Thursday 27 July 2017

Acros in the Autumn.....and a juvenile Water Rail at CES

Last week on Wednesday and Thursday we took advantage of a couple of promising windows in the weather to ring at our Mallard site where we specialise in the study of  passage Sedge and Reed Warblers. A promising start to our season with c 40 Acros caught and we plan to ring at this site in the coming days.
Below a view from the end of Aqua 1 net ride across Mallard Pond towards the new hide.

This map shows our Sedge Warbler controls and recoveries, with a great proportion of movements along the  French Atlantic coast.

LATEST NEWS  - a first recovery for Goodwick Moor, a new site for us that Karen is developing.
A Sedge Warbler caught on the 23rd April 2017 had been ringed the previous August in Finistere, NW France.  We have had several birds move between the Teifi and the Trunvel, Treogat site.

We are likely to be catching a mix of local and early migrants in these mid July sessions, but they also help our RAS studies on both Reed Warblers and Reed Bunting, we colour ring the latter species too.

A reminder to look out for colour ringed birds.

The  highlight so far  - a couple of juvenile Grasshopper Warblers, we catch a few during late July.

During calm evenings we have managed a couple of Swallow roosts, here is Tristian a new trainee enjoying some processing of Swallows.

We managed CES 9 on Monday and perhaps a little quiet but we did process 46 new 22 recaptures, including this  juvenile Water Rail, our 4th capture on the marsh and our 2nd at the CES site. The 1st back in early August 2009.

We have great hopes for the week ahead in terms of our activities, we could do with the weather being a little more helpful. Several sessions for Acros, a final sesssion for the Linnet RAS project and CES likely next weekend.

Wednesday 19 July 2017

CES season races along, Stormies and Skokholm

Another 3 CES sessions have been successfully completed since the last blog. CES 6 on the 25th June was quiet on a breezy day interrupted by showers with 52 birds ( 37 new, 15 retrap). Highlights were this  Blackcap ringed in 2011 and not seen since 2014,

also the 3rd juvenile Kingfisher on the reserve this year. The first post- breeding adults in wing moult gave the trainees a new challenge of learning moult scoring. CES 7 on the 7th July was busier with 84 birds ( 65 new and 19 retraps) as more juveniles fledge. Juveniles included Cetti's and Treecreeper but particularly interesting were 2 juvenile Whitethroat, a species that has been uncommon on the reserve this year. At CES 8 on the 17th July we caught 86 birds(61 new, 25 retrap). Highlights included a 7 year old Blackcap and a couple of moulting adult Reed Buntings.

Juveniles of 15 species were ringed including the first Garden Warblers, another Treecreeper and 18 Blackcaps.

With the moon waning, the last week has seen us out at night catching Storm Petrels. Unfortunately the weather over the weekend was less than ideal but with visitors from Norfolk here to ring with us we managed small catches at Mwnt and Strumble Head.

The wind dropped by Sunday night and we caught 10 at Mwnt. That means we have now ringed over 100, presumed non-breeding, Storm Petrels at this site.

Members of the group have been ringing elsewhere too. Charlie has been busy in his garden including a good training session with Andrew with a lot of Siskins.  He has been catching Crows too, not a species that the group rings often.

Two of us have been on Skokholm. The main target for ringing that week was the Great Black-backed pulli and Oystercatcher pulli. It was the annual Cardiff University week with post grad students for a change this year who were all very keen to help us and learn more about ringing in between doing their own research and writing.

The Great Black-backed Gulls are ringed with red darvics so keep an eye out for these once they fledge from the island.

Also some Puffins were colour ringed to top up the study population.

All the students and island staff were involved, a great team effort.

This has proved an excellent project for visitors to the island to get involved in by reading colour rings of returning birds in the study plot in Crab Bay.
Ringers are welcome on the island. More information on the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales website
Staying On Skokholm

Some recent revoveries to end with
Sedge Warbler S087750 was ringed on the Teifi Marsh on 22nd May 2016. 96 days later it was captured in Trunval, Treogat, Finistรจre, France. 466km This is the second of our Sedge Warblers to be caught here and we have controlled two of their birds.

Siskin Z802763 was ringed in my garden in Llechryd in April 2016 and unfortunately killed by a cat in Oban 25th June 2017 446 days 497 km N

Siskin S004546 was ringed in Llandrindod Wells, Powys on 22nd March 2017 and caught in Charlie's garden in Llanfynydd, Carmarthenshire 37 days later on 28th April 2017. 65km SW