Saturday, 8 October 2016

Oxwich Marsh 8 October 2016: nine Yellow-browed Warblers and two Firecrests

Almost perfect autumn ringing weather at Oxwich today: a very light easterly wind and overcast skies. Occasional light rain meant it was not a ten out of ten in terms of conditions, but it was pretty close. We put nets through the reedbed, in marginal scrub and in rushy pasture (the latter being a triangle of net for pipits).

The easterly air flow all week, and the reports of an influx of yellow-browed warblers made us think that catching one amongst a roving flock of tits and chiffchaffs, or in with goldcrests was a possibility.

We were not disappointed. The first yellow-browed warbler was captured within the first half hour. We then caught them regularly over the morning, with a maximum of three birds being extracted during a net round. A number of them were carrying a reasonable amount of fat (up to score of 5 using the British Working Group system). Calling yellow-browed warblers were relatively numerous around the edge of the marsh, and it had the feel of an east coast fall: finding yellow-browed warblers in South Wales in the autumn is usually a reasonable challenge.

Two firecrests late in the morning was a real bonus, as was a little run of stonechats and Cetti's warblers. A couple of the latter were carrying fat, which may suggest dispersal / immigration to the marsh. A garden warbler was a surprise: no other sub-Saharan migrants were noted.

The catch broke down as follows:

Species
Ringed
Recaptured
Total
Great Spotted Woodpecker
1
0
1
Meadow Pipit
8
0
8
Wren
3
7
10
Dunnock
0
2
2
Robin
4
2
6
Stonechat
3
0
3
Blackbird
2
1
3
Cetti's Warbler
4
0
4
Garden Warbler
1
0
1
Blackcap
1
0
1
Yellow-browed Warbler
9
0
9
Chiffchaff
15
0
15
Goldcrest
10
0
10
Firecrest
2
0
2
Long-tailed Tit
5
0
5
Blue Tit
7
3
10
Great Tit
2
0
2
Chaffinch
1
1
2
Greenfinch
4
2
6
Goldfinch
18
8
26
Reed Bunting
5
1
6
Total:
105
27
132

Thanks to Keith Vaughton, Cedwyn Davies, Wayne Morris, Emma Cole, Val Wilson and Sophie-lee Lane for company and assistance this morning.

Photos are below.

Owain Gabb
08/10/2016

Firecrest (Emma Cole)


Yellow-browed warbler (Emma Cole)

Firecrests (Keith Vaughton)

Yellow-browed warbler (Owain Gabb)

1 comment:

  1. Amazing and well earned results - a session you're unlikely to forget!

    ReplyDelete