Monday, 4 August 2014

The Latest Bird ringing update from Titchfield Haven - August 2014

We have been a little slow to get going with bird ringing at the Haven this autumn. This has been partly due to some of us taking a summer break, and also due to Barry being busy radio-tracking Eurasian Woodcocks. The season is now underway and to date we have run eight sessions, six in July and two this weekend. Early indications are that it has been a good breeding season for some species, the Sedge Warbler total currently stands at 326, whereas the Reed Warbler total is only 198. Grasshopper Warbler numbers have started slowly with only 75 ringed to date, but 95 Willow Warblers in eight sessions is indicative of a good breeding season.

Juvenile Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus

The majority of the Willow Warblers we have caught have been juveniles, including the bird below with slightly aberrant plumage. An adult bird was trapped during the last week of July, this bird was in primary moult and so will not be going very far until it has finished that.

Juvenile Willow Warbler with aberrant plumage (B S Duffin)

Cetti's Warblers and Chiffchaffs breed in good numbers at the Haven and to date we have trapped 22 and 29 respectively. Common Whitethroat numbers are trickling along with just 14 so far, but then we would expect the peak numbers to be ringed in September.

Juvenile Common Whitethroat 

The first Garden Warblers of the year were ringed on 31st July, and the total to date is just eight birds, and the Blackcap total stands at just nine.

Juvenile Garden Warbler

We have to open our nets pre-dawn in the hope of catching good numbers of Grasshopper Warblers and regularly catch bats as a result. I have plenty of experience extracting bats and so am usually the nominated person to get them out. This latest individual was a juvenile pipistrelle bat and it was badly tangled, but after being liberated it rested on me for a while before flying off.

Pipistrelle bat Pipistrellus species

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