Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Titchfield Haven - End of October Ringing Update

With very few birds ringed at the Haven over the last couple of sessions it is probably time to move on to our winter sites. It is always difficult to close every thing down and move on, but when you catch a measly 10 birds in a session, the enthusiasm does tend to wain. Last Friday was obviously bolstered by the Firecrest and Redwing, but on Saturday there was nothing of note in the ten birds ringed.

Following on from my post of 22nd October, this post provides a further update of the autumns ringing. As expected we did not catch any more Grasshopper, Garden and Willow Warblers, nor did we catch any more Whitethroats; the totals from that post are therefore still correct. Since that last post over 200 more birds were ringed, a total that was well and truly boosted by good numbers of Reed Buntings. We have ringed a total of 4603 new birds of 42 species, with the totals for three species, Willow Warbler, Blackcap and Robin, reaching new highs. 

Ringing Totals for Selected Species from 1998 - 2014

The Sedge Warbler total was looking like that might end up being the highest at one point, but the number of birds tailed off quicker than expected. The total ended on 1225 which was the fifth highest total of all time. The graph below shows some interesting variations in the ringing totals over the last 17 years, but there is a very clear upward trend in the number of birds caught over that period.

Sedge Warbler Ringing Totals from 1998 - 2014 at Titchfield Haven

The Reed Warbler total of 693 was the second highest total ever, and once again there is a clear upward trend in the number of birds caught. The number of birds caught between 1998 and 2014 has not fluctuated as much as with Sedge Warbler, with the exception of 2002 and 2004. The last two years have produced the second and third highest ringing totals.

Ringing Totals for Reed Warbler from 1998 - 2014 at Titchfield Haven

There has been a very strong upward trend in the numbers of Blackcaps ringed at the Haven over the last 17 years, culminating in a record number for 2014. The total of 807 birds was a 14%, or 104 bird increase over the previous best of 703 in 2007. The BTO previously reported that good numbers were being recorded at ringing sites, it will be interesting to see what reasons are given for this.

Ringing Totals for Blackcap from 1998 - 2014 at Titchfield Haven

The Chiffchaff total was again a strong total, with the 611 ringed being the second highest total ever. The numbers of birds ringed over the 17 years have been fairly consistent with a slight peak in 2002, but strong peaks in 2011 and 2014. The upward trend for the Chiffchaff  is probably skewed by the massive 2011, and 2014 totals. There are still a few Chiffs passing through the site, but we have not caught any new birds for a couple of sessions.

Ringing Totals for Chiffchaff from 1998 - 2014 at Titchfield Haven

Other species totals of note are Robin, with a new high of 88, Cetti's Warbler with 61, Goldcrest with 43 and Reed Bunting with 63. Blackbird and Song Thrush numbers are down with only 23 and 8 new birds ringed, respectively.

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