Bird Ringing Blog -July

Posted July 28, 2015 by Senga Grave

Bird Ringing Report – July

We have ringed on four occasions during July and have captured 155 birds of 24 species.  Of this total 22 were birds ringed on previous visits, or re-traps as they are termed.

Willow Warblers -As usual top the list at 37 of which 8 were previously ringed. This includes one colour ringed bird, which was four years old. The colour ringing showed that males in particular returned to the same territory if they made it back and some did this three or four times. Willow Warblers are quite sensitive to habitat change and as our plantations woodland has grown they have moved out to the fringes. A study by Hannah Stostad for her Lancaster University course in 2013 showed how woodland structure influenced their nest site selection.

Long-tailed Tit – On a recent visit I caught two parties of, in total 24 birds making this second on the captures table.

Blue Tit was our third most numerous at 13 birds.

Great Tit numbers at 7 is relatively low and of this total 5 were re-traps. We are not catching many juveniles, which given the level of nest box predation, 6 broods, and that most of the broods were smaller and later than usual is not unexpected.

On our latest visit on Saturday 24th

Reed Warbler – We caught our first juvenile and have already captured one of last year’s young birds, which turned out to be a male.

Sedge Warbler numbers so far are relatively low as are Blackcap and Garden Warbler

Whitethroats – we caught 4 young.

Reed Bunting – Fourth on the totals list at 8 was of which 2 were re-traps.

Swallows – We have ringed three broods of but only the pair in the N Lagoon hut had a full brood of five. The pair on the end of the main building reared two, which have just fledged and the pair in the Sand Martin building for some reason lost one nest, built a new nest and have just two chicks.

Tree Sparrow -As usual I have been ringing Tree Sparrow nestlings but have mistimed a number of visits and have only ringed two broods. There is only a window of about 5 days when they can be ringed. After a slow and erratic start some pairs are now laying their third attempts. Last year we had ringed many more birds but cannot really make a comparison because fewer visits and fewer ringers have been available, furthermore I have used fewer nets to keep catches manageable.

(See, Wildlife,Birds “Bird Ringing” for detailed breakdown)

It is a late season and it may be well into August before we can do any comparison with last year.

Visitors are welcome to drop in to watch us process birds, I use three main locations The Wetlands Hide, The John Muir Hut and the Ringing Hut on the north perimeter track. I try to keep staff and volunteers at the centre informed of ringing activity.

Frank Mawby

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