Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Oxwich Marsh 16 September 2014

An excellent start to the day, with a mist over the marsh, no real breeze and overcast skies.  While the mist rapidly dispersed, the wind did not pick up for a few hours.
 
We had anticipated lower numbers of birds in the marsh today and put out a total of 760 feet of net to see if we could hoover up what was around.  As it turned out, the assessment that the catch would decrease was an incorrect one.  However, what was apparent was an increase in the proportion of 'resident' species, and a corresponding decrease in long distance migrants.

The catch was made up as follows:

Species New Re-trapped Total
Meadow Pipit 11 0 11
Wren 0 5 5
Dunnock 0 4 4
Robin 5 3 8
Stonechat 1 0 1
Blackbird 2 2 4
Song Thrush 1 0 1
Cetti's Warbler 2 1 3
Sedge Warbler 1 0 1
Reed Warbler 2 0 2
Whitethroat 1 0 1
Blackcap 8 1 9
Chiffchaff 9 0 9
Willow Warbler 1 0 1
Goldcrest 2 0 2
Long-tailed Tit 1 0 1
Marsh Tit 0 2 2
Blue Tit 7 10 17
Great Tit 1 1 2
Chaffinch 10 1 11
Greenfinch 4 2 6
Goldfinch 19 11 30
Bullfinch 0 1 1
Reed Bunting 4 1 5
Total: 92 45 137

The features of the catch were small numbers of lingering sub-Saharan migrants: whitethroat, sedge warbler, reed warbler and willow warbler.  We also re-trapped two juvenile marsh tits, a couple more Cetti's warblers, had a good run of meadow pipits in the NRW compound, a young male stonechat and a real rise in goldfinch numbers.  The latter were dominated by moulting juveniles, many of which still had a full grey head.
 
It was also nice to capture 4 more reed buntings, as this brings the number of reed buntings ringed at the site in 2014 to a nice round 100. 
 
The last whitethroat for 2014?
 
Many thanks to Heather Coats, Keith Vaughton and Cedwyn  Davies who I understand didn't get away until 14:00 today.  I had to leave for work by 08:30.
 
A picture of the stonechat (the third trapped at the site this year), taken by Cedwyn, is below.
 
Owain Gabb
16/09/2014

Stonechat

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