Oxwich Marsh 1 September: a first for the year

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The forecast was for a moderate to strong north-westerly wind to rapidly pick up over the morning. Due to a run of poor weather over the previous weeks, we decided to give it a go – a good idea as it turned out. 
The highlights of the morning were:
  • A young lesser whitethroat (only our seventh)
  • 3 tree pipits
  • 3 stonechats
  • a grey wagtail

For many ringers living in England, lesser whitethroat is a fairly common migrant sometimes captured in good numbers (it would seem). For us, this is not the case; we capture 0-3 individuals a year. It seemed our chance was likely to have gone in 2019, until the species was the first bird out of the net on 1 September. 

It has been a quiet year for stonechats to date, with five captured before the morning haul. Two of the birds were new, the third a recapture from two months previous which had now almost completed its post juvenile moult and could be confidently sexed as a female.
The pipits are always nice, and take our annual total to 10 – which is below par. We may well get one more go at them this week, but it is getting late. 
Overhead movement of grey wagtails suggested we might be able to tape a bird into a net, and so it proved. If only they came more predictably – lovely birds.
The table below shows the species we have captured since we began ringing on the marsh in earnest in 2014. We are now up to 65 species, which is reasonably notable. While we might have predicted most of the top ten species, and had a good go at the top twenty, we would have struggled with a lot of the rest. Oxwich has proven a diverse and productive site. 

No.
Species Name
Ringed
Recapt
Total
1
Swallow
2813
15
2828
2
Blue Tit
2021
2170
4191
3
Goldfinch
1937
754
2691
4
Greenfinch
1355
326
1681
5
Reed Warbler
1188
290
1478
6
Chaffinch
1080
367
1447
7
Blackcap
954
61
1015
8
Sedge Warbler
907
215
1122
9
Siskin
775
836
1611
10
Great Tit
733
1414
2147
11
Chiffchaff
706
42
748
12
Reed Bunting
610
384
994
13
Willow Warbler
563
40
603
14
Goldcrest
476
25
501
15
Wren
388
285
673
16
Robin
381
451
832
17
Dunnock
281
697
978
18
Redwing
250
250
19
Blackbird
231
172
403
20
Meadow Pipit
213
1
214
21
Pied/White Wagtail
198
198
22
Whitethroat
196
38
234
23
Snipe
177
11
188
24
Long-tailed Tit
164
70
234
25
Cetti’s Warbler
143
145
288
26
Sand Martin
121
121
27
Great Spotted Woodpecker
118
375
493
28
House Martin
110
110
29
Tree Pipit
91
91
30
Bullfinch
78
40
118
31
Song Thrush
73
42
115
32
Garden Warbler
69
1
70
33
Stonechat
63
4
67
34
Grasshopper Warbler
62
15
77
35
Jack Snipe
38
3
41
36
Coal Tit
36
25
61
37
Treecreeper
34
2
36
38
Brambling
31
5
36
39
Yellow-browed Warbler
21
21
40
Firecrest
15
15
41
Kingfisher
14
2
16
42
Starling
14
14
43
Grey Wagtail
12
12
44
Lesser Redpoll
12
12
45
Lesser Whitethroat
7
7
46
Sparrowhawk
7
4
11
47
Mute Swan
6
3
9
48
Nuthatch
6
10
16
49
Marsh Tit
5
5
10
50
Skylark
4
4
51
Yellow Wagtail
4
4
52
Green Woodpecker
3
1
4
53
Magpie
3
2
5
54
Water Rail
3
3
55
Whinchat
3
3
56
Jay
2
2
57
Mistle Thrush
2
2
58
Redstart
2
2
59
Willow Tit
2
2
60
Yellowhammer
2
2
61
Little Bunting
1
1
62
Pied Flycatcher
1
1
63
Wheatear
1
1
64
Wood Warbler
1
1
65
Woodpigeon
1
1
Grand Total
19818
9348
29166

Thanks to all who came along on Sunday to what was a short but enjoyable session: Heather Coats, Emma Cole, Val Wilson, Martin Thomas, Dionne Jenkins, Colin Baker, Jo Conway, Bethan Dalton, Alex McCubbin, Richard Dann and Claudia Allen.

Photographs are below.

Owain Gabb
03/09/2019

Grey wagtail (Bethan Dalton)

Stonechat (Richard Dann)
Lesser Whitethroat (Richard Dann)

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