Wednesday 8 August 2018

Stormie wanderings & ringers travels

We completed CES 10 on the Teifi Marsh today. It was again quiet with just 69 birds of which 47 were new. The highlights were this adult male Lesser Redpoll, a Lessser Whitethroat and a juvenile Sedge Warbler that had been ringed somewhere else.

In the last blog we were waiting for details of a juvenile Reed Warbler that was already wearing a ring. The ringing details were back from the BTO the next day.

It was ringed at Oxwich Marsh by Gower ringing group on the 14th July and had travelled 67km NNW to the Teifi Marsh.

Last weekend two of the group were on Skokholm Island to assist with Storm Petrel ringing. On the first night 122 Storm Petrels were handled under an amazing star filled sky with Mars so bright that it cast its reflection on the sea. The second night was quieter with 89 birds but surprisingly two were birds that we had previously caught. One I had ringed myself at Strumble Head in 2012 and another had been ringed at The Lizard in 2015 and then caught by the group at Mwnt a month later.
See our blog at that time "Stormies - simultaneous sites at Mwnt" 

Whilst on Skokholm we experienced the first fall of autumn with 89 Willow Warblers ringed.

First morning off the island and back in the reed bed at Mallard hide we had the first big day of Sedge Warbler migration with 41 ringed in a short session. These short Mallard session will be continuing every day that weather permits to monitor migration through the reed bed. We are always hopeful of an Aquatic Warbler again. The last two were the 16th and 18th August 2010. Reports from Acrola, the organisation that monitors Aquatic Warbler migration has reported that their migration is exceptionally early this year. The site at Donges, where incidentally we have had several of our Sedge Warblers caught, has ringed 70 Aquatic Warblers in the last 16 days. 

In a previous blog we had included contributions from group members about their recent experiences with the group. Tristan's notes have just arrived from Romania where he is volunteering with WWF for a project that is reintroducing Bison.
"Two years ago, I was looking for experience in wildlife conservation and quite by accident began bird ringing in and around the Teifi marshes. In this time, I have grown from  having very little knowledge of birds to learning both about their behaviours and how we can better protect them.
Special moments for me include one of my first experiences at a swallow roost, when the tapes lured in almost 200 birds, and with strong teamwork,  the evening flew by until all were ringed.

I will also always remember my luck in being at Mallard when a Bluethroat was caught and admiring this rare visitor I hadn’t previously known.
Most recently, it was fantastic to have my first experience ringing Storm Petrels at Mwnt and I, like the other trainees, was surprised at their small size and fascinating tube noses: micro-desalination-plants! It is so remarkable to think that soon they will be returning some 8000 miles to South Africa and highlights for me how many unlocked mysteries still abound in nature. Throughout my time ringing, everyone has been so warm and welcoming in sharing opportunities, their expertise and stories, from experiencing whoosh netting to learning more about bird ringing in Costa Rica and  Uganda. This makes me very happy and I am looking forward to continuing when I return home to Cardigan."
The photos show where I'm staying in Romania; it's an old farmhouse and is so nice.

Today we were told the plan for our time in more detail and it is very interesting with some travel across Romania and perhaps into Poland to see the bison there too.."

 More from other members of the group in future blogs.

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