Monday, 10 September 2012

The month so far

Well I am very tired. It is only the 9th of September (or was when I started this post) and I have been out ringing on 16 occasions this month. I haven't taken a day off work for any of them and have been burning the candle at both ends with ringing sessions morning and evening most days. The generally fine weather has helped but has been far from perfect on every occasion. The Swallow roost at Scotman's Flash has been the main focus and produced the most birds.

Although we have ringed a lot of birds this is largely due to effort; all our catches are still pointing to a very poor breeding season as a result of the poor summer weather. In general there are far fewer juveniles of all species being caught or observed. The findings at the Swallow roost have been no exception with adults forming a much larger proportion of the catch than is usual. Another effect of the weather seems to be that some species have had a more protracted breeding season, presumably due to earlier failures. A Goldcrest in full juvenile plumage (8th) being an example as well as being the first I have caught in juvenile plumage. Similarly the good number of Reed Warblers ringed (62 juveniles) at Scotman's Flash seems to indicate that later broods have fared better in this species.

Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) in juvenile plumage.
The highlight of a morning ringing session at Scotman's on Sunday (9th) was an unexpected Cetti's Warbler. The second ringed there this year and continuing the recent trend in sightings. In the evening a Hobby continued to target the Swallow roost there and could even be the bird that was ringed on 19th August. Same bird or not it continues what has been a good run of Hobby sightings for this site.

Cetti's Warbler (Cettia cetti)
September ringing totals to 9th stand at 864 birds of 22 species with the top 4 being:
Swallow 692, Reed Warbler 62, Goldcrest 26 and Chiffcaff 21.

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