Monday, 26 June 2017

Oxwich Marsh 17 June 2017: a good year for residents?

Saturday June 17 proved ideal for ringing, with very little wind across the marsh and fairly overcast skies.

We had anticipated a big catch, and were not disappointed with a tally of 185 birds of 22 species. The breakdown was as follows:

Species
Ringed
Recaptured
Total
Great Spotted Woodpecker
7
2
9
Wren
3
0
3
Dunnock
5
0
5
Robin
5
2
7
Blackbird
2
0
2
Cetti's Warbler
1
0
1
Grasshopper Warbler
0
1
1
Sedge Warbler
0
3
3
Reed Warbler
7
2
9
Whitethroat
2
1
3
Blackcap
6
0
6
Chiffchaff
9
1
10
Willow Warbler
4
1
5
Goldcrest
1
0
1
Blue Tit
24
1
25
Great Tit
29
4
33
Treecreeper
2
0
2
Chaffinch
11
2
13
Greenfinch
6
0
6
Goldfinch
9
3
12
Siskin
15
8
23
Reed Bunting
5
1
6
Total:
153
32
185

Highlights of the morning were:

  • Our first fledgling great spotted woodpeckers. We have captured 22 unique great spots to date in 2017 (including a large number of between-year retraps), which is only one less than the best year to date (23 in 2015). As most birds are captured in June and July, and we still have five weeks of the period remaining, it is safe to say 2017 is looking good for woodpeckers.
  • Our first juvenile Cetti's warbler of the year. This was the earliest record of a fledgling by ten days.
  • A female grasshopper warbler with a brood patch (code 4 i.e. going over) and carrying food. A good indication that the young got through the persistent heavy rain of the week before.
  • Our first fledged chiffchaffs (eight of the total of ten birds), along with an adult bird in wing moult. These are also the earliest fledgling chiffchaffs we have captured on the site to date.
  • Far better totals of young blue and great tits than have been typical of the past two years, along with small but steady numbers of dunnocks and robins.
  • Our first two fledged treecreepers of the year to date
  • Continued good numbers of (predominantly) young siskin
  • Our first day of multiple young reed buntings following an early fledgling on 3 June.

All the above indicates what appears to be a good breeding season for our local residents. Hopefully this will continue throughout the breeding season, and our long distance migrants will also have a successful year.

Thanks to all who made it along.

Owain Gabb
26/06/2017

The ringing team. L-R Heather Coats, Natasha Dodds, Sarah Davies, Emma Cole, Wayne Morris

A smart male reed bunting

Juvenile Treecreeper (Natasha Dodds)

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