Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Mid-September Ringing Update

I wasn't intending to do another mid-September update as the weather last weekend didn't look that great and so I thought any ringing was unlikely. However, as it turned out the conditions on Sunday 13th were perfect. It was evident first thing that it was going to be a good day as the nets were 'dripping' with birds on the first round. We were so busy that Barry and I alternated extracting and ringing whilst Maggie patiently scribed. By the end of the session we had ringed 267 new birds and had two controls, one Chiffchaff and one Blackcap and our second Common Redstart of the year, which was a cracking male.

Of course having caught so many birds, it dramatically altered the totals for the year to year comparisons, so I thought I should update the blog to reflect this, and bring it in line with the September 14th date used in previous years. The story with Sedge Warbler is still down, and well down at that, with this years total 40% below our average for the time of year. By contrast, the Reed Warbler is having a fantastic year, and the total is 58% up on the average, and heading towards our highest ever annual total. 

Summary of Key Species Ringing Total up to 14th September
Summary of Key Species Ringing Total up to 14th September

Grasshopper Warbler numbers are still trickling along, but with the total now standing at 118 numbers are over 260% below average. Other species totals below average are Willow Warbler, at 7% down, Garden Warbler at 34% down and Whitethroat at 2% down. 

The winners, as well as Reed Warbler, are Chiffchaff at 38% above average and the real winners Blackcap with a total of 448 birds ringed so far. This total is 116% above the average for the time of year, and if the pattern continues could see Blackcap elevated to the most numerous species ringed this year. In total we have ringed 2472 birds of 29 species, to date.

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