Saturday, 5 November 2011

Titchfield Haven Bird Ringing - End of Season Update

Well, after what has been a pretty eventful ringing season at Titchfield Haven, it is time to say farewell to the ringing area until next year, and so it appears to be an opportune moment to update the bird ringing totals for the site.....and what a year it has been!!! A total of 5186, new birds were captured, beating our previous total of 4849 from 2002. Our total included 40 different species, with five breaking the previous highest annual totals for the site. Regular readers of this blog will already know which species have had a record year, but just to refresh your memories, they are Grasshopper Warbler, with 950 new birds, which is 487 more than last year and 381 more than our previous best of 569....amazing!!

Grasshopper Warbler - Titchfield Haven 2011

Sedge Warblers reached the dizzy heights of 1436 new birds, 558 more than last year and 168 new Common Whitethroats were captured, 105 more than last year. We thought that Garden Warbler numbers had peaked at 83, but on 29th October we captured an extremely late bird bringing our final total for the year to 84 new birds. This bird was very pale in colouration and lacked the gingery underwing coverts typical of the species, so maybe an individual of the eastern race Sylvia borin woodwardi, or maybe an intergrade of that race and the nominate.

Garden Warbler - Titchfield Haven 2011

Chiffchaff numbers continued to grow with 857 new birds captured, 486 more than last year and 408 more than our previous best of 449. A sixth species, Yellow-browed Warbler, equalled the previous annual best with one new bird!!

Chiffchaff - Titchfield Haven 2011

But whilst some species were doing very well, others appeared to be struggling, Eurasian Reed Warbler numbers were low with only 439 new birds, and Willow Warbler numbers down to only 128. Only two Lesser Whitethroats were captured and Spotted Flycatcher and Whinchat  were conspicuous by their absence.

Redwing - Titchfield Haven 2011 (B. S. Duffin)

But whilst most of our summer visitors have headed south for the winter, other species are arriving. On 29th October, over 60 Redwing were present in the ringing area, but only one bird managed to find its way into out nets. A Short-eared Owl circling high over the ringing area caused a brief bit of excitement, before it drifted off high east and a Eurasian Woodcock dropped into the ringing area to roost at dawn.

And so it will be back down to Manor Farm for the winter, and undoubtedly nets full of House Sparrows and winter thrushes....I hope!! 


  1. Did your Garden Warbler have any hint of a pale collar and/or any moulted primaries?

  2. Hi Mark

    All of the primaries were of the same generation and juvenile and there was a hint of a pale grey collar but nothing very obvious. Why do you ask?

  3. Just wondering as I think eastern birds are more likely to moult some primaries as juveniles.


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