Sunday, 7 June 2015

Oxwich Marsh 7 June 2015: Consecutive centuries

A fine bright morning which rapidly became warm and sunny.  The lack of significant breeze was a positive, in that the nets were fairly still for much of the time, but the brightness made them more visible.

Despite the fact that the weather was not absolutely ideal, we managed a good catch, passing 100 birds for the second week running.  The total of 131 birds was made up as follows:

Species New Re-trapped     Total
Great Spotted Woodpecker 4 1 5
Wren 0 2 2
Dunnock 3 2 5
Robin 2 1 3
Blackbird 0 2 2
Song Thrush 2 0 2
Cetti's Warbler 0 2 2
Reed Warbler 1 1 2
Whitethroat 0 1 1
Blackcap 1 0 1
Willow Warbler 1 0 1
Blue Tit 9 2 11
Great Tit 8 2 10
Chaffinch 15 4 19
Greenfinch 4 3 7
Goldfinch 39 15 54
Siskin 1 0 1
Reed Bunting 1 2 3
Total: 91 40 131

The highlights were four new great spotted woodpeckers, including a couple of juveniles, two juvenile song thrush (as we don't always capture this species at the site until the autumn), our first willow warbler for a little while, the first fledgling blue and great tits of the year and a control reed warbler (a bird ringed elsewhere and recaptured on the marsh).  Breaking a half century of goldfinches in the session was also excellent.

The catch was swelled by numerous juvenile birds

We periodically look at how we are doing against 2014.  Following wet and windy weather in April and May, which resulted in our falling behind last year's pace, a couple of good sessions in early June have now seen us move slightly ahead again.  The table below is of unique birds between 1 January and 7 June inclusive in the respective years.

Species 2015 2014
Jack Snipe 1 0
Snipe 2 0
Kingfisher 0 2
Green Woodpecker 1 0
Great Spotted Woodpecker 11 4
Swallow 1 1
Wren 18 14
Dunnock 22 18
Robin 23 18
Stonechat 0 2
Blackbird 9 5
Song Thrush 6 0
Mistle Thrush 1 0
Cetti's Warbler 7 5
Grasshopper Warbler 2 1
Sedge Warbler 8 7
Reed Warbler 9 11
Whitethroat 3 1
Blackcap 17 12
Wood warbler 0 1
Chiffchaff 7 8
Willow Warbler 3 11
Goldcrest 6 3
Long-tailed Tit 11 0
Coal tit 0 2
Blue Tit 141 127
Great Tit 61 43
Treecreeper 2 0
Magpie 1 1
Chaffinch 122 58
Greenfinch 118 175
Goldfinch 232 191
Siskin 29 60
Lesser Redpoll 1 0
Bullfinch 8 4
Reed Bunting 37 83
Total 920 868

As can be seen from the table, the diversity of species trapped in 2015 is well up on this time in 2014, which is testimony to the fact that we have tried ringing in various different locations around the marsh, and sampled different habitats.  The only species we have captured significantly less of in 2015 than we had by this time in 2014 are greenfinch and reed bunting.  It may be that numbers of both species have been affected by the lack of ground baiting this year.  However, the presence of pheasants around the feeders has necessitated this.

Many thanks to today's team of Wayne Morris, Darren Hicks, Heather Coats, Dan Rouse, Charlie Sargent and Dai Stacey for company and assistance this morning.

A couple of photos below.

Owain Gabb
07/06/2015

A very attractive bald female great tit.  The baldness may be due to abrasion due to coming in and out of a nest hole, feather mites or a bit of both.  The bird will look a lot healthier after its forthcoming moult.

A recently fledged blue tit.  Our first of the year.

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