at Oxwich Marsh. It proved to be another good one: group members put in a lot of effort, and were rewarded by some excellent returns. A summary follows, and a more detailed report can be accessed through following the link towards the bottom of the page.
|Kingfisher (Keith Vaughton)|
We managed to keep up the impetus of 2014 and completed twice weekly sessions during passage periods and weekly sessions at other times (whenever weather allowed). As a result, the number of birds ringed on the marsh increased (on the 2014 total of 3,371) to 3,531, and 3,925 unique birds were processed during the calendar year (this total includes birds recaptured and controlled for the first time during the year but excludes multiple recaptures).
|Redwing (Charlie Sargent)|
|Whinchat (Keith Vaughton)|
|Redstart (Keith Vaughton)|
for the site in 2015 were green woodpecker (two), mistle thrush, pied/white wagtail (both races), redstart, whinchat
(two), nuthatch (two), and lesser redpoll (seven), while other highlights have included three firecrest, two jack
snipe and proving local breeding in grasshopper warbler. Totals of sub-Saharan migrants included 399 barn swallow, three tree pipit, two whinchat, a redstart, 11 grasshopper warbler, 145 sedge warbler, 159 reed warbler, two lesser whitethroat, five garden warbler and 84 willow warbler. Shorter distance migrants and resident species have included three kingfisher, 65 meadow pipit, 24 Cetti’s warbler, 100 chiffchaff, 190 blackcap, 469 blue tit (!), and 147 reed bunting. Finch numbers were consistently high, with 464 unique goldfinch and 468 greenfinch captured over the year, while two distinct cohorts of young siskin were recorded, indicating a first brood that fledged in May and a second in July.
|Grasshopper warbler (Owain Gabb)|
Maintaining the effort in 2015 has only been possible due to the commitment of Gower Ringing Group members, who also run two Constant Effort Sites and a Re-trapping Adults for Survival project on pied flycatcher. As the group is relatively small, and individuals also have additional projects, this effort continues to be very much appreciated. The site provides an excellent opportunity for training, due to the numbers of birds and the diversity of species captured (we are now up to 55 species ringed at Oxwich since we began ringing the site in February 2013), and our trainees also benefit from this commitment in terms of experience. The relatively large and varied catches also encouraged the BTO to hold the Welsh Ringing Course on the site for the first time in September 2015. Despite bad weather the feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive, and over 400 birds were captured in three days.
The other critical factor in keeping the ringing effort going has been a Gower Society grant, which has done much to cover the cost of rings and seed (for the feeding station). We are extremely grateful for the support of the Society in 2015.
|Lesser whitethroat (Keith Vaughton)|
|Lesser redpolls (Keith Vaughton)|
|Mistle thrush (Owain Gabb)|
|Stonechat (Owain Gabb)|
|Skylark (Owain Gabb)|
|Jack snipe squatting characteristically following release (Charlie Sargent)|
|One of 23 great spotted woodpeckers captured in 2015 (Owain Gabb)|