Monday, 11 January 2016

Oxwich Marsh early January 2016

So far there have only been two days in 2016 when ringing has been possible at Oxwich, 6 and 10 January. We have managed to get out on both of them. On 6 Jan the wind had swung to the north-west having been south-westerly for some time, and was very light, while on 10 Jan a light westerly wind with occasional showers allowed us to get a few hours in.

The numbers of birds have been fairly low, and the combined total is in the table below:

Species
New
Re-captured
Total
Wren
1
0
1
Dunnock
0
2
2
Robin
0
2
2
Goldcrest
1
1
2
Coal Tit
1
1
2
Blue Tit
1
28
29
Great Tit
1
3
4
Chaffinch
8
0
8
Greenfinch
1
3
4
Goldfinch
13
9
22
Siskin
1
0
1
Reed Bunting
2
0
2
Total:
30
49
79

Coal tit (Charlie Sargent)
Highlights have been few and far between.  A male siskin, a steady trickle of goldfinches and a couple of goldcrests, including a retrap from October 2015 (indicating the some of our autumn birds stay around). We seem to have ringed the vast majority of our blue tit population, with the only notable capture one bird mist netted for the first time since 2013, while getting coal tit for 2016 took only one session (the species was only captured in the final quarter of 2015).


Siskin (Charlie Sargent)
Virtually all of our captures have come from around the feeders, with the exception being the wren and one goldcrest.  Nets in the open marsh have proved to be unproductive, with no birds captured in four hours in a line of four forty foot nets through the reed bed on 6 January. It seems that in the mid-winter the reed buntings disappear, possibly to the North Gower saltmarshes or into farmland.

A near miss with a water rail, which flushed towards the nets on 10 January would have turned a quiet and predictable session into one that was a bit special!

Thanks to those who have made it along to one or more of the sessions: Keith Vaughton, Wayne Morris, Charlie Sargent, Emma Cole, Dan Rouse and Becky Phillips.

Owain Gabb
11/01/2015

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