Monday 4 August 2014

As autumn migration starts, a look back at July in the reed bed...

As August begins we look forward to as many early mornings in the Teifi Marsh reed bed as the weather allows. Mornings often start misty and cool with a soaking from condensation on the reeds.

But end a couple of hours later with the scene transformed by the warmth of the Summer sun
The reserve is an important stopover for migrant birds particularly Sedge and Reed Warblers. Since 2010 we have been putting extra effort into monitoring autumn migration and wrote a paper in 2011 on our findings funded by a grant for the Welsh Ornithological Society. In 2010 we caught 2 Aquatic Warblers as part of this constant effort.
With all of the July data for the Teifi Marsh reserve entered into IPMR we have been playing with the data to see how the month went in the Ceredigion part of the reserve between Mallard and Heron Hides.
368 birds were ringed and 143 retraps many of which were site faithful birds ringed in previous years.
Of those 368, 102 were Sedge Warblers, 95 Reed Warblers and 26 Reed Buntings.
On the reserve as a whole we are pleased with the number of returning Reed Warblers from previous years - now up to 57. Another 28 adults have been ringed and so far 146 juveniles.
In July 2013 we only ringed 31 juveniles.
Once we get to the end of migration we will compare numbers with previous years.
With each Reed Bunting being entered into our colour ringing project there will be plenty of birds for photographers visiting the reserve to resight for us.
The juveniles being caught at the moment are well into their post-juvenile moult.
This one today was moulting all of its greater coverts and central tail feathers
showing why ageing after this first moult can be difficult with no contrast to be found in the greater coverts.
Next weekend we are co-hosting a BTO ringing course. We are looking forward to welcoming 10 participants and several assessors from around the country. We are keeping our fingers crossed for the weather and really hope that the rainy bits of the forecast are wrong!
Ex tropical storm Bertha could bring heavy rain and gales on Sunday

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