Saturday, 13 September 2014

Oxwich Marsh 13 September: a Changing of the Guard

It was still, cloudy and warm at dawn, which was ideal for ringing.  A south-easterly wind rapidly picked up, however, and we were forced to take down a number of nets by 10:00.
Despite this, the catch was very good, but had a definite late autumnal feel.  Sub-Saharan migrants were virtually absent from the catch, with only 1 reed warbler and 2 sedge warblers captured, no tree pipit were recorded overhead, and the number of finches, thrushes, goldcrests and meadow pipits all increased.

Species New Recaptured Total
Meadow Pipit 7 0 7
Wren 1 0 1
Robin 4 2 6
Blackbird 3 3 6
Song Thrush 1 0 1
Cetti's Warbler 1 0 1
Sedge Warbler 2 0 2
Reed Warbler 1 0 1
Blackcap 18 2 20
Chiffchaff 7 1 8
Goldcrest 3 0 3
Blue Tit 5 8 13
Great Tit 1 4 5
Chaffinch 4 1 5
Greenfinch 9 2 11
Goldfinch 10 3 13
Total: 77 26 103
 
 
The highlights of the catch were another good day for blackcaps and (to a lesser extent) chiffchaffs, what may prove to be the last migrant reedbed warblers until spring 2015, and another Cetti's warbler.  The blackcaps were almost all carrying considerable fat (scores of 4 or 5), and a number weighed in excess of 20g.
 
 
The 77 newly ringed birds took us to the brink of 2500 for the year at the site.  The breakdown is as follows:
 
Species New Recaptured Total
Sparrowhawk 2 2 4
Woodpigeon 1 0 1
Kingfisher 5 1 6
Great Spotted Woodpecker 9 25 34
Sand Martin 14 0 14
Swallow 382 0 382
House Martin 1 0 1
Tree Pipit 13 0 13
Meadow Pipit 14 0 14
Wren 46 29 75
Dunnock 39 50 89
Robin 69 42 111
Stonechat 2 0 2
Blackbird 20 15 35
Song Thrush 3 0 3
Cetti's Warbler 18 8 26
Grasshopper Warbler 5 0 5
Sedge Warbler 114 10 124
Reed Warbler 139 23 162
Lesser Whitethroat 2 0 2
Whitethroat 40 4 44
Garden Warbler 21 1 22
Blackcap 267 14 281
Wood Warbler 1 0 1
Chiffchaff 57 6 63
Willow Warbler 91 7 98
Goldcrest 8 1 9
Long-tailed Tit 9 1 10
Marsh Tit 2 2 4
Coal Tit 3 0 3
Blue Tit 206 206 412
Great Tit 90 134 224
Treecreeper 1 0 1
Magpie 1 0 1
Starling 2 0 2
Chaffinch 109 31 140
Greenfinch 277 66 343
Goldfinch 248 59 307
Siskin 60 55 115
Bullfinch 12 9 21
Reed Bunting 96 65 161
Total: 2499 866 3365
The last sedge warbler of the year?
In addition to the ringing, we also managed to cut a couple of extra rides in preparation for migrants becoming thinner on the ground.  We will target chiffchaffs and goldcrests over the next few weeks, and these new rides are through willow and alder carr, and comprise an extension to the 'fen meadow' line.
 
 
Thanks to Charlie Sargent for another loan of his brushcutter.
 
 
Thanks also to all who came along this morning for their company and assistance: Wayne Morris, Keith Vaughton, Cedwyn Davies, Charlie Sargent and Gail Cobbold, who also acted as scribe.
Owain Gabb
13/09/2014 

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