Whilst I was galavanting around Fair Isle and Shetland, Barry and Duncan continued with the ringing sessions at the Haven, no doubt hoping to grip me off with a goody! They ringed on seven dates and had three days when they caught over 100 new birds, 116 on 17th September, 187 on 19th and 143 on 26th, otherwise the totals were below average. New species for the year included Lesser Redpoll, Firecrest and Spotted Flycatcher.
My first session since, returning was 3rd October and we started with a haul of 202 birds, the next saw a total of 104, so still plenty of birds moving. As expected the Blackcap total continued to build and as of today it stands at a massive 885 new birds, beating the previous annual total by 79 birds, and well on the way to the 1000 target. On the flip side of that the Grasshopper Warbler total never recovered and now stands at a paltry 135 birds ringed. This is the lowest total for this species since 2003.
At one point we thought we were heading towards a record Reed Warbler total, but towards the end of September the numbers petered out and currently stands at 716. This is the highest total for the last six years and is only 62 birds short of the record; clearly a good year for this species. The Sedge Warbler total also remained low at 799, as did Garden Warbler at 44. The Willow Warbler total was good, although not as good as last year, and Whitethroat numbers have peaked at 112. Chiffchaff and Cetti's Warbler numbers remain quite high and assuming the weather holds we still have plenty of time to catch more.
The session of 2nd October as well as being very busy was also one of our public events. The visitors were very patient as we worked our way through the 106 Blackcaps and 64 Chiffs, and were rewarded with the capture of two Bearded Tits. Although Bearded Tits breed on the site, we rarely catch them in our ringing area since we outside of the main reed bed, these two birds were therefore greatly appreciated by all.
|A Pair of Bearded Tits - Titchfield Haven|
|Visitors enjoying a Bearded Tit photoshoot (Photo Simon Ingram)|
The last two sessions have also seen 25 new Goldcrests ringed bringing the total for the year so far to 36 and two new Robins bringing that total to 59. Having seen record numbers of Yellow-browed Warblers on Fair Isle it hopefully won't be too long before we catch another one down on the south coast.