Saturday, 29 June 2013

A day of Puffins with colours on Skokholm

Puffins on Skokholm today....see the Skokholm Blog for details of our visit.
.........then to Midland Island for Shags !

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A Jersey first for CES...

CES 6 today and the star of 65 birds caught was a Sedge Warbler ringed in Jersey.
  This is the first time that the group have seen a bird with a Jersey ring.
It was in a net with a female Sedge Warbler with a brood patch so possibly breeding on the reserve. Although we catch a lot of migrant Sedge Warblers in Spring and Autumn, looking back at previous years, we only catch one or two in late June / early July.
Of the 39 birds ringed, 28 were juvs, notably the first Reed Warbler (1J) and  first juv Treecreeper. Robins seem to be having a good breeding season and today we ringed the 24th juv on the reserve this year (11 by this CES last year). This one had started its post-juvenile moult with its red breast feathers growing.

Some retraps of note include a Blackbird ringed on our first session on the reserve in August 2008 and a Bullfinch from 2009 that we see every year.
All of the data we collect is sent to the BTO. It will be interesting to see if our impression of a better breeding season than last holds true when the data for all of the 120 CES sites is analyzed . See CES news 2013 for the results from the 2012 season.

** CES is the BTO Constant Effort Site scheme - a national standardised ringing programme that has been running since 1983

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Ton up CES...... and lovely retraps

On Tuesday 18th we carried out CES 5. Wendy, Chris and I were joined by Tansy for her first CES with us and Alan from the Ceredigion Bird Group. Juvenile Blue Tits and Robins, both into double figures were the highlights of the 60 new birds caught...

Of the 40 recaptures the 10 Reed Warblers proved the most interesting !
X220186 was ringed as an adult on the 12th April 2009, and has been retrapped (a male) in every year since !
L250930 was ringed as an adult on the 1st August 2010 and has not been retrapped until this session, again a breeding male.
Y206205 was a juvenile in 2011, wasn't caught last year but has returned this year.

The last bird of the session was a nice adult male Chaffinch.
He was ringed when a juvenile male on the 15th August 2008, has been retrapped once in each Spring since until last year, when not caught...... We welcome him back..!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Gull - tastic ......on a sunny Caldey Island

A drive from our usual north coast ringing sites to the far south today - offshore on Caldey Island
Caldey home to a monastery with thirteen monks... and 11000 nesting seabirds !
Great weather for ringing gull chicks... with Herring Gulls the target today.
With c2360 pairs this is likely to be the third largest Herring Gull colony in UK.

In the first part of the colony with c180 pairs we easily located and ringed 150+ fairly well grown young.
Steve who has been ringing and monitoring seabirds on the island for 45 years suggested that this was a  very good year in terms of productivity.

We completed the ringing of 176 chicks at a second part of the colony, and after this very successful work we relaxed in the sun watching Grey Seals and the more distant but successful nesting Peregrines....

Many thanks for Steve Sutcliffe (Pembs RG) for the invitation, we look forward to next year - year 46 !!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

X769535 - A grand lady of our marsh

On Saturday Wendy and I were joined by Stuart from the Ceredigion Bird Group, this was a rain affected ringing demonstration but we did open one net to aid the discussion of mist-netting, ringing and the work of the BTO.
Saturday was the first time that we have trapped X769535 this year, with a brood patch score three.
Reed Warbler X769535 was first ringed on 10/05/2009, subsequently caught with a brood patch on the 12/07/2009.
 This female was ringed in our first year of CES and has the enviable record of being recorded in every year of CES, 15/05/2010, 01/05/2011,19/06/2011, 15/07/2012.
With a brood patch present in every year except 2010, when we probably didn't catch her whilst breeding.
She was was ringed as an adult in 2009, therefore her 5th year of breeding with us - at least !!
What a grand lady of our reed-bed !

Other weekend activities, another brood of Pied Flycatcher ringed in Pengelli.
  Broods also of Great Tit and House Sparrow, as well 3J juveniles in various gardens.

A walk at our coastal migrant site of Mwnt, produced views of ringed Meadow Pipit and Rock Pipit...our birds we guess.......but it would be nice to find out ... and perhaps we will shortly !!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Woodcock shot in Russia

Some interesting news from the BTO today.
An adult Woodcock ringed by us in January this year at our Boncath site on the lower slopes of Frenni Fawr was shot in Russia in April, 86 days later.
The location that it as shot was in the Kirishi are of  the Leningrad region, 2,430 km from West Wales.
Our Boncath birds aren't doing too well on migration - it was a bird from this farm that was taken by a predatory bird in Southern Norway last November!

Also, news of the ringing details of a a Siskin controlled in my garden this March. It was ringed as a 4 in Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway,  by the North Solway Ringing Group in March 2012. This will be a small piece in the jigsaw of Siskin movement as many ringers have reported catching controls this year.
The latest issue of  BTO news reports that garden use by Siskins peaked in the second week of April at just under 40% of Garden Birdwatch gardens, the second highest value reported in 15 years of Garden Bird Watch recording. Our unprecedented figure of 383 Siskins ringed by the group this year fits the pattern of increasing numbers noted across the gardens of Britain and Ireland.
Good news of breeding success of our local Siskins - Richard ringed a few juvenile Siskins in his garden last week.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Stormies to colour-ringing Chough

No CES this week-end, BUT variety was on offer !
Nightime ringing involved Karen going with Paddy to to radio tag Nightjars, whilst I was encouraged to try a very early Storm Petrel catch by Adrian and Steve. On this early date for non-breeders we considered one bird a success.

A bird with no wear, typical of a non breeding 2-4 year old. More on stormies as the season progresses....
Day-time ringing has involved a few sessions on the Preseli hills with Paddy in his Wheatear RAS  plot, slow going but colour-ringing for the long term study.

Time to venture south and meet up with Bob, Paul and Paddy to colour-ring Chough, part of an ongoing long term project, with an 18 year old adult male at one site !!

The first Pied Flycatcher pulli ringed this week-end. This year will be the first time that we will ring Pied Fly's at two nest box schemes in north Pembs.
Dawn and I re-trapped a couple of returning adult Reed Warblers on the marsh, one ringed as a juvenile in September 2010, nice to think she was from a late local brood rather than a migrant...

Back to CES this week-end and a visit from the Ceredigion Bird Group to see ringing in action.
(photos Adrian and Janet)

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Home to CES 4......and the Long Point finale..

CES 4.....17 new and 34 retraps.
Of  the new, only two juveniles both of which Robins ! We are not having an early breeding season here in West Wales. A nice Blackbird this morning....XC30930, a female which was ringed as a juvenile on the first day of the Teifi Ringing Group's activities on the 15th August 2008 !
This bird has not been seen since 2010, but breeding with us this year !
An adult male Greenfinch this morning too..originally ringed in Wendy's garden in Feb 2012...

Wendy has posted notes from Long Point Bird Obs. in Canada whilst I have been banding here is the final picture !
During my six week stay, we banded 7500+ birds at The Tip banding station. (they have three stations)
 I also spent 10 days banding at Breakwater.....15kms along the spit towards the mainland.
Variety is the real joy out here, with eleven visiting ringers from the UK each ringing approx 80-90 species during their stay.
For the complete picture see Bird Studies Canada LPBO
Some highlights since I returned from 10 days at Breakwater Banding Station.....
Yellow and Black-billed Cuckoos...
A hand caught (by Stu) Whip-poor-Will...
A real stunner of a warbler..
...the second of the two Yellow-throated Warblers which alongside three Cerulean Warblers, a Swainson's Warbler and this Worm-eating Warbler - all of which were banded....was more than a dream hat-trick !!!
The highlight for Mick Townsend of Stanford RG who made the 6 week visit too....and the past two years we have had together... was this fine Nelson's Sparrow...
The lasting experience for me was seeing this Yellow-breasted Chat staring at me from net nine at Breakwater.
This beauty outshone the Yellow-throated Vireo in the shelf above.... that being a very good bird too..
So back on the Teifi...with plans for Long Point Bird Obs Spring 2014 firmly in Mick and my plans.