Wednesday 3 January 2018

2017....A year of variety

2017....A great variety of species for members of the Teifi Ringing Group now well into our 10th year.  We ringed our first birds on the 15th August 2008 on the Teifi Marshes at a site that became our CES site in 2009 and ....remains so

Our first Green Woodpecker caught by Charlie at one of his two regular sites.

A few words from Charlie a relatively new  member of the Group.
From a bird point of view I had 2 new species this year. Firecrest from Ffynnon Gro and a Green Woodpecker from Fygyn Common.
I also supervised 2 trainees Molly Heal and Andrew Hughes and laterly Katie Dix visited me for some taster sessions. Although not a trainer at the time I looked forward to the challenges ahead and seeing trainees grow in knowledge, experience and hopefully passion. The highlight was MH after attending the BTO assessment weekend on the Gower and being recommended for her C permit. I decided with the approval of TRG it was time I was assessed for my Training Endorsement and had the BTO approval in December last year.
Last year was most productive for my two sites processing 3388 over 49 species.

Trainees ringed and processed nearly 1100 of the birds captured at Charlie's two sites in 2017.

Molly was a trainee who regularly ringed with Charlie when in the UK !!
....Highlight for me was Charlie being assessed to be a trainer, and aceing it! We caught a lot of lovely meadow pipits that morning too, so I got to do a lot of hind claw measuring, which was fun.

See Fygyn - developing a new ringing site  for a summary of  the development of  Charlie's ringing sites this year.

Bluethroats !! ....not one but two 

This 1st summer female was caught on the Teifi Marshes in late August...
A species that we had predicted, and along with a Spotted Crake seen in the same area a couple of months later added to the attractions of our Teifi reedbeds away from our CES site.

This smarter looking boy.....

.....Wendy and I caught on a visit in late May to Skokholm Bird Observatory where we were opening nets in the morning before catching breeding Oystercatchers in the afternoon.
See the Skokholm Blog  for details of all activities at our closest bird observatory.

In June, Chris and Jenny went to Ramsey (RSPB) and colour-ringed a nest of Chough pulli as part of the long term study of the species in Wales.

We ring at several sites around the Teifi, visiting our more estuarine sites from late Summer into the Winter mainly targeting waders, but sometimes other species. We moved our historical Rock Pipit monitoring site due to tidal erosion, but retrapped a Rock Pipit that we ringed 7 years ago and another new species for the Group - a Water Pipit

We highlight our controls and recoveries on the blog and via Twitter as we receive details but for the full years history including our ringing totals by species see the Ringing Totals links on the side bar

2017 Ringing Totals
2017 Recoveries and Controls

If you are interested in any further details or wish to join our activities when in the area please use the contact form at the end of the blog.

We have a few projects managed by various group members, as well as CES and RAS projects.
Here is Charlie erected nest boxes for Tree Sparrows in the Valleys of west Carms, a 100 box project he has taken over from John Lloyd.

At Mwnt, the second year of Chris's Linnet RAS project has continued to amaze us with the number of birds using the site. This year we ringed 563 new birds, and re-trapped 241, 110 of these being birds ringed in 2016.

Of the new birds ringed, 251 were juveniles and post-juveniles that had fledged this year.

Looking at the RAS season itself, running from April 1st to July 31st, the numbers were 125 juveniles, 101 new adults, and 66 re-captures from 2016. In the 2016 RAS period we ringed 52 juveniles and 171 adults, so 2017 appears to have been a much better year for productivity.

As we saw in 2016, it appears that the nearly all the area's breeding birds and their offspring leave us during the late summer, to be replaced by a different wintering population from elsewhere. It was noticeable that many of the adults that returned in the spring displayed the bleached primary feather tips that we normally see on migrant warblers that have wintered somewhere sunny. We are still waiting to catch a single bird ringed elsewhere, and none of ours have been controlled.

All the birds trapped at Mwnt were caught using a single whoosh net, which also accounted for a range of other species, most notably a Chough. The latest edition of the BTO publication Lifecycle, their magazine for ringers and nest recorders, includes an excellent article describing this trapping method - co-authored by Chris.

Group members are also active ringers abroad, with members ringing at Long Point Bird Observatory in Canada, ringing with Costa Rica Bird Observatories, in Cyprus, and a Group trip to Gibraltar.

The experience gained at Jew's Gate Bird Observatory in Gibraltar was the highlight of Andrew's year.

He found the whole experience of ringing in a small group at a Bird Observatory, helping to make decisions, responsibility and a new range of birds a great asset to his development as a trainee. He has also very much appreciated the time that Charlie has spent training him.

Alison has joined us recently as a trainee with a passion for our activities...
I think the highlights for me this year have been, as a complete novice the friendly welcome from the group and the patience and help given.
Ringing - wise, it’s hard to pick a favourite as they’re all new to me, but perhaps ringing a Kingfisher and a Firecrest, just because of their beauty. I’m also really enjoying generally improving my knowledge, understanding and identification skills.

We would like to thank all of the landowners who give us permission to ring especially the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (Teifi Marshes, Pengelli Wood, Goodwick Moor) and National Trust (Mwnt).
We also ring and monitor on several areas of private farmland, to which we thank all the landowners.

Finally, a reminder to all TRG members that the AGM is on Wednesday 10th January at Wendy's house

Thanks to all contributors for photos, words, and thoughts.....

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