Friday, 7 August 2015

Bird Ringing at Titchfield Haven - Early August 2015 update

Despite my lack of posts on the subject the autumn bird ringing has been progressing steadily at Titchfield Haven, and when I say steadily I mean just that. Throughout July the numbers of birds ringed were low compared with last year, and the most noteworthy thing was that in that period we only caught one Grasshopper Warbler, by the end of July last year we had ringed 30. Last weekend things picked up a bit with 120 birds ringed on Saturday and 98 on Sunday, but today things really got going, with 181 birds ringed.

It was a busy session with just Barry and I ringing and Colin who was our scribe for the morning. Clear and still overnight conditions are the best for our site and it was evident by the first round that it would be a bit busy. As expected for this time of year Reed and Sedge Warblers made up a bulk of the catch with over 130 birds between them. Willow Warbler was the next most numerous with over 20 new birds ringed. 

Juvenile Willow Warbler

The numbers of Sylvia warblers is slowly starting to build and today we were surprised to catch 10 new Garden Warblers, including two adult birds, which are always nice for comparison. Common Whitethroats and Blackcaps, were also ringed but in much smaller numbers.

Juvenile Garden Warbler 

The other species included our second Grasshopper Warbler of the year, Chiffchaff, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Blackbird, Robin, Cetti's Warbler and a juvenile Reed Bunting. This year Bullfinch numbers have been at an all time high, but that is because they have bred in our ringing area for the first time this year.

Juvenile Reed Bunting

One of our net rides is set over a purpose built boardwalk that leads down the the river Meon. At this time of year it is one of our busiest rides since it cuts down through an area of Phragmites reed bed. The end of the ride is a great place to stand and get a view of the river, especially when mud is exposed. 

The jetty net ride

This morning it was evident that we had had an overnight visitor as there were two very fresh Otter spraints and the end of the jetty was still wet where it had hauled out of the river. Despite being on the site at very unsociable hours of a regular basis, I have not yet seen an otter here, hopefully I won't have to wait much longer.

Fresh Otter Spraint

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