Monday, 14 August 2017

CES 11 and group activities from marsh to moor

CES 11 was completed on Sunday with a very autumnal feeling start to the day. Thick mist, glistening cobwebs and many Blackberries ready. It felt a quiet day with just 51 birds (36 new) but on checking previous years it was in fact average, the average over 7 years being 48.
Species highlights were 8 Blackcaps, a Garden Warbler, Common Whitethroat and a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Only 7 Great Spotted Woodpeckers have been caught at CES and this was the first since 2013


With more woodland nearby, our other sites do better and the group have ringed 96 since 2009.

What has become apparent at our CES site this year is the large number of Blackbirds being caught. A total of 73 so far this year at CES with one session still to go, more than double any year previously. Historically the annual totals from 2009 on have been  34, 30, 28, 17, 17, 21, 25, with only 7 last year. We are wondering if others have noticed the same trend.

At the same time as CES, the group ran 3 other sites including Goodwick Moor where Karen had her highest total of birds since starting to ring there this year. 41 birds of 10 species including 4 juvenile Cetti's Warblers and 13 Sedge Warblers. We have recently been sent some historic ringing data from by Ian Spence when he used to ring there in the late 70's early 80's. It is going to be interesting to see the difference in species in over 30 years. Many thanks Ian.

Other ringing since the last blog has been mainly in the reed bed on the Teifi Marsh targeting migrant acros on their way South. One unusual species this week was a juvenile Moorhen, the first since this adult in 2011.


A Swallow roost one evening enabled a potential new trainee to experience the marsh at its best with the sun setting over Mallard pond as a couple of hundred Swallows fly low overhead before roosting.



Charlie Sargent has been ringing a wide variety of species on his moorland site, Fygyn Common, in Carmarthenshire. Trainees have gained experience of species that we struggle to catch on the Teifi Marsh like Tree Pipit and Willow Tit. A blog from Charlie soon about his activities.


Speedy news from the BTO of a control and recovery of birds only caught in the last week.
The first is an example of movement in Juvenile Reed and Sedge Warblers that we often see. Young birds head in a different direction to what might be expected before starting their migration south to wintering grounds.
Sedge Warbler X730320 was ringed in Dorset at Squires Down on 5th August 2017.  5 days and 200km later it was caught on the Teifi Marsh on 10th August.



Adult Sedge Warbler S160811 ringed by us on 30th April 2016 on the Teifi Marsh was caught at Oxwich Marsh by Gower Ringing Group on 13th August. 470 days 65km










Friday, 4 August 2017

Faithful to the Irish Sea - a stormie

We wrote on  the 12th July 2012...

Mwnt is now established as our migration ringing site for  Northern and "Greenland" Wheatears, but last night the target was Storm Petrels to start providing more information about the birds in this part of the Irish Sea. It would be interesting to establish if these are passage birds, or are they on feeding trips from their breeding colonies on the Pembrokeshire Islands.


Well, we are no further in answering the question...


Caught in the first month of Storm Petrel ringing at Mwnt one of our birds shows interesting movements around the Irish Sea. A likely faithfulness to this area of sea......and surely could be a breeding bird by 2017.



If a breeding bird on feeding trips, where is it from....
Here is an up to date summary provided by staff as appropriate to each "local" colony. (exc Eire)
The figures are for AOS - adults on site.

Pembrokeshire colonies;-
Skokholm 2000+  - the largest colony.
Skomer 220
Bishops and Clerks...163
Ramsey..12
Grassholm..12

Bardsey .....175 pairs
IOM ....20 pairs - ? (not from island staff)

We have captured 38 new Stormies this year, and with 2 retraps we hope to add to the picture..
Tracking of birds would assist, and we are aware of the difficulties in tracking Storm Petrels.