Thursday 27 February 2020

Late winter.....

January and February have delivered difficult conditons for ringing, though most members of the Group have managed some ringing - more later !
A couple of summer migrant movements have been reported.
Only our second foreign Blackcap movement this to Belgium, the previous to Donges, Loire-Atlantique, France.

Blackcap  ACF8747
Ringed  Blaenduad, Carmarthenshire 01/08/2019
Lebbeke, Oost-Vlananderen, Belgium 05/10/2019 65 days   596 km ESE
A typical annual recovery of a Sedge Warbler moving south in late summer

Sedge Warbler  ADH8591
Teifi Marshes 08/08/2019
Saint Vigour D'Ymonville, Saine Maritime 25/08/2019 17 days  456 km SE

Both the Warbler movements above shown on the above map.
The fields below are part of the Boncath Woodcock study site showing the original ringing and re encounter of Woodcock EY81489. Typical of all our re encounters, very close to the original ringing site. Amazing wintering site fidelity for these long distance migrants.
This recapture 3 years after ringing.

We have tried to involve as many of the Group in night time activites as possible, primarily catching Woodcock and Skylarks, other species too. A new experience in the field at night for all is the use of Wendy's Thermal Imager.  Not only an aid to catch birds, but a great tool to improve the survey - all the activities are entered as complete lists into BTO Birdtrack.

Out on the Frenni site - I am clearly helping Molly process a Snipe caught in a wet field edge rut.

We have been unable to ring either with nets or potter traps due to the weather on the Teifi Marsh sites, but Andy has been catching Starlings, Wendy has been catching various garden and woodland birds including this Greenfinch with a nice moult limit - one of several Greenfinches caught.

A small window in the weather this morning allowed for some training, this Great Tit one of the highlights, ringed in 2014 and not re encountered since.

Arfon has been ringing at new sites with Naomi and is doing well with Siskins, including 90 Siskins one afternoon, a couple of controls too including the one below.

Siskin   S00366
Ringed Nantmel, Rhayader, Powys 09/02.2017
             Ffarmers, Carmarthenshire 23/02/2020 1109 days  44 km WSW

We may get onto the Teifi Marshes this coming week, a likely activity will be with potter traps at Mallard Pond as part of  the Reed Bunting colour-ringing project. Then on the 16th March four of the Group are off to Uganda ringing.

Sunday 2 February 2020

A slow mid winter and 2019 totals

A mild, windy and wet winter has meant few opportunities for ringing. Having said that, numbers aren't too bad with 645 birds of 35 species processed since the last blog six weeks ago.

Lamping has provided several of those species particularly at Arfon's new sites in the hills in the north of Carmarthenshire. A summary of our nocturnal activities and lamping totals will be given at the end of the winter once the Woodcock season is over. Species at night in the last few weeks have included Woodcock, Golden Plover, Fieldfare, Skylark and Meadow Pipit

A Snipe on Frenni was the first for a while. It was picked up with the thermal image camera. We are still getting used to the capabilities of this gadget but it is probably fair to say that for some species it has increased our ability to find birds at night.
The picture here showing the white markings on the tail of the Snipe.

Passerines included another Firecrest (five on the Teifi Marsh this winter). Starling numbers are well down in Andy's garden likewise Reed Buntings on the Teifi Marsh are not needing to come to seed feeders with the mild weather and abundance of natural food. In windy weather we have managed to catch another 8 Reed Buntings towards our RAS project in Potter traps which also caught this Moorhen.

We have resighted several colour -ringed Reed Buntings including a male ringed in August 2010 which is often around Mallard Hide. Siskins are starting to return to the garden feeders. 43 have been processed including several from previous years.

Recent news from the BTO about 2 Siskins we have caught that were ringed elsewhere

S217839 Ringed Llanfynydd, Carmarthenshire 17/07/2016
                Recaptured Llechryd, Ceredigion        20/01/2020 1282 days Distance: 39 km
S516061 Ringed Bratton, Minehead, Somerest 01/06/2018
                Recaptured Bancyffordd, Carms         24/01/2020 602 days   Distance: 106 km

The totals for last year have now been published
2019 Teifi Ringing Group totals

9011 birds of 80 species. The stories around the unusual species like the Yellow-browed Warbler and analysis of some of the captures have been discussed in previous blogs so can be searched via the search box for further details