Wednesday 8 February 2017

Firecrest, Finches and a Spanish Reed....

Following a visit to Mwnt on Monday with Alastair, Ros and Jenny for Linnets and 12 caught, Chris visited the CES site this morning where after finding a Bittern roosting in net ride 11 caught this 5 male Firecrest.

The 15th Firecrest that we have caught, the 11th for the CES site, and only the 2nd Firecrest that we have caught outside November, the other being captured on 31st Oct...!!

Goldfinch S107585 was caught last Saturday 4th February in Boncath, having  been ringed in Dorset on February 22nd 2016. A different winter range this year....or a slightly different returning journey to the breeding ground maybe...?

Reed Warbler S321095 was ringed at our Mallard net rides on 23rd August 2016 by Tristian one of our trainees. A 3J bird which I guess was migrating as we never retrapped the bird, and we ring almost daily in August during the acro passage season. The bird was recaptured on 17th September 2016, ....992 Kms in 25 days to northern Spain. Our second Reed Warbler recovery from Spain.

These would appear to be the net rides in the reed bed at Jaizubia, Hondarribia on the north coast of Spain where the Reed Warbler was caught

The period for our Siskin RAS is 1st May - 31st July, ...but we catch variable numbers of birds outside these dates. Last Saturday was interesting, not only for the Goldfinch control described above but also the 1000th Siskin encounter processed at the site.

Even more interesting were the Siskin recaptures - 2 birds both ringed as 3J, one in July 2014 the other in July 2015, and both caught every early Spring since....

(Photos and maps from Chris and Wendy)

Thursday 2 February 2017

Wandering finches

Where do our winter Goldfinches go?
Some recoveries and controls show just how random their winter movements seem to be.
The first recovery of one of our Goldfinches in Ireland was caught in Thomastown in Kildare on New Year's Eve 2016 having been ringed in my garden near Cardigan in January 2016.

This Goldfinch was ringed in Charlie Sargent's garden 40km away in 2014. Last month it was feeding in my garden.

Unfortunately it has diseased legs and overgrown claws but was a good weight and otherwise healthy.

Another Goldfinch ringed in 2014 in Charlie's garden also moved west, being caught in Richard's Boncath garden last March. 39km 218 days.
Today the triangle of movement between group members' gardens was completed with a Goldfinch ringed in my garden in Llechryd last March being caught by Chris in his St Dogmael's garden today.

Other Goldfinch movements on the map are an adult ringed on Bardsey Island in April 2013 that was in St Dogmaels 56 days later in June and again in October.
A Goldfinch ringed in St Dogmaels in March 2014 was in Leswalt, Dumfries and Galloway the following January, 2015.
One ringed in Funtley, Hampshire 19th March 2016 was near Cardigan 29 days later 271km.
Our only foreign recovery was one from Boncath ringed in April 2014 found sick in Ports, Indre et Loir in April the following year.
Charlie has recently controlled a Goldfinch with a Paris ring. We are awaiting details from the BTO.

This week the first Siskins of the year have returned to my garden

These, like Goldfinches move around the country seemingly randomly in Winter.
 Have a look back at this previous blog about them
Siskins;  winterers, migrants, breeders and RAS

Lamping at night is continuing but this year so far the number of Woodcock wintering on local sheep pasture seems very low. Other night field roosting species are down too including Fieldfare, Golden Plover and only a handful Skylark but we did ring one this week.

A break from braving the wild weather on the hills last night for our ringing group AGM. Ten of us reflected on last years activities and data. (5,124 birds of 73 species). Looking at some data in comparison with 2015 was interesting and helped us plan target species and sites for the year.

Linnets up from 2 to 573!
We are keen to engage with project ringing as much as possible and this year will be once again doing CES on the Teifi Marsh with thoughts of a 2nd CES along with 4 RAS projects.