Typically at this time of the year the frequency of suitable ringing days declines, as does the number of birds that we catch. This year hasn't quote worked like that, in that the weather has been generally set fair, and just as we thought the number of birds was declining, we suddenly have a good day. Since my last post we have ringed on seven occasions with the totals varying from 25 on 16th to 95 on 20th.
In contrast to earlier in the year, Chiffchaff has become the commonest species, with Blackcap and Goldcrest making up the supporting cast. Blackcap numbers are now well and truly at a record level with 964 birds ringed, Chiffchaff numbers stand at 500. A catch of 27 Goldcrests on 20th October has taken the total to 76 for the year; a very respectable total for us but not unexpected given the numbers recorded on the east coast.
Again, not unexpectedly two Firecrests have also been trapped, a species that we never get bored with ringing.
We have not caught any more Sedge, Willow, Grasshopper or Garden Warblers, but have added the occasional Whitethroat and Reed Warbler. There is always a tinge of excitement when we find a Reed Warbler at this time of year, but as yet they have all been just reeds. A comparison of key species up to 26th October from 2010 - 2014 and up to 22nd October for 2015 is below.
With the key species now tailing off, others have started to increase. We have been regularly catching new Robins and our total now stands at 78, 17 Bearded Tits, 18 Lesser Redpolls, a record for the site, 14 Reed Buntings and seven Song Thrush. Ten Kingfishers is a very good total for the site.
To date the total number of new birds ringed since July stands at 3778 of 37 species.