Sunday, 1 March 2015

Oxwich Marsh: 28 February 2015

Another quiet session at the marsh.  The wind, a moderate south-westerly, probably didn't help, but the scrub nets were fairly sheltered anyway.  Thankfully the forecasted light rain showers held off.
 
In total we trapped just short of 30 birds.  A breakdown is as follows:
 
Species New Re-trapped Total
Robin 1 0 1
Song Thrush 1 0 1
Blue Tit 2 3 5
Great Tit 1 1 2
Greenfinch 5 0 5
Goldfinch 7 5 12
Bullfinch 1 0 1
Reed Bunting 0 2 2
Total: 18 11 29
 
The only birds of any note were a song thrush - presumably the same bird that had been singing exuberantly close to the nets first thing - and a second calendar year male bullfinch.  Second year male bullfinches are among the easiest of birds to age, as they typically retain at least one greater covert following their post juvenile moult.  This tends to contrast clearly with replaced feathers.  Both species are regularly trapped on the marsh (particularly bullfinch) in late summer and autumn, with most comprising juveniles. 
 
A picture of the song thrush is below.
 
Song thrush
Overall the year to date continues to be better than 2014, both in terms of species and numbers.  February totals are presented in the table below.
 
Species New Re-trapped Total
Green Woodpecker 1 0 1
Wren 0 1 1
Dunnock 2 5 7
Robin 2 6 8
Blackbird 0 2 2
Song Thrush 1 0 1
Goldcrest 3 0 3
Long-tailed Tit 0 9 9
Blue Tit 16 30 46
Great Tit 4 10 14
Chaffinch 19 4 23
Greenfinch 26 4 30
Goldfinch 39 18 57
Lesser Redpoll 1 0 1
Bullfinch 1 0 1
Reed Bunting 6 6 12
Total: 121 95 216
 
The goldfinch flock on the marsh has now built to in excess of 60 birds.  Greenfinches are also increasingly common, but there is no sign of a siskin flock to date.  It is very much hoped that both siskin and redpoll now start to come into the feeders, and the former repeat their successful breeding of 2014.

Thanks to Heather Coats, Charlie Sargent, Wayne Morris, Darren Hicks and Lyndon Jeffrey for company and assistance yesterday.

March and increasing catches can't come quickly enough!

Owain Gabb
01/03/2015

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