Friday 7 June 2019

A round up of May

May is always busy with migrants, nest boxes and the start of the CES season.
The Group has processed 825 birds of 41 species during the month.

We concentrate our efforts at migration monitoring in the reed bed around Mallard pond on the Teifi Marsh.

Sedge Warblers pass through in large numbers in the first week of May. Numbers were well down this year but might have been that we missed the big days when we couldn't open the nets due to the wind. 181 total, 156 new. 12 from previous years, 1 French and 2 UK controls. The same period last year was a total of 299 and 523 in 2016.

The first control is unusual having been ringed in Suffolk on its outward migration, our recoveries and controls of our Sedge Warblers are usually the M4 corridor and south coast.
Sedge Warbler S564811
Ringing date: 27-AUG-2017  near Hollesley Heath, Suffolk, UK
Finding date: 07-MAY-2019  Teifi Marshes, Ceredigion,
Duration: 618 days Distance: 414 km

The French control was from Tour Aux Moutons on the West Coast of France, a ringing station with which we have had many exchanges of birds.
Sedge Warbler 8372055
Ringing date: 09-SEP-2018  Tour aux Moutons, Donges, Loire-Atlantique, France
Finding date: 21-APR-2019  Teifi Marshes, Ceredigion
Duration: 224 days Distance: 560 km

Then a control from North Wilts Ringing Group
Sedge Warbler AEA6536
Ringing date: 27-AUG-2017  Haxton Down, Wiltshire, UK
Finding date: 02-MAY-2019 Teifi Marshes, Ceredigion
Duration: 613 days Distance: 222 km 

Reed Warbler seem to be strikingly low this year. At the same site, date range and with similar effort the total numbers of Reed warblers caught were
2016   65
2017   43
2018   45
2019   9 !!
It will be interesting to see how numbers look by the end of this breeding season.
A recovery of one of our Reed Warblers ringed last May and caught this May by Kelvin Jones
Reed Warbler ABB8775
Ringing date: 05-MAY-2018 Teifi Marshes, Ceredigion
Finding date: 25-MAY-2019  Llyn Ystumllyn, Gwynedd

Duration: 385 days Distance: 100 km Direction: 18deg (NNE)

On to Pulli ringing.

Several of the Group have their own areas for open nest and nest box studies with new sites added this year.
The productivity seems to be high this year. Species include Dippers, Pied Flycatchers, House Sparrows, Song Thrush, Nuthatch, Swallows and Chough. 4 species of Tit; Coal, Marsh, Blue and Great .
This Coal Tit nest in Ffynone wood was colourful with wool selected from the areas of a sheep marked with dye.

We are also grateful to ringers away from our area who have welcomed a couple of our trainees to experience larger nest box projects for Pied Flycatchers.
Some of the group helped with a nest count on Cardigan Island, mainly for Lesser Black-backed Gulls but many Barnacle and Canada Goose nests too.

The 2019 CES (Constant Effort Sites Scheme) season is underway. 12 visits between now and the end of August to our long running study site on old slate waste and marsh by the River Teifi.
The early visits weren't boosted by large numbers of Sedge Warblers migrating through so numbers have been low with no particularly unusual species. House Sparrows though are new to our CES. The numbers around the Visitor Centre feeders and Chicken pens have recently increased significantly. Greenfinch also seem to be breeding on the reserve this year and very unusual to hear one singing throughout a CES session

CES 1 5th May  Total 38 (19 new)
CES 2 14th May  Total 36 (12 new) including the first juvenile Robin
CES  3 23rd May  Total 54 (31 new)  This included 2 returning Reed Warblers including an old one ringed in  2014 and seen each year since and a breeding female Lesser Whitethroat.

These figures seem low compared to previous years. Full analysis will be done at the end of the season.

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