Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Oxwich Marsh mid August 2017: migrants, Hirundines and news of recoveries

A cold start to the morning of Sunday 13 August, with a light northerly airflow and open skies. We put a total of 840 feet of net though reed bed, rushy ground and broken scrub habitats, adding a further 60 foot net by one of the feeders as the catch started to decline mid-morning.

 The catch was as follows:

Species
Ringed
Recaptured
Total
Kingfisher
1
0
1
Great Spotted Woodpecker
1
0
1
Tree Pipit
2
0
2
Wren
3
5
8
Dunnock
2
1
3
Robin
3
2
5
Stonechat
1
0
1
Blackbird
2
0
2
Song Thrush
1
0
1
Cetti's Warbler
1
1
2
Grasshopper Warbler
1
0
1
Sedge Warbler
5
1
6
Reed Warbler
18
1
19
Whitethroat
3
0
3
Garden Warbler
2
0
2
Blackcap
1
1
2
Chiffchaff
2
1
3
Willow Warbler
12
0
12
Blue Tit
14
0
14
Great Tit
2
0
2
Chaffinch
1
0
1
Greenfinch
12
0
12
Goldfinch
1
0
1
Siskin
13
11
24
Reed Bunting
1
1
2
Total:
105
25
130

The highlights were:
  • A second juvenile kingfisher in a week. This bird was captured in nets set for pipits in an area of rushy ground.
  • Our 27th different great spotted woodpecker of the year. 
  • Two tree pipits. Both were drawn into a triangle of net set to capture pipits and set in open rushy ground.
  • Only the second stonechat of the year. A young bird in entirely juvenile plumage, and therefore likely to have come from a second or third brood.
  • A control sedge warbler (a bird ringed at another site) among a below average total of six individuals. Amazingly, the record was submitted to the BTO and the relevant information returned on the same day. It had been ringed at Teifi Marshes in April 2016.
  • A good day total of 19 reed warblers. These included a number of adult females with brood patches that were going over / re-feathering.
  • Two garden warblers. A very fresh juvenile and an adult. The adult showed bleaching to the tips of the primaries, outer tail feathers and alula, and a degree of wear to the wing feathers. None of these features were apparent in the juvenile bird.
  • A good day total of 24 siskins that included 13 new juveniles and a few adults in main moult. 
We have also heard back on a Spanish-ringed reed warbler we captured a couple of weeks ago. The ICONA MADRID bird was ringed at Meandro de Ranillas, Zaragoza in August 2016 (as a young bird), assumedly staging while migrating south.

An evening session, completed on 15 August and aimed at catching Hirundines resulted in the following totals:

Species
New
Recaptured
Total
Sand Martin
6
0
6
Swallow
108
3
111
Wren
0
1
1
Song Thrush
1
0
1
Cetti's Warbler
0
1
1
Reed Warbler
2
2
4
Willow Warbler
1
0
1
Reed Bunting
0
2
2
Total:
118
9
127

Of note were two recaptured swallows initially ringed at Oxwich in August 2015 and a control swallow (a young bird). We later found the control had been ringed just across the Bury Inlet at Pembrey CP by Paul Aubrey.

We normally capture pied/white wagtails at a roost site at the back of the marsh, but there was only one bird noted in flight during the session. The wagtail roost is likely to build in September based on the pattern of captures in 2016.

A brown long-eared bat and an oak eggar (moth) were also captured, extracted and released during the session.

Thanks to Heather Coats, Cedwyn Davies, Keith Vaughton, Paul Aubrey, Natasha Dodds, Sarah Davies, Jo Conway, Beth Dalton, Jez Smith, Kirsty Franklin and Stephen Vickers for company and assistance during one or both sessions.

Owain Gabb
16/08/2017

Stonechat juvenile (Natasha Dodds)
Tree pipit (Keith Vaughton)

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