Thursday 31 August 2023

Linnet RAS 2022 / 2023

We had to abandon our Retrapping Adults for Survival project for Linnets at Mwnt in 2019 as a result of the pandemic and the subsequent surge in 'staycationing' making continued operation of the site impossible.

In 2022 we were lucky to find a much more secluded site on the Pembrokeshire coast between Cemaes Head and Newport, along with a sympathetic and supportive landowner. We started ringing Linnets there to see if it would support a replacement RAS project.

It soon became obvious that the potential was there. By the end of August 2022 we had ringed 137 breeding adults (80 male, 57 female) and 310 juveniles, using a single whoosh net baited with rape-seed. September and October bought a further 183 captures (of which only 10 were adults) these probably mostly either dispersing or passage birds moving south.

The first Linnets arrived back on their breeding territories in good numbers by the 3rd week of March 2023, and by the end of May over 50 birds ringed in 2022 had been re-captured, at which point it was obvious that registration as a RAS project was more than justified, backdated to the start of ringing in April 2022.

The 2023 RAS breeding season officially finished today, by which time we had recaptured 77 of the birds ringed in 2022 (42 male, 35 female), and ringed a further 159 breeding adults (86 male, 73 female) and 371 juveniles. This suggests that the minimum breeding population within foraging distance of our catching site is 128 pairs, assuming 100% capture - which is of course not likely.

Many, many thanks are due to our hosts Gill and Roger, and to all the ringers, both Teifi-based and visitors, who have helped with this effort so far.  I might add that three dedicated ringers, Wendy and Alison from Teifi, and most recently Wayne from Gower Ringing Group have earned their own whoosh-netting licenses as a result of their involvement with with the projects here and at Mwnt.

Tuesday 29 August 2023

A Summer of Warblers and Petrels

Reed Warbler update..

Adult re-encounters on the Teifi Marshes have slowly increased towards the expected number of returning birds. 163 juveniles have been ringed so far this season. Migration is underway demonstrated by a juvenile Reed Warbler being re-encountered by Gower Ringing Group

Reed Warbler AAZ7527 Ringed Teifi Marshes, Ceredigion 11/07/2023

Re-encountered Oxwich Marsh, Swansea 06/08/2023 26 days 67km SSE Gower RG

Sedge Warbler passage through the Teifi Marshes is quieter than historically but different weather conditions play a big part. No easterlies in particular make a difference. 141 have been ringed since the beginning of July.

Details of a third French ringed bird

Sedge Warbler 9583589
Ringed Mars-Ouest, Loire Atlantique 06/08/2022
Re-encountered Teifi Marshes, Ceredigion 25/07/2023 353 days 592km NNW

Storm Petrel update..

At our two sites of Strumble Head and Mwnt, 68 Storm Petrels have been ringed this summer, 7 caught that had been ringed elsewhere, one ringed at Strumble was subsequently encountered on Skokholm Island and another Strumble bird was re-encountered on Bardsey Island 14 days later.

Setting up the net at Strumble Head

Ringing details of five of the controls were quickly received and we are still waiting for two ...

2775049 Lundy Island, Devon 17/07/2023 Strumble Head, Pembs 25/07/2023 8 days  101km NNW

2765698 Lundy Island, Devon 16/07/2023 Strumble Head, Pembs 26/07/2023 10 days 97km NNW

2765661 Lundy Island, Devon 13/07/2023 Strumble Head, Pembs 20/07/2023 7 days 95km NNW

2773183 Bardsey Island, Gwynedd 28/07/2022 Strumble Head, Pembs 18/07/2023 355 days 86km SSW

2739409 Strumble Head, Pembs 17/07/2023 Skokholm Island, Pembs 19/07/2023 2 days 40km SSW

2739445 Strumble Head, Pembs     16/07/2023     Bardsey Island, Gwynedd   09/08/2023 14 days 84km NNE

News received this month of a young Kingfisher that was ringed on the Teifi Marshes last year and found dead on the side of the lake 34km away this July

2022 was a good year for Kingfisher breeding on the Teifi Marshes with photographers on the reserve recording several juveniles together 

Juvenile Kingfishers - Stuart Hall

Kingfisher SA04942

Ringed Teifi Marshes, Ceredigion 07/06/2022

Found dead by a member of the public at Ciliau Aeron near Lampeter 20/07/2023 408 days 34km

Away from the Teifi, several TRG sites are very active including Ty Rhyg plantation, St Nicholas Common near Fishguard and various gardens including Wendy's garden CES which is nearly finished for the season. Updates on these over the coming months.

(Wendy J and Rich D)