Oxwich Marsh 1 June 2014

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A steady session in calm, overcast conditions that were ideal for ringing.  The wind was very light for the few hours after dawn, but then gradually strengthened from the south-west.  We erected 160 feet of net among scrub on the edge of the marsh, 180 feet of net in the reedbed and a further 60 foot net in a compound used by Natural Resources Wales for the storage of machinery and materials.

The catch was made up as follows:

Species New Re-trapped Total
Great Spotted
0 1 1
Wren 0 3 3
Dunnock 3 2 5
Robin 3 0 3
Blackbird 0 2 2
Sedge Warbler 0 1 1
Reed Warbler 2 0 2
Blackcap 2 0 2
Willow Warbler 0 2 2
Blue Tit 0 1 1
Great Tit 6 1 7
Chaffinch 3 1 4
Greenfinch 9 2 11
Goldfinch 3 4 7
Siskin 0 1 1
Reed Bunting 0 4 4
Total: 31 25 56

Willow warbler

The highlights of the catch were a couple of new reed warblers, blackcaps, re-trapped willow warblers, and continued small numbers of finches.  The picture opposite shows the wing of a willow warbler.  The outer primary is very small (vestigial) and cannot be seen here.  Willow warbler wings are emarginated to the fifth primary (chiffchaffs are emarginated to the sixth).

The catch was slightly higher than in recent weeks, probably reflecting the ideal conditions and the increasing number of juvenile birds around.  These included the first great tits, a fledged blackcap, dunnocks, robins, greenfinches and chaffinches.

Otters are less easily seen in the marsh than they were in 2013.  However, there is a sprainting point close to the ringing site.

Common blue-tailed damselfly were abundant on the taller marginal vegetation during this visit.

 An azure damselfly was also present.

Other invertebrates seen during the morning were common blue and brimstone butterflies, grass rivulets and a brown silver-line moth.

Thanks to Charlie Sargent and Wayne Morris (BTO Regional Rep for East Glam and Cardiff Ringing Group member) for coming along this morning for what was a steady session.

Owain Gabb

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