Saturday 23 March 2024

Early Spring arrivals....

Chiffchaffs were caught at a couple of sites from the 11th of March including three re-encounters from previous years. 
During last year we had only 6 similar re-encounters.

Now the earliest Willow Warblers ...

Two ringed on the 22nd, our previous earliest were ringed the 8th April, though we have heard a few before that date.

Earlier in the month a Firecrest was a surprise on the 7th, our first ever in March. 

Late news of a  Redwing    RY42097  ringed  on the Teifi Marshes, Pembs on the 13/10/2021
Shot  Soller, Mallorca, Spain 08/12/2022 421 days 1478km SSE

The nesting season for Dippers is well underway. Andrew has made some Dipper pipes this year for his Cwm Gwendraeth, Carmarthenshire sites and four out of six are already in use. At all of his sites, 7 nests have started, 2 with eggs and one where chicks have hatched.

Several of the bridges are on old industrial sites, now regenerating.

The number of Dipper boxes monitored by Alison in North Pembs have increased with both new sites and some taken over from Paddy Jenks.

Having visited myself earlier in the year, a few ringers with Kartong Bird Obs links recently spent a few days with friends involved with the West Oxfordshire Farmland Project.
The links below summarise our " farmland experience". A great weekend of learning and assisting with the WOFP work.

West Oxfordshire Farmland Bird Project tweet 16th March - shared experiences of farmland birds   

Corn Bunting

West Oxfordshire Farmland Bird Project tweet 19th March- A busy bird ringing survey on the Lambourn Downs


If interested, direct message them, Olly, Noah and Ian will be delighted to hear from you.
We will be returning and developing our relationship.

Reed Buntings...

We are continuing RAS (retrapping adults for survival) and colour-ringing of the Teifi Marshes Reed Buntings, ...
Many thanks to Chris for the meticulous preparation of another 120 combinations.

(Rich D and Wendy J)

Tuesday 12 March 2024

Upland waders to Ospreys

Details have been received of a Redwing with a Belgian ring caught in Wendy's garden near Cardigan on the 10th October 2023. 10X89020 was ringed on 14th November 2022 at Herentals, Antwerpen, Belgium.  330 days  658 km west.


Lamping mainly during the new moon periods has been good this winter. Both teams out using Thermal Imagers to survey and find birds.

Fieldfare - Brennig

Recent evenings surveying in the dark on our Frenni and Boncath sites. Frenni, 60 Golden Plovers, 12 Woodcock, 10 Fieldfare, 4 Snipe. The small groups of Woodcock rather than individuals spaced out on the hillsides indicative of migrating birds. 

On Boncath fields, our highest ever count of 26 Golden Plover and 8 Woodcock. A  Woodcock weighing just over 400g a sign of a migrant - most mid winter birds weigh nearer 300-320g. 

Whilst on the night of the 9th March - Arfon trapped his 250th Woodcock of the winter season. 

Woodcock - Arfon

No less remarkable, the 26 Jack Snipe trapped in his study area in North Carmarthenshire.. Also on one of Arfon's study farms, a retrap Jack Snipe that was ringed in the same location last March.

Jack Snipe - Brennig

Preparations are well under way for our nets around the late winter reed cut on the Teifi Marshes.....

We are on the last series of very high tides before White Wagtails, Hirundines and then the Sedge and Reed Warblers arrive. 

Currently, a few local or migrant Pied's roost every night, this retrap from August 2023 caught on the 5th March and interestingly our first ever re-encounter of a Pied Wagtail. Perhaps they are migrants....?

Retrap Pied Wagtail age 5

A few of the Group have just returned from Kartong Bird Observatory in The Gambia. A few surprises which may affect our ringing this Spring too. A very low number of Phylloscs, including a total absence of Chiffchaffs. Relatively high numbers of Common Whitethroat, Treecreepers and Woodchat Shrikes.

A couple of Ospreys caught and colour ringed too (caught in mist nets)

(Rich D and Wendy J)

Monday 29 January 2024

A Waxwing re encounter...

A Waxwing recovery...

Colour- ringed Waxwing - Jen Evans

A small number of Waxwings were seen daily on the Teifi Marshes from the 7th January, one of the seven on the 24th was seen to be colour ringed.  It was ringed by the Mid Wales Ringing Group near Treowen Leisure Centre in Newtown, Powys on 2nd January 2024. One of 25 ringed out of a flock of 67.  Thanks to Tony Cross for the ringing details.

An update from Tony about other movements of Waxwings ringed in Newtown...  Onward Waxwing movements

Arfon, out lamping with trainees, has captured and ringed the majority of the Group's Woodcock this winter. Several site faithful returning birds and this bird either a passage or a cold weather movement from usual wintering site.

Woodcock EM33240
Ringed Benington, Hertfordshire 09/01/2023
Re-encountered Glanwern, Carmarthenshire 06/01/2024 362 days 262km W

The Group has colour ringed local Chough pulli over several years for the The Cross and Stratford Welsh Chough project. 

A complete picture of the resightings has recently become available via DemOn. A total of 55 sightings of 6 of the colour ringed pulli.

Resighting locations of locally ringed Chough

Reed Buntings and management of the Teifi Marshes reed bed.

A colour-ringed Reed Bunting ringed in 2020, resighted 13 times

This week, the annual reed cut near Mallard hide was completed. As the sign in the photo below discusses, the removal of old reed, and the constant new growth does help the overall vigour of the reedbed. 

This is invaluable to our Reed Bunting RAS and colour ringing project. Before the reed grows, and at high tide the area is used by roosting Curlew and Snipe. 

By mid April this new reed cut should be alive with White Wagtails feeding prior to roost and the early Sedge and Reed Warblers singing.

The reed cut does mean we have to prepare new net rides, before the waterfowl start nesting. Rides to be ready for our migration monitoring starting with passage Sedge Warblers, our peak passage in the first week of May.


Alan Jones, a local thatcher and carpenter brings a small team and some specific equipment to come to cut and bundle the reeds for thatch. This video of Alan at work shows the technique .

How to harvest water reed for thatching

The AGM  was held at The Grosvenor Hotel in Cardigan on 25th January 2024. All business was successfully completed and plans were discussed for the coming year.

(Rich D and Wendy J)

Thursday 4 January 2024

2023 - some features of our year..

2023 was another year of progress for the Teifi Ringing Group.   Looking forward to the future, several new trainees have been welcomed into the Group.

Firstly we have chosen a Storm Petrel to feature. Our greater effort last summer, particularly at our original site of Strumble Head is producing some good results in controls, recoveries and numbers. This nicely complements our training and work at Mwnt.

A Strumble Head Storm Petrel

The table below is the Initial Year of Ringing Report for all TRG sites used in 2023. (not the number of re-encounters, but the number of individual birds)

A few key species are discussed in this post, put the species in the search box if you wish to look in more detail.

eg House Sparrow - this will link to posts from Andy discussing his RAS and colour ringing.

For controls and recoveries look at the tables listed in the side menu, or use the search box.


We have had some exciting colour ring sightings too, like this Norwegian marked Greenshank, ringed at Revtangen Ornithological Station on the 6th August and seen at The Webley in the Teifi estuary by Hannah and Liz 13 days later, 978km. Likewise with Brennig, a real passion to see and read colour rings.

Norwegian ringed Greenshank

The Group also has a long standing Reed Bunting colour ring project. Always great to receive some photos from regular and visiting photographers on the Reserve.  Reed Warblers are more difficult to observe, like Reed Buntings we have a long term RAS study, both studies have now been running for over 10 years.

Teifi Marshes, Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales

The Teifi Marshes is still our main site, with 2200 birds processed this year, many thanks to Nathan Walton, staff and volunteers of the WTSWW.

White Wagtails are another species that use the reserve reeds and waterside in large numbers on passage to Iceland - our 3rd recovery in Iceland in 2023..

The Group's 4th RAS study is the Linnet. Led by Chris, is whoosh net based and has provided trapping experience leading to endorsements for several ringers from the Group and elsewhere. The site is also a fantastic cliff top site in the Pembs Coast National Park, many thanks to Roger and Gill Lewis for offering the site and their continued support. 

Linnet - Chris Jones

Although we are based on the Teifi Marshes, various members of the Group operate a little further afield, if you scroll back through posts you will see some of these sites and activities mentioned..

If you would like any further information or want to see or join any activity please contact Wendy or myself... (contact email form on blog)

Details of movements  received this year

 2023 Recoveries and Controls

Bringing us up to date...

Lamping... the moon allowed some good surveying activity in early / mid December..

A view from the Thermal Imager...the white spot being the bird.

Woodcock bill measuring....

Jack Snipe, our least encountered and ringed hill top waders species

Looking at the ringing totals for  Wales and our local counties, Skylarks look like an opportunity for a study.  Few ringed, very few recovered and  we may have a chance to target this species on a couple of our nocturnal survey sites.

Recently notified recoveries

Reed Warbler APR3879
Ringed Teifi Marshes, Ceredigion 06/08/2022
Re-encountered St Ouens pond, Jersey 09/08/2023 368 days 362km SSE

Herring Gull  GC48145
Ring read in the field by Brennig
Ringed   Central Bristol 23/06/2009  originally colour ringed
Resighted  New Quay 28/12/2023 5301 days 149km NW

(Rich D and Wendy J)