Saturday, 28 January 2017

Oxwich Marsh January 2017: a round-up

The weather in January has been hit and miss, and the forecast has often been inaccurate and subject to short-term change. Frustrating, but it becomes expected on a coastal site in the south-west of the UK.

We have only got two January sessions in, both this week. The results were as follows:

Species
Ringed
Recaptured
Total
Jack Snipe
1
0
1
Snipe
8
0
8
Great Spotted Woodpecker
0
4
4
Wren
0
2
2
Dunnock
0
4
4
Robin
0
3
3
Cetti's Warbler
0
1
1
Goldcrest
1
1
2
Coal Tit
1
0
1
Blue Tit
4
19
23
Great Tit
1
4
5
Chaffinch
6
2
8
Goldfinch
19
8
27
Reed Bunting
1
1
2
Total:
42
49
91

The main feature of the catch was eight snipe this morning.

The water levels in the trapping area were ideal: the ground had less than an inch of water among the rush tussocks. The snipe started dropping in about an hour before dawn, and all but one were captured between an hour and twenty minutes before dawn. A jack snipe was a bonus, the first of the year. 

Otherwise the results have not been particularly notable, which is not unusual for the marsh in January. A few birds initially ringed in 2013, including great and blue tits and a great spotted woodpecker have been captured, but there is not a lot going on in the open reedbed. There are finches starting to come into the feeders: the first siskins were heard for a little while this morning, and there are small flocks of goldfinches around.

We will finish the month well behind the 2016 tally of 267 birds, ahead of 2015 (66 birds), and in a similar position to 2014 (107 birds). 

Thanks to those who have made it out this month, particularly Heather Coats, Keith Vaughton, Wayne Morris, Paul Aubrey, Emma Cole, Val Wilson and Lynn Watts.

Owain Gabb
28/01/2017

The family party of four first winter and two adult mute swans remains on site (Keith Vaughton)

Four of the eight snipe captured this morning.

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