Oxwich Marsh 1 November 2014

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The weather forecast suggested that it would be relatively calm first thing, with a light south-westerly wind.  In the event it was a moderate north-westerly, which is not far off the worst wind direction for the site.  The wind remained gusty, while gradually swinging to the south-west over the course of the morning. 
As a result of the wind we only put up 430 feet of net: 150 feet in the fen meadow (we took one of these nets down by 09:00), 120 feet in the Natural Resources Wales compound, and 160 feet in the scrub.  The nets were all taken down by 10:30.
Despite the low number of nets, there were some good results.  The breakdown is below:
Species New Re-trapped Total
Dunnock 1 2 3
Robin 0 1 1
0 1 1
Blackcap 1 0 1
Goldcrest 3 0 3
Firecrest 1 0 1
Blue Tit 3 3 6
Chaffinch 1 0 1
Greenfinch 1 0 1
Goldfinch 7 3 10
Total: 18 10 28
The features of the catch were a control Cetti’s warbler (X343718), a female blackcap (the first since 12 October / in five sessions) and a firecrest.  The firecrest was both the third in a week and the third first winter female (based on biometrics).  It had a wing length of 50mm and a weight of 5.8g.  Photo by Keith Vaughton.

Female firecrest.   Wing 50mm, weight 5.8g.  1st winter bird.

A picture of the blackcap (taken by Charlie) is below:

Female blackcap.  Wing 76mm, weight 18.3g, first winter bird.

 At the end of the session we did some work setting up an area for attempting to capture snipe.  As soon as we get some good weather we intend to give it a go.

Thanks to Cedwyn Davies, Charlie Sargent, Keith Vaughton and Heather Coats for company and assistance this morning.
Owain Gabb
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