Late May 2021 at Oxwich Marsh, a Gower Society Grant and CES Continues

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Oxwich Marsh

Warm weather at last! A relatively still and slightly overcast early morning gave way to open skies at Oxwich on 29 May. A light north-easterly wind then gradually picked up, but the conditions remained excellent for a few hours. We put out net in the reed bed, scrub and at the feeder, with only the latter delivering birds in any number.

The day total broke down as follows:

The highlights were:

  • A reed warbler initially ringed at Richard Dann’s Southgate garden on 7 May and recaptured on the marsh. This was nice as it is the only reed warbler that Richard has captured in his garden to date. Oxwich is approximately 4.7 km (3 miles) west of where the bird was ringed.
  • A respectable day total of 46 siskin that included a control bird. We have now ringed 95 at Oxwich in 2021, and await details of where the control bird was ringed with interest.
  • Our first fledgling dunnocks and goldfinches.
  • Some returning reed and sedge warblers (albeit none were more than a couple of years old)

A bit of aerial sparring involving a buzzard, red kite and sparrowhawk was an interesting sideshow on what was a slow and steady morning.

Gower Society Grant

We are delighted to report we have received a grant from the Gower Society for a seventh consecutive year. This will largely cover the cost of rings and seed for the feeding station at Oxwich in 2021. We are hugely grateful to the support of the Society – as Oxwich not only returns very valuable data, but is also a critically important site for training new ringers.

CES Visit 2

Despite continued unsettled weather, Session 2 was completed at both the standard CES site at WWT Llanelli on 14 May and the garden CES in Crynant on 17 May 2021.

The total from WWT was as follows:

Of note were a blackbird ringed as an adult in 2017, a re-trap male blackcap that had been ringed as a juvenile in 2018 (so has returned to breed), and the kingfisher, which was unexpected.

The total from the garden CES in Crynant was as follows:

Of note were a control starling and three juvenile siskins.

The Team

Thanks to the team of Val Wilson, Alex McCubbin, Richard Dann, Bethan Dalton, Dionne Jenkins, Miguel Lurgi, Kate Hammond, Gareth Bowen-Llewelyn and Tom Wright for company and assistance at Oxwich, and to Paul Aubrey and Ezra Sherwell for help at WWT Llanelli.

Owain Gabb & Heather Coats


Photos by Kate Hammond and Tom Wright are below.

Male blackbird
Male chaffinch
The reed warbler ringed in Southgate and recaptured at Oxwich
A distinctive-looking ichneumon wasp that hung around the table mid-morning
Our first young goldfinch of the year
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