Thursday 26 March 2015

Winter lamping ends with a Fieldfare

A typical scene on most dark and windy nights since last November...
but with the birds that spend winter roosting on our sheep pasture now heading back to their breeding grounds it is getting harder to find birds when out lamping. On our last visit this week we didn't see any Woodcock but did catch a Fieldfare.
Most of the fields we walk have now been heavily spread with slurry and with the moon waxing it is just about time to stop lamping. Although never say never - our latest Woodcock were caught on 5th April so if the weather is right we might be out again.

It has certainly not been an easy year for catching Woodcock. Mid Wales ringers have had good numbers of birds roosting but we have had no big nights of catching, mostly one or two a night despite walking an average 4 km.  Redwing and Skylark have been well down too but more Fieldfare.

Totals of birds caught by lamping this winter...

Woodcock - 44 ringed and 3 retraps

Once again, the most productive site for finding Woodcock has been the improved grassland sheep pasture on Frenni Fawr, our highest highest farm at 274m.
Snipe -6
Golden Plover-11
Fieldfare -20
Meadow Pipits 14 and 1 retrap
 Mistle Thrush 1 - a first for us to catch by lamping
 Redwing 2
Skylark 5
As well as the birds caught we have also been recording all waders seen and field use to add to the value of our long term monitoring of these North Pembrokeshire farms.

Our attention will now be changing to evening roost ringing instead as soon as the White Wagtails start moving north through the Teifi Marsh.

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