Oxwich Marsh 21 June 2014

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A moderate northerly breeze gradually dropped over the morning, which was otherwise bright and increasingly warm. 

The catch was again dominated by juvenile birds.  The total of 86 was made up as follows:

Species New Re-trapped Total
Great Spotted
2 3 5
Wren 2 1 3
Dunnock 2 1 3
Robin 2 4 6
Blackbird 1 2 3
Reed Warbler 2 0 2
Blackcap 11 0 11
Chiffchaff 1 0 1
Willow Warbler 1 0 1
Blue Tit 4 5 9
Great Tit 12 7 19
Chaffinch 5 2 7
Greenfinch 1 1 2
Goldfinch 7 0 7
Reed Bunting 4 3 7
Total: 57 29 86

Of greatest interest were the first fledged chiffchaff and reed warbler for the site in 2014.  It was also particularly welcome to catch more fledged reed buntings, blackcaps and great spotted woodpeckers, while a moulting female willow warbler was among the few adult birds trapped.  However the session was fairly uneventful, with a typical range of species caught for the time of year.

The willow warbler is pictured here.  Due to its moult stage it was very scruffy, and had a large bald spot on its head.

The BTO has now uploaded all ringing data by county for 2013 to its website.  The information can be found at the following link: http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/ringing/publications

One entry provides windows into the life of one of the Oxwich sedge warblers (L040109).  This bird was ringed on the marsh in August 2010, was controlled in Djoudj National Park, Senegal, during January 2011 (assumedly wintering), and was then trapped on the River Almond near Edinburgh Airport in June 2013 (assumedly breeding).  This shows the type of data that can be obtained through ringing that would never be possible through conventional bird watching.

Thanks to Cedwyn Davies, Heather Coats, Wayne Morris, Emma Cole and Hannah Meinertzhagen for company and assistance this morning.

Owain Gabb

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