Sunday, 15 September 2013

Titchfield Haven Bird Ringing - Mid September 2013 Update

It is now mid way through September and the ringing season is progressing well. We have tried to maintain our usual level of effort, but on occasion it has not been possible to open all the nets due to a lack of man power. Nonetheless the sample of birds caught has followed the trend set earlier in the season. Sedge warbler numbers are still very high, and almost equal to the number of birds caught in 2011, which was our record year for that species. Reed warblers also seem to have had a good year, with the total at 551, the third highest total ever and only 26 birds behind the second highest. Grasshopper warblers numbers continue to built; the total of 293 to date, seems low but it is still already the sixth highest total for this species.

Summary of Ringing Totals 2010 - 2013

Willow warbler numbers have improved after a slow start, which is perhaps an indication of a late breeding season. The number of birds ringed is on a par with those of 2011 and is up on last year which is good to see. Garden warbler numbers are also good this year and are up to the level of 2010, but not those of 2011. Whitethroat numbers have reached more than 100, which is only the fourth time since 1973.

Tabular Summary of Ringing Totals 2010 - 2013

Chiffchaff numbers remain quite low, but again this may be and indication of a late breeding season, similarly this may be the case with blackcap. Cetti's warbler numbers have been very good and indicate a good breeding season in the ringing area.

Wryneck Jynx torquilla (Barry Duffin)

As well as the more common species it has also been a good year for a few of the rarer ones. A wryneck trapped 7th September was only the 3rd ringed on the reserve, the others being in 21st September 2003 and 15th September 1974. Four spotted flycatchers have been ringed this year, this equals the most ringed in a season and six lesser whitethroats in a season is the highest since 2008.

Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis (Barry Duffin)

A single tree pipit was only the ninth trapped at the reserve. I have previously posted pictures on this blog of leucistic birds since they can often look quite stunning. The barn swallow below, was trapped on 21st August. This is the second leucistic swallow I have seen in recent years, it would be interesting to know what colour the plumage is as this bird moults to its adult plumage.

Leucistic Juvenile Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica (Barry Duffin)

So far this year a total of 2973 new birds have been ringed of 31 species, 178 birds have been retrapped including 24 controls. The controls come from three species sedge and reed warbler and blackcap, three have been foreign controls.

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