Sunday, 17 July 2016

Oxwich Marsh 15-17 July 2016: a surge in reed warblers

A short session on Friday 15 July was curtailed by unforecasted persistent rain after an hour (53 birds were captured in this time), while a session on 17 July was more successful. There was fog over the higher ground, a light to moderate westerly wind, and the atmosphere was close.

The combined catch was as follows:

Species
New
Retrapped
Total
Great Spotted Woodpecker
0
2
2
Swallow
1
0
1
Wren
2
1
3
Dunnock
3
2
5
Robin
3
1
4
Blackbird
3
3
6
Cetti's Warbler
2
0
2
Sedge Warbler
3
1
4
Reed Warbler
33
13
46
Whitethroat
0
1
1
Blackcap
1
1
2
Chiffchaff
3
0
3
Willow Warbler
2
0
2
Blue Tit
0
4
4
Great Tit
7
22
29
Treecreeper
2
0
2
Chaffinch
12
3
15
Greenfinch
17
1
18
Goldfinch
45
21
66
Siskin
2
5
7
Reed Bunting
0
1
1
Total:
141
82
223

L: Adult reed warbler (plumage worn and scruffy looking). R: juvenile
We recorded a significant increase in reed warblers inc comparison with recent sessions, with thirty-three birds ringed and a mixture of adults from previous years and recently ringed juveniles recaptured. These are likely to be locally breeding / bred birds dispersing through the marsh following breeding and fledging respectively. The contrast in numbers with sedge warbler, which appears to breed at Oxwich in far lower numbers is marked. Adult willow warblers were also captured in very small numbers (in main moult) and a male whitethroat ringed as a breeding bird in 2015 was also trapped.

Swallow
We are at last starting to capture Cetti's warbler more regularly, with two juveniles trapped this morning (17 July), Blackcap numbers remain low, however, and there are very few fledgling blue tits.

More unusual captures included a swallow, assumedly hawking low over the marsh, and two treecreepers, one of which was a very recent fledgling.

Finches continue to come to the feeders in good numbers, particularly goldfinch. Numbers of greenfinches are increasing, chaffinches are decreasing and siskins are now far less in evidence than earlier in the season. There is no sign of a second brood of siskins at present; the first second brood juveniles were recorded on 23 July in 2015.

Thanks to those who have attended either/both of the two sessions: Heather Coats, Cedwyn Davies, Wayne Morris, Emma Cole, Val Wilson, Sammy-Jo Pengelly and Gareth Lang (who joined us from Goldcliffe RG).

Owain Gabb
17/07/2016

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