Just back from a 10 day trip to the Greek Island of Crete and a weekend break to Boscastle in Cornwall, so will have plenty to write about over the next few weeks,but thought I would start with an update of the bird ringing activities at Titchfield Haven. As I have already mentioned in a previous post, the wet and windy weather at the start of September ruined any chances of capturing 1000 Grasshopper Warblers for the year. Nonetheless, we pressed on and up to 30th September we had amassed the grand total of 950 new birds and one control (a bird ringed by another ringer)....a quite amazing record total for the year. The juvenile caught on 30th September may well prove to be the last of the year, since we have captured very small numbers in October previously.
|Our 950th Newly Ringed Grasshopper Warbler for 2011|
But whilst Grasshopper Warbler numbers declined, Blackcap and Chiffchaff numbers increased to the point where by the end of September we had captured nearly 500 new Blackcaps and just under 650 Chiffchaffs, the latter being another autumn record for the site. As with the Grasshopper Warblers the high numbers of birds is probably evidence of successful breeding seasons for these species.
|Juvenile Chiffchaff, Titchfield Haven|
Four additional species have also been added to the annual tally during the latter half of September, these were Green Woodpecker, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, House Martin and Goldcrest. All capture records related to single birds with the exception of Goldcrest, with nine new birds captured by the end of September.
Common Redstart numbers were also boosted with the capture of two new birds, and Common Whitethroat numbers reached the record number of 168 new birds by the end of September.