"Our" Siskins are returning ....
Two Siskins in Wendy's garden today and reports of singles in other gardens in the north of the county marking the hopeful return of Siskins in numbers.
We ringed 243 Siskins in 2014, following 406 in 2013, making a total of 821 since 2009.
With 299 re-encounters too we have a good base to start...
Siskins leave us in July / August and appear not to return until January, so where do they go..
The map shows movements of some distance, with birds moving to Scotland and North Wales to breed. The Belgian ringed bird and the bird from Surrey, may be wintering with us or passing through. We have two main ringing sites for Siskins. The yellow lines on the map are
movements to / from Wendy's and the red lines are to / from mine.
We catch our largest number in February and March, which are presumably migrants or returning local breeding birds. We also have a smaller peak in June and July with a high proportion of juveniles presumably from a very local population, and as mentioned above, all these birds whether local breeders or post breeding passage birds disappear in July and August, to moult and migrate ?
Juvenile Siskin from last May..
A real fascination is the interchange between the two sites, Boncath and Llechryd, 6km apart. We have more than 20 birds that have moved between the two sites, mainly during the winter period but also during the summer including one 3J juvenile visiting both sites over two days in July. One female managed to find another member of the ringing group's garden - 7km away in St Dogmaels one day after being ringed last February !
Another nice control is of a breeding female in July 2013 ringed in Ty rhyg plantation being controlled at my Boncath site in July 2014.
My Boncath site has only been running for two years, and excluding the controls from Wendy's site 6 km away, during the two month period 31st May - 31st July 19 adults were recaptured from the previous year. These numbers do appear to be in line for the start of a nice Retrap Adult for Survival project on the Siskin in West Wales.