Monday 15 April 2019

April and Spring begins on the Teifi

A Teifi Spring is always full of expectation and doesn't really deliver any numbers until early May.
We do catch a few Willow Warblers as they arrive and 5 at Mallard one morning was good.
White Wagtails appear in spectacular numbers.

Returning birds are difficult to catch in Spring,
We do try and sample a few of the 200+  roosting most nights in mid April. We have ringed 16 this year
Wendy brought her thermal imaging camera one night...fascinating and an alternative method of counting. For those not used to the image each white spot below is a roosting bird.

A female Mallard in a mist net proved an interesting experience, and the undertail coverts of the first Grasshopper Warbler of the season a delight...

Although 150 + Sand Martins each night are feeding over the marsh, we don't target the hirundines in Spring, though we did catch one early one morning.

Small numbers of Reed Buntings are still coming to the Millet feeder on the reserve including some old birds not seen yet this year. This male Reed Bunting was ringed as a juvenile in 2011 so is coming up to 8 years old.

The improvement in the weather should provide us with some early returning acros.
Back in 2016 the first 9  returning Reed Warblers captured were all our ringed adults from previous years....amazing site fidelity.

A round up of other Group site activities at the end of the month.

Thursday 4 April 2019

The year so far....

As the Group keeps expanding we think that short summaries with species totals and relevant notes will help keep Group members up to speed with all activities.
The totals in the table below are for the period    Jan 1st - March 31st  2019
If you have anything to add to any species notes - please add directly or email Wendy.

No surprise that during this late winter period those species attracted to feeders make up the numbers caught, though a variety of catching methods used.

Mist nets in gardens for Siskins, Tits and Lesser Redpolls etc

Interesting that on the same day that we caught our first Lesser Redpoll at  Mallard in the reeds, Redpolls were also caught in three garden sites.

Whoosh nets for Linnets at Mwnt and in Wendy's garden resulted in this Collared Dove and 3 Yellowhammers as discussed in a  previous post.

Our RAS season for Reed Buntings has now started - April 1st !
Hopefully some re-sightings of these colour-ringed birds will add greatly to the picture, a very impressive total of new birds and re-encounters this winter. On one of these visits to Mallard we caught a Water Rail in a new triple cage Potter Trap, again posted about at the time.

The good Starling total is from Andy mainly using a drop trap in his garden.
One of the 194 Blue Tits ringed has been subsequently encountered in Shropshire. Quite a movement for a Blue Tit ..

Blue Tit  ACF8355
Ringing date: 11-FEB-2019 Bancyffordd Carmarthenshire, Wales
Finding date: 08-MAR-2019 Big Pool, Shavington Park, Calverhall, Shropshire, UK
Duration: 25 days Distance: 159 km

Finder Shropshire Ringing Group

Charlie's Llanfynydd site continues to be invaluable for training over the winter with a variety of species and good numbers of birds coming to the feeders.

A trainer's permit assessment was carried out here for an A ringer, Paul from Mid Wales. Also a Trainee, Marina with her Trainer, Stuart from Worcester visited to gain experience with Finches.

We hope to form more links with other groups to give trainees opportunities to ring birds that their own group don't catch.

Seven species appear on the list due to Lamping, not massive numbers or particularly productive, but we have manged to do a complete list in BTO Birdtrack for every night out of all birds recorded, seen and heard on the Pembs/Cere sites.

Early Spring ringing has resulted in a Chiffchaff and a Blackcap ringed.
Now to see what April brings. The week has started well with the first Dipper pulli of the year at one of Karen's boxes. Today we heard the first Sedge Warbler near Mallard, if weather permits we will expand the Mallard site with 2 more nets this weekend. This week Charlie opened nets at his Common site too.

(Wendy and Rich D)