Oxwich Marsh 19 June 2021: finch centuries despite wind problems

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A disappointingly brisk south-easterly wind greeted us on what was otherwise an initially overcast, then increasingly sunny morning.

The wind conditions limited the catch to 155 birds of 21 species. The breakdown was as follows:

The highlights included:

  • A chaffinch ringed as a youngster in 2015, so now in its sixth year.
  • A good day for great spotted woodpeckers, with nine birds processed. The new birds (4) were young of the year, with the remainder being adults ringed between 2018 and 2020.
  • Our first young willow warbler of the year
  • Another good day total of goldfinches (32 in total), with 23 new birds ringed. This takes us to 103 new goldfinches at Oxwich this year.
  • Ten new siskin, taking us to 128 ringed this year – our most frequently captured species at Oxwich in 2021. We also recaptured a few adults from previous years during the session.
  • Two stonechats. A youngster and an adult (second calendar year) male bird. The latter seems likely to be the bird that spent time singing between and perched on one of our nets during the previous session.
  • A young treecreeper. Young birds are often captured dispersing through the marsh in summer. We then tend to capture a few more in the autumn, when they mix with flocks of tits and goldcrests.

A kestrel was seen foraging over the marsh during early morning, and a little egret noted leaving its roost by the North Pond. Otherwise it was relatively quiet for raptors and water birds.

Non avian species noted included black-tailed skimmer (dragonfly), the longhorn beetle Rutpelia maculata, and a young grass snake under one of our reptile mats.

Due to the wind we made use of NRW’s newly-constructed shelters as our ringing HQ. These proved ideal.

Thanks to the team of Heather Coats, Keith Vaughton, Val Wilson, Jo Conway, Richard Dann and Tom Wright for company and assistance, and to Tom and Richard for photos.

Owain Gabb


This male stonechat was among the more attractive birds captured during the session
Our first young treecreeper of 2021
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