CES3 at WWT Llanelli

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We thought we might have mixed fortunes with the weather this morning, the forecasters were all different so we really were not sure what to expect. Because we have other commitments with other CES and RAS in the week we decided to go for it. As it happened it was almost perfect, it was calm most of the morning, overcast until about 10.30 then the sun started to break out from behind the clouds.
The first three birds caught at 0630 were a re-trap Blue Tit and Robin and a new juvenile Blackbird.

The next round didn’t produce a bird which was worrying then on round three we caught a Lesser Whitethroat. It was last years bird, a male and had a CP so hopefully it bred successfully.  It was also a new ringing tick for me. The last Lesser Whitethroat to be caught were 2 x Juveniles on 27/06/2011 and an adult on 31/05/2010. So this was a very special bird for us today.

On CES 3 last year we had a flock of Long Tailed Tits fly into the nets. The same happened today, catching a flock of 11 birds with another 2 about an hour later

Both pictures show a juvenile next to an adult. The juvenile being the bird with the brown coloured head. The weights of the Juv’s varied from 7.2gms to 8.9gms less than out heaviest Wren today at 10.1gms. Such handsome birds.

The adult Blackcap was the only one we caught but there were many about singing in the trees. The Chiffchaffs were also singing away but they were not moving around.

Around the site there are pieces of roofing felt that have been placed to attract slow worms. Under one of these were two Common Shrews. They are one of Britain’s smallest mammals. They have a massive appetite and can eat there own body weight of insects and worms every day. Shrews and other small rodents are the staple diet of Owls.

It was a good day today and by the end of the session we caught 34 birds compared with 18 for CES last Year It was also the highest number of birds since CES 3 in 2012. We are hoping the increased numbers are as a result of all the tree coppicing and trimming done by WWT in the winter to reduce the height of the trees surrounding our nets.

                                 2014 New                          Retrap                 2013New                Retrap
Blue Tit                       4                                   1
Robin                          1                                   2                             2
Blackbird                    2
Blackcap                                                          1                                                                1
Songthrush                 1                                                                  1
Lesser Whitethroat     1
Long Tailed Tit          12                                   1                             8                                 3
Great Tit                     1
Wren                           2                                   1                                                                1
Dunnock                     3                                   1

Totals                        27                                    7                           11                                5

Thanks to Heather Coats for coming along today.

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