  but not one this August yet !

Through August we are trying to follow the Aquatic Warbler UK study protocol forwarded to us by Mark Grantham, and congratulations to Mark's team at Marazion with an Aquatic Warbler this morning  -- and for Martin at Portland too.
Our Aquatic Warblers come with peak Sedge Warbler movements, but with our current Sedge Warbler catches...compared with the last two years;-
August 2012 to date .......35 new birds ringed
August 2011................ 372
August 2010.................306
I'm not sure we are that hopeful ?..........But we are trying with daily early morning ringing - weather permitting.
Our latest new ride, (Cuckoo 3) cut last night, runs alongside a small river not cut for Aquatic Warblers, but to bring flowing water and reed edge Sallow into the ringing habitat monitored.
A juvenile Swallow christened the net this morning coming out of the nearby roost, and a juvenile Kingfisher yesterday caught in an adjacent net is the highlight of the week-end's ringing so far....

Sunday 5 August 2012

Ringing demo, CES and new clothes.....

Rain cancelled our "Bird in the Hand Ringing Workshop" for the Welsh Wildlife Centre yesterday but the forecast for today was looking hopeful.
But....from 5.30 am we watched the rain hammer down from clouds that stubbornly refused to move. Ever optimistic, we set up and all waited patiently until the rain stopped 2 hours later just before the demo was due to start.
We were running our standard CES nets but the catch was low with just 10 new birds and 4 retraps during the demo. A variety including Blackcaps, a Reed Bunting, Reed Warblers and Chiffs gave Richard plenty to talk about and educate an appreciative audience.
 The view from the river picnic site at The Welsh Wildlife Centre looking up the Teifi Gorge makes a stunning backdrop for our demos.
The 6 hours of CES ended with 26 new birds, mostly warblers not tits, and 10 retraps so the poor season continues. This time last year we caught  97 birds during the equivalent session.

You might have spotted in recent photos that we now have Teifi Ringing Group clothing.
Thanks to Design Plus for their excellent work.