Tuesday 28 May 2013

Returning Reed Warblers but juvs are late

A clear calm morning on the Teifi Marsh on Sunday looked like perfect ringing conditions once the overnight frost had cleared but we had an extremely quiet CES 3. Just 10 new birds and 15 retraps with no juveniles caught or seen. Looking back at the equivalent CES in 2011 we caught 107 birds of which 44 were juveniles.
15 Reed Warblers from previous years have now been retrapped this spring, some having been caught every year since ringing. With just 3 x 60ft of net (shown by the red line) in this small area of the marsh it gives some idea of the large number that are hopefully breeding on the whole reserve.
 Of the new birds, 4 were Reed Warblers, 3 Blackcaps, 1 Garden warbler, 1 Willow Warbler and a Blue Tit. Hopefully we will start catching some young birds in CES 4 next week.

Garden ringing is continuing on a small scale, gaining information on the breeding success of the birds using the garden. Two magpies have been visiting the feeders regularly. A male and female were caught this week. The sheen on the wings and streaking on the throat is only really appreciated when viewed close up.
 Magpies are aged by measuring the extent of the black tip on the 1st and 2nd primary.
The above was an adult with the black on P1<13mm and indented, narrow shape and black on P2 13mm (16- 17mm in an immature)
Compare that with the extent of black on P2 of the 5 female ringed last week. P1 can't be seen clearly in this picture but it was broad and the black tip was 16mm. 
 Siskins are still visiting the garden, the females now with brood patches so hopefully some young birds will be seen soon. The only juvs ringed so far have been 3 Robins. 

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