Sunday, 17 January 2016

Oxwich Marsh 16 January 2016: a couple of interesting controls

A change in the weather at last.  Saturday 16 January was still and relatively mild on the marsh, with temperatures not getting below four degrees Celsius.

A day total of 114 birds broke down as follows:

Species
Ringed
Recaptured
Total
Great Spotted Woodpecker
0
1
1
Wren
2
1
3
Dunnock
0
6
6
Robin
0
1
1
Blackbird
0
1
1
Chiffchaff
1
1
2
Goldcrest
0
1
1
Coal Tit
0
2
2
Blue Tit
3
30
33
Great Tit
1
12
13
Chaffinch
11
4
15
Greenfinch
4
3
7
Goldfinch
9
11
20
Siskin
3
2
5
Reed Bunting
2
2
4
Total:
36
78
114

First winter male siskin (Paul Aubrey)
The catch was re-trap dominated.  However, there were some good results for a mid-winter session, including the capture of two chiffchaff, a goldcrest initially ringed on the marsh during the influx of the species in October 2015 which has stuck around, a couple of reed buntings and five siskins.  The siskins included a local fledgling (now a first winter male) and an adult female that bred on the marsh in 2015: it was nice to see them back.
Chiffchaff (Paul Aubrey)

The most notable results, however, were two controls. The first was of a chiffchaff. The ideal scenario would be that this bird was ringed as a 3JJ (juvenile prior to post juvenile moult) or an an adult apparently on territory, as we would then have a good indication of where it bred to go along with where it is wintering. It will be very interesting to get the return data from the BTO. 




The second control was of a female greenfinch. This bird was ringed by the Gower Ringing Group, but at Crynant in the Neath Valley, approximately 30 km to the north-east.  More notable than this distance however, was that the bird was initially captured in September 2007 (as a juvenile).  Based on previous UK-wide annual ringing reports provided by the BTO, this bird is likely to be among the oldest greenfinches recaptured in the UK in 2016.

Thanks to Heather Coats, Paul Aubrey, Emma Cole, Val Wilson and Becky Philips for their company and assistance this morning.

Owain Gabb
17/01/2015

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