Friday, 11 October 2013

Titchfield Haven - Early October 2013 Update

Well it is already early October and the ringing season at The Haven is slowly drawing to a close. But the season is not yet over and as I write this there are still blackcaps and chiffchaffs moving through in good numbers, yellow-browed warblers are now scattered around the county and a dusky warbler turned up this week. Other eastern vagrants are also present throughout the adjacent counties, but once again it is Shetland and Scilly that seem to be getting the bulk of the rare migrants. 

The weather had been set fair for a while now and this has undoubtedly boosted the ringing totals of some species at the Haven, but without question it appears to have been a good breeding season. As of the 5th October we have ringed 3882 new birds and retrapped/recovered 221, bringing the total number of birds handled to 4103 since the 10th July. This may not be a massive total for many, but for us this constitutes the fourth highest total in 40 years of ringing at the site.

By looking at the captures of the last four years of the usual nine species, the same trend has continued throughout the season. Sedge Warbler numbers are on a par with 2011, which was the record year and reed warbler numbers are the second highest ever. Willow warbler numbers picked up after a slow start, and are now above the 2011 total, but grasshopper warbler has only reached 314, the sixth highest total and still amazing when compared with national totals.

The garden warbler total is the third highest ever, whereas chiffchaff and blackcap currently are the fifth highest totals ever. The total of 122 whitethroats is the second highest total ever and only the third time the site has caught more than 100 birds. Cetti's warbler appears to have had a good breeding season with again the fifth highest total ever recorded.

The 4103 total has been made up of 36 different species with the most notable being the one wryneck, one tree pipit, five redstarts, six lesser whitethroats, one wood warbler and four spotted flycatchers. We have had news from the BTO of several recoveries and we have captured several controls, I will be posting some data shortly.

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