Saturday, 20 September 2014

Opening Session at Ty'n-y-Caeau

I joined Heather Coats and Gail Cobbold at our Autumn/Winter ringing site in the Vale of Glamorgan. Conditions were ideal with hardly a breath of wind, an overcast sky and a large gathering of mixed finches taking station on the surrounding wires at the edge of the field before foraging among the crop for breakfast.

We had set up a single line of 2 x 12 metre and 3 x 18 metre nets and soon there were linnets and goldfinches showing a close interest in the sounds we were airing. 


Our slow, steady progress was hindered by the appearance of a pair of sparrowhawks who saw an ideal opportunity for a meal and soon after, a short sharp shower brought our activities to a premature conclusion but not before we had managed to catch a lone meadow pipit.

Meadow Pipit

Our total for the morning: 


Meadow Pipit
Blue Tit
Great Tit

Friday, 12 September 2014

Ty'n-y-caeau Farm

Heather, Cedwyn and Dave went to the sacrificial crop at the Vale of Glamorgan site near Marcross to prepare the ringing ride ready for this winter's ringing.

Cedwyn did a fine job with his strimmer cutting a lawn for us to walk along. We put the nets up so that our pole holding pipes could be put in the correct places but didn't try to catch any birds because it was very windy. There weren't many birds about but we did see a peregrine fly low over the field.

The crop looked better than it has for several years with lots of sunflowers and chicory in flower. It won't be long until hundreds of finches arrive to feast on the seeds.

The project at the farm is run with the Glamorgan Bird Club and funded by Natural Resources Wales.

The morning ended with us taking in the vivid colours of the crop while eating scones with strawberry jam and cream provided by Becky.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

CES 12 Finished and Another Survey Year Completed

Dave, Heather, Cedwyn (who also took photos below) and Gale attended the reserve on 2 September to carry out the final Constant Effort Site ringing for the 2014 season. In addition to the usual 360' net run we erected two nets in 'West Pool Slack' and three in 'Glaucous Reed'. There seemed to be few birds about as we erected the nets at dawn and this was borne out by a general lack of birds caught in the nets. However, a steady trickle of captures through to the end brought us up to 46 birds for the morning.

Dave was particularly pleased to get to ring a jay, a species he hasn't ringed for several years on account that he usually hands them over to trainees to learn how to handle species more than capable of inflicting pain!

This individual was a bird that has fledged this year. The bird was aged by counting the dark bars on the outer-most greater covert. Matching up growth bar-like patterning on the primary coverts did not work as well as it appears in Svensson.

The easiest way to see Cetti's warblers at Kenfig is to put up a mist net. Two new birds were ringed and one was re-trapped. All were aged as birds fledged this year. In the next month or so all Cetti's will have completed their post juvenile moults and become much more difficult to age so we were pleased to catch two new birds.

New Re-trapped Total
Tree Pipit 1 0 1
Wren 1 0 1
Robin 4 1 5
Cetti's Warbler 2 1 3
Sedge Warbler 3 0 3
Reed Warbler 5 3 8
Whitethroat 2 0 2
Blackcap 7 0 7
Chiffchaff 2 0 2
Willow Warbler 1 0 1
Goldcrest 1 0 1
Long-tailed Tit   1 1
Blue Tit 3 0 3
Jay 1 0 1
Blackbird 1 0 1
Great Tit 3   3
Bullfinch 2 1 3
Total: 39 7 46