Tuesday 5 October 2021

September update

September started with calm weather and the chance to open nets on several occasions but as the month went on we struggled to find suitable weather windows. The September totals below are from all of the Group sites.

male Blackcap

Blackcaps featured well this year, no surprise in our scrubby site near the river on the Teifi Marshes  and a considerable increase on last year's 40 ringed but change in effort is the main reason

September totals

Andy's House Sparrow colour ringing aids the RAS study and continues to deliver new and subsequent sightings - see his blogs ...Bancyffordd RAS summary 2021   and  House Sparrow April summary

With ringing sites becoming established in upland conifer plantations some more variety in species should be possible in years to come. This is building on long running studies of the Preseli forests by Paddy Jenks. Karen started nicely by ringing a Firecrest in Ty Rhyg forest. Meadow Pipits were an upland species too at a site on Dinas Mountain. 

A Robin from the Midlands shows a nice South West  seasonal  movement, and I would like to think the same with the appearance of  un ringed Cettis Warblers this September - we have had movements from West Wales to middle England this time of year.

Robin AXH6098

Ringed Middleton,Warwickshire 23/06/2021

Re-encountered Teifi Marshes, Ceredigion 21/09/2021 90 days 207km WSW

Goldfinches are continuing to  become the norm  ringing at feeders and produce recoveries across the UK and abroad. The number seen has been increasing over the last few weeks and this one ringed in winter in France was in Wendy's garden in Llechryd this month

Goldfinch  8338252

Ringed Bazoges-en-Pareds, Vendee 04/01/2019

Re-encountered Llechryd, Ceredigion 18/09/2021 988 days 660 km NNW

It was an adult in wing moult

We took advantage of tides and weather, good to get some Dunlin and Ringed Plover ringed, we hope to carry on with catching small numbers of Ringed Plover over the winter months. 

Most birds we catch at this time of year are juveniles. The adults we do catch stand out immediately by the wear on the feathers, particularly primary tips as shown on this Dunlin.

Some of the group have been collecting specimens for the UK Flat Fly project co-ordinated by Denise Wawman. This is looking at the distribution of flat flies around the UK. For the last few months we have had specimen pots ready and waiting for a flat fly to spring out from a birds feathers and catch it quickly before it dives towards the ringers hair!  The Flat Fly Family are ectoparasites that feed on blood of birds and mammals. Those that occur on birds don't feed on humans. The flatness of flat flies allows them to slide between feathers to get at the skin of the host, where they plunge a hypodermic-like mouthpart through the skin to suck up blood. 

Flat Fly collecting

The bulk of the specimens have been collected by Andy from the many House Sparrows he rings. Other species with flat flies have included Blackbird, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Goldfinch. Song Thrush and Goldcrest. 

October has started with unfavourable weather for ringing but we are optimistic for the next week having studied the weather forecast.

Rich D and Wendy J