Sunday, 8 May 2016

Oxwich Marsh 8 May 2016: the first fledgling

A light to moderate south-easterly breeze and a dry morning, following overnight rain. We put out just over 300 feet of net in reedbed (240 feet) and scrub.

The catch was as follows:

Species
New
Recaptured
Total
Wren
0
1
1
Dunnock
0
2
2
Robin
1
0
1
Cetti's Warbler
0
1
1
Sedge Warbler
3
2
5
Reed Warbler
4
2
6
Whitethroat
4
0
4
Willow Warbler
1
0
1
Blue Tit
1
2
3
Great Tit
0
4
4
Chaffinch
0
1
1
Greenfinch
2
0
2
Goldfinch
1
2
3
Siskin
7
7
14
Bullfinch
1
0
1
Reed Bunting
0
1
1
Total:
25
25
50

The highlights were the first Cetti's warbler (a male) and bullfinch (a female) of the year, both of which were well overdue, a steady trickle of whitethroats, reed and sedge warblers, and good numbers of siskin. The latter included our first fledgling of the year. This bird, which was beginning post juvenile moult was also carrying a reasonable amount of fat (score of three on the British Working Group system), but was not the fattest bird of the day. That honour went to a sedge warbler with a fat score of six (the tracheal pit was full and fat was overlying the breast muscles by several mm), which was assumedly staging at the marsh before moving on. All of the recaptured birds had been ringed on site.

A picture of the fledged siskin is below. It was a streaky-looking bird with brown colouration in some of the wing feathers. It showed a typical clean, unfeathered belly, with a few pin feathers coming though around the fringes. in 2014 the first fledged siskins were captured on 3 May, while in 2015 they were later (from 23 May onward).

Siskin (juv)
Thanks to this morning's team of Heather Coats, Val Wilson, Darren and Jacob Hicks.

Owain Gabb
08/05/2016

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