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)