|The calm and overcast conditions were perfect for mist-netting. Looking in this direction on a clear day I can normally see the major landmarks of Liverpool and the Welsh mountains beyond.|
|Adult Willow Warbler|
|Willow Warblers: juvenile left and and adult right. The juvenile shows the typical lemon yellow washed underparts whereas the adult is much whiter although this adult has more extensive white underparts than many.|
The prospects for this breeding season had looked quite good at one stage with with migrants, like Willow Warblers, arriving quite early and in good numbers. There is no doubt the weather over the spring and summer has been mixed but it generally seemed to be more favourable for breeding birds than the last couple of years and certainly no worse. To find that Willow Warbler productivity appears to be so low this year is totally unexpected and hard to explain. It will be interesting to see the results of CES and other BTO surveys when they come out later in the year to see how they compare.
Willow Warblers have shown marked differences in regional trends in recent years with the species showing large declines in the south and holding their own or doing better further north. Next month should see a lot of migrant Willow Warblers move through the site and their numbers may give an indication as to how the species has fared in more northerly areas of England and Scotland. Lets hope they have done better further north.
The final capture total of 40 birds (33 new and 7 retraps) was less than expected and continues to suggest that quite a few species have had a poor breeding season locally. Ringing totals for 25/07/2016 (retraps in brackets) were: Goldcrest 2; Blue Tit 5; Great Tit 1; Willow Tit (1); Chichchaff 5 (1); Willow Warbler 12 (5); Blackcap 2; Wren 1; Robin 1; Chaffinch 1; Bullfinch 1; Goldfinch 1; Reed Bunting 1.