Sunday 30 August 2015

CES 2015 ends with variety..

August has been a difficult month for ringing with windy, showery weather but today we managed our last CES for the year.
A total of 66 new and 23 retraps but it was notable for the variety of birds. A new species for the group, a juvenile Spotted Flycatcher although we have ringed 2 broods of pulli in the past.
A Wood Pigeon was a surprise too, only the 4th ringed on the reserve. The largest species so far for our newest trainee, Dai, to ring
and learn about moult. Here the difference between old and new primaries is shown.
4 Cetti's Warblers in one day is unusual. This one a moulting juvenile..
A very young Lesser Redpoll and a Lesser Whitethroat were the other uncommon species with Blackcaps and Chiffs making up the bulk of the rest of the new birds.

We are still catching Sedge and Reed Warblers on the other side of the reserve in short morning and evening sessions. The most notable bird this week has been a Sedge Warbler which gained weight from 10.8g to 17.5g (fat 6) in 9 days!
A lot of the Reed Warblers are showing marked growth bars indicating sporadically insufficient food supplies during feather growth.
We are currently looking at our data for summer acro ringing and are seeing a trend noted in other ringing groups of a higher than expected percentage of adult Sedge Warblers. A summary of that to follow.

Aside from birds, some of the group like a bargain and/or the latest gadget which might be handy for ringing. Here Arfon is showing his usual bemusement at our latest purchase - magnifying reading glasses with LED lights (Aldi £2.99)!!

Two of the group have been ringing on Skokholm Island for the last week so hopefully a blog from them soon.

Monday 17 August 2015

Mid August on the Teifi Marsh..

As in previous years, we concentrate our ringing efforts at this time of year in the reed bed between Mallard pond and Heron hide on the Teifi Marsh.
Sedge Warbler numbers migrating through the marsh so far seem to be down on previous years but yesterday there were quite a few feeding around the edge of the pond. Looking at numbers being caught in Cornwall (Early autumn in Nanjizal) it seems that the birds aren't stopping with us on route south but flying straight over. We do seem to be catching more adults than usual this year though, all with very worn feathers...
 Looking at our stats at the end of the season will be interesting.
A good hirundine roost is developing in the evening with over 200 around tonight. A couple of small roost catches have been done with Swallows and Sand Martins caught.
Swans bred successfully on Mallard pond for the first time in years and had 4 cygnets but they are now down to 3. The adult male is ringed so we should soon be able to find out when it was ringed.

Our CES site is in another part of the marsh and yesterday we did CES 11 with 64 new birds and 16 retraps. A control adult Sedge Warbler was nice and we will post when we get the original ringing details from the BTO. The other highlight of CES was an adult female Redstart. We have caught juveniles before, but not an adult. As expected at this time of year there are plenty of juvenile Reed Warblers.
As the days turn more autumnal with foggy starts, ripening berries and dewy spider's webs we are seeing an increase in Blackcap and Chiffchaff numbers.
Early (foggy) Monday morning update - Chris and Richard are out ringing again at two sites on the marsh The first bird ringed was an adult male Kingfisher. Although we have ringed 43 on the reserve in the last 6 years this is the first adult male.

Sunday 16 August 2015

Thursday 13 August 2015

Sedge Warblers are moving ...but Stormies ?

A juvenile Sedge Warbler ringed (at Mallard) on 31st July already controlled at Icklesham, East Sussex on the 7th August.
Only eight Sedge and six Reed Warblers ringed this morning in the Mallard run nets, still low numbers for us, and perhaps surprising with numbers being caught in Cornwall..

On Tuesday night one of our Mwnt ringed Storm Petrels (ringed 9th July 2015) was controlled by Tony Cross further up the Ceredigion coast near Cwmtydu..not the first time on of our stormies have been recaptured elsewhere on the Cardigan Bay coast ....interesting...

Numbers and further details of our activities to be posted in the coming days...