Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Oxwich Marsh late May 2018: a good end to the month

A couple of decent sessions (for late May) have resulted in a combined total of just short of 150 birds. This is one of our quietest times of the year, as many birds are on territory, spring passage is very hit and miss, and migrants rarely figure prominently in our totals as a result.

The combined tally was as follows:

Species Name
New
Recaptured
Total
Blackbird
2

2
Blackcap
1

1
Blue Tit
1
3
4
Bullfinch
2
2
4
Cetti's Warbler

1
1
Chaffinch
3

3
Dunnock
9
11
20
Goldfinch
4
4
8
Grasshopper Warbler

1
1
Great Spotted Woodpecker
1
9
10
Great Tit

4
4
Greenfinch
4
3
7
Reed Bunting
2
4
6
Reed Warbler
2
1
3
Robin

1
1
Sedge Warbler
3
5
8
Siskin
16
42
58
Song Thrush

1
1
Willow Warbler

2
2
Wren
2
2
4
Grand Total
52
96
148

The highlights were:
  • The first young blackbirds and chaffinches of the year.
  • Good captures of young siskins. We have captured 182 different siskins to date in 2018, including 34 juveniles.
  • A female grasshopper warbler with a brood patch score of three (engorged / thickened), indicating brooding (and therefore local breeding). The bird was initially trapped and ringed in April, so has been on site for approximately a month.
  • Various male and female great spotted woodpeckers all of which showed brood patches; good numbers of fledged dunnocks; and some between year captures of sedge warblers (including a bird ringed on the Newport Wetlands that has taken up residence on the marsh).
Thanks to Heather Coats, Keith Vaughton, Wayne Morris, Val Wilson, Stephen Vickers, Kirsty Franklin, Jo Conway, Alex McCubbin, Edward O'Connor, Richard Dann, Amy Schwartz, Lara Bates-Prior and Pippa Hardman for company and assistance over the two sessions.

19 May was the last session (at least in the short to medium term) for Kirsty Franklin and Stephen Vickers who are now moving on to spend time on Skomer, in Portugal and then to start PhDs in the University of East Anglia (UEA).  Particular thanks to them for their contributions and commitment to the group since July last year, and we wish them good luck for the future.

Owain Gabb
29/05/2018

One of our juvenile siskins



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