Thursday, 4 August 2011

Bird Ringing Throughout July 2011 at Titchfield Haven

Well here we are, the beginning of August already so I thought it would an ideal time to provide a summary of the months ringing at Titchfield Haven. In all we carried out 11 ringing sessions, with the first on 10th July through to the last on 31st July. A total of 884 new birds were ringed and the peak day was 30th July, when 145 birds were ringed, and numbers have been steadily building throughout the month for most species.

Grasshopper Warbler

Those regular followers of this blog will have already got wind of the most notable news during July, and that is the extraordinary number of Grasshopper Warblers moving through. We have always caught large numbers of this species at Titchfield Haven, with our peak being in 2009, when a massive 569 birds were captured. That year we had ringed 58 birds by the end of July, whereas this year we have ringed 267 new birds, by the end of July!!! The other interesting fact is that we have only captured one adult bird, which we are assuming means that this species has had a very good breeding season.

Cetti's Warbler
In stark contrast to Grasshopper Warblers, Reed Warbler numbers have been low, with only 109 new birds ringed, and Sedge warbler numbers have been decidedly average with 339 new birds ringed. The interesting fact about Sedge Warblers is that on some days nearly 50% of the birds captured have been adult, does this mean they have had a bad breeding season? Cetti's Warbler is one of our specialty species and we can easily catch over 100 new birds in a season, during July we only captured 7 new birds, perhaps another example of a bad breeding season.

Common Kingfisher

Blackcap, Garden Warbler and Whitethroat numbers started slowly, but by the end of July we had amassed 21, 11 and 25 respectively; totals of 37 Willow Warbler and 16 Chiffchaff were again decidedly average, although Willow Warbler numbers tend to peak in August and Chiffchaff in September. Three juvenile Common Kingfishers added a bit of colour to our ringing sessions, with one caught on the 15th and two on the 31st.  

Common Redstart

And the only real surprise was our first Common Redstart of the season, a species that we do not usually capture until August or even September.

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