Sunday 26 June 2022

Totals, and the first juveniles appear

May ended with a Skokholm visit - more in a separate blog by Thom, on his first visit (see post below).... the re encounter of this Moltoni's Warbler was the highlight. The bird gave it's distinctive and diagnostic  call after release and a feather sample had been obtained previously.

Moltoni's Warbler

Ringing totals - these are year to date following a large DemOn entry over the past week, some from earlier in the year..

The ringing totals for the first 6 months of the year ringing are slightly lower than the average for the last 6 years. Looking through the species, our main projects eg RAS and targeted ringing eg Woodcock are often discussed on this blog through the year as the seasons provides ongoing results.

A few species in the table that are worthy of further comment

House Sparrow ...see link to Andy's RAS study 

House Sparrow RAS update 

Linnets...Chris is working at a new site on the north Pembs coast, currently in development as a  RAS study and showing good potential, with 170 ringed recently.

The whoosh net for Linnets in place

Other species have also been ringed at this cliff top location including a very young Skylark and an adult, Grasshopper Warbler, Stonechat, Meadow Pipits and Dunnocks

Reed Warblers... an ongoing RAS study

One of our most important species for the reserve, with a great history,  captures a bit low so far this season with 27 so far from previous years. Here is an example of a Reed Warbler's life history ....

Richard Donaghey, Causeway Coast Ringing Group wrote a report on the Reed Warbler in Northern Ireland back in 2018 (see link below) including the migration routes, ringing recoveries to/from Ireland & recoveries of NI Sedge Warblers. 4 years on, the Reed Warbler has continued to spread across Ireland. 

In the report a Teifi Marsh Reed Warbler is mentioned because the recovery was one of several that helped plot the migration routes.

"Reed Warbler P351137 has a fantastic life history and shows a clear migration route with a nice sequence of recoveries. It was originally ringed as a juvenile in August 2000 in Arklow, Wicklow before heading off to sub-Saharan Africa for the winter. It returned north via Portland Bill Bird Observatory, Dorset on the 3rdof June 2001 before being trapped once again two days later in south-west Wales at the Teifi Marshes. This wasn’t the end of the story as it was recaptured back at its breeding site in Arklow seven days later and was retrapped there on a number of occasions right up until the 12th of August. "

Reed ongoing RAS study

We are very grateful to photographers visiting the reserve who send us record shots of colour-ringed birds.

Reed Bunting 

This female Reed Bunting from Michael Davey was ringed in July 2019 as a juvenile and seen several times each year since, usually near Mallard hide

Sedge Warblers... 

Sedge Warbler

300 new this Spring. On the peak migration days, we encountered a bird ringed elsewhere every day for 3 days. Few Sedge Warblers actually breed on our site, many more Reed Warblers do. 

Willow Tit...records including colour-ringed birds still to be entered. There is ongoing potential for a RAS study by Arfon on Cors Caron. 


Kevin Henderson has joined the Group having moved to the Pen Caer peninsular. He is already ringing in his garden and he has plans to set up a couple of sites in his local area as well as joining other group activities.


Herring Gull 2PH 

Ringed 13/03/04 Stoke Orchard Landfill Site, Gloucestershire.

Seen frequently there until 2010 then

17/07/18 Nevern Estuary, Newport, Pembs by the late Sam Baxter (188 km, W, 14 yrs 126days)

06/06/22 Teifi Marshes on the river from Curlew Hide (175 km, W, 18 yrs 85 days)

Herring Gull 2PH

Reed Warbler ART6854

Ringed Oxwich Marsh, Swansea 12/09/2021 Gower Ringing Group

Subsequent encounter Teifi Marshes, Ceredigion 16/06/2022 277 days 67km NNW

Lesser Redpoll AEK1127

Ringed  Cors Caron, Ceredigion 04/03/2022

Subsequent encounter  Crynant, Neath 12/06/2022 100 days 61km Gower Ringing Group

July brings us Storm Petrel ringing, the start of warbler migration, hirundine roost ringing as well as continuing our ringing projects. Usually this means increasing numbers of birds as this year's juveniles swell the population, and many of the juveniles are not from local populations - so hopefully plenty of activity for the group. 

Members of the group will also be visiting Skokholm Bird Observatory twice in July.

(Rich D and Wendy J)

Thursday 23 June 2022

Skokholm trip 2022

On the 23rd of May, 7 members of the Teifi Ringing Group (and two honourary members) visited Skokholm. This was a first visiting the famous “Dream Island” for me.

The week started off with changeable weather, which would turn out to be the standard for the rest of the week. However the team persevered through the dodgy weather, and managed to push the heligolands every day, with a few days mist netting dispersed in between. This perseverance paid off with Spotted Flycatcher, Yellow Wagtail frequenting the stone walls one day on north plain, Garden Warbler and Yellowhammer (the first to be seen on Skokholm for eight years and only the second to be ringed in the last decade) caught. Movement of migrants through the island had stalled with low numbers of Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler observed or ringed daily.


Elsewhere rarities spotted on our time here included an Icterine Warbler skulking in the scrub near the hide at north pond. The star rarity of the week surely must have been Moltoni's Warbler (a first record for Wales), which made watchers work hard for the briefest glimpses in the small trees of the courtyard.

The Moltoni's Warbler attracted a small flock of twitchers to the courtyard,
only the third record of this rare phenomena on Skokholm in the last 10 years

Other activities included Puffin ringing on the neck (the catching likened by Miguel as more stressful than two hours of football penalties at the world cup) and ringing Manx Shearwaters each night between the farm and the lighthouse. Good numbers of shearwaters were processed (which made the midnight alarms a little less painful), with around 20 new birds per person ringed, with similar numbers of previously ringed birds recaptured. The oldest ringed shearwater we caught was a bird ringed previously in 2014.

One of the many ringed Shearwaters

Puffin ringing at The Neck

The moth trap provided morning entertainment most days with the bulk comprising of Pod Lover, Buff Ermine, White Ermine, Campion and Marbled Coronet. Occasionally joined by treats that are Star-wort, Common Swift and Buff Tip.

Buff Tip Moth

We are very grateful to wardens Richard and Giselle for taking us on a Storm Petrel walk to the quarry to see the amazing petrel station and the colony using infrared cameras, as well as welcoming us to their island. I would also like to thank Alan Wilkins for sharing his knowledge and research into petrel vocalisations, and the LTVs Megan and Lucy for sharing their Fulmar studies with us. 

The staff were busy conducting whole island seabird counts,
including the Fulmars. 

A classic Pembrokeshire sunset

Thomas Faulkner,  Teifi Ringing Group trainee