Oxwich Marsh 25 June 2014

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Another bright, warm morning with a light southerly breeze.  We only erected 140 feet of net, as were aware of the potential to be swamped by juvenile birds (particularly tits).

In summary, a steady session: it was the first time I can remember trapping six different great spotted woodpeckers in a session, albeit only one was un-ringed; it was nice to keep ticking along with juvenile blackcaps, chiffchaffs and reed buntings; we trapped only the third bullfinch of the year (last year there seemed to be a breeding pair close by); and we caught a sparrowhawk.  The sparrowhawk was the first for the site since 2008.  The total of 64 was made up of the following:

Species New Re-trapped Total
Sparrowhawk 1 0 1
Great Spotted
1 5 6
Wren 0 1 1
Dunnock 1 2 3
Robin 1 3 4
Blackbird 1 2 3
Blackcap 3 0 3
Chiffchaff 2 0 2
Blue Tit 5 5 10
Great Tit 3 7 10
Chaffinch 4 4 8
Greenfinch 2 0 2
Goldfinch 2 5 7
Bullfinch 0 1 1
Reed Bunting 2 1 3
Total: 28 36 64

The sparrowhawk was sexed based on its wing length and the length of its tarsus.  Females are substantially larger than males.  The biometrics of our bird did not fall into the zone of overlap between sexes, and the bird (a young male) also looked small in the net and in the hand. 

Thanks to Charlie Sargent for coming along this morning (hope you are healing up well!), and nice to meet up with Nick Edwards of Natural Resources Wales after a number of near misses!

Owain Gabb

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