Monday, 11 August 2014

Titchfield Haven, Bird Ringing Update - August 2014

I have previously mentioned the slow start to the ringing season for us, but despite this the fine weather over the last month had helped us get back on track, and then came what was left of hurricane Bertha. This didn't stop our ringing activities on Saturday (9th) but Sunday (10th) was a complete washout. Despite this slight setback we have to date (up to 9th August) ringed 1233 birds of 29 species. As with previous years I have put together a summary of the nine most common warbler species that we catch at the site, and drawn comparisons with the last four years.

Summary of the Nine most Common Warbler Species ringed at Titchfield Haven

As can be seen from the data Sedge Warbler is again the most common species with 555 new birds ringed, followed by Reed Warbler with 260. Both species are on a par with the numbers ringed in 2010, and so maybe this year is not going to prove to be a spectacular year like 2011. Willow Warbler numbers are the highest of the five years, but only just, which is a promising sign. Grasshopper Warbler numbers are below average with only 103 ringed to date. Cetti's Warbler once again appears to have had a good breeding season with the second highest total of the last five years and Chiffchaff numbers appear to be consistent with previous years. Blackcap and Whitethroat numbers are low at present, but these species traditionally are slow starters with the peak numbers coming through in September.

Summary of Nine most Common Warbler Species

Of course there are always the odd surprises when ringing at the Haven and I have already posted about the Cuckoo, which was a real treat for us all. Other highlights have included a Woodcock, again a first for the site, three Kingfishers and a Bearded Tit. The Cuckoo will be probably end up being the best bird of the year, but it will undoubtedly be backed up by a Wood Warbler. We have only ever ringed a handful of Wood warblers at the site and those have mainly been captured in July; the individual below was captured during the first week of August.

Wood Warbler - Titchfield Haven (Barry Duffin)

Wood Warblers are a large a distinctive Phylloscopus warbler with bright green upper parts that contrast strongly with the pure white underparts. The under tail coverts are also pure white and the throat and upper breast is bright yellow, all in all a striking bird.

Wood Warbler (left) Willow Warbler (right)
Wood Warbler (left) Willow Warbler (right)

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