Monday, 9 July 2012

Ty Rhyg CES

At the end of visit 6 it is quite a good time to compare the capture totals for adults of a few of the regularly caught species over the last three years.

 The early returning species such as willow warbler, chiffchaff and blackcap seem to have returned in similar numbers to 2011, but the species which normally arrive in May (whitethroat, garden warbler, sedge warbler) have been caught in smaller numbers (though sample size is small). Wren, goldcrest and long-tailed tit all show a steady recovery following the cold winter of 2009/10, while some species such as redpoll and grasshopper warbler may be abandoning the site as the vegetation matures, though there have been noticeably fewer grasshopper warblers generally in the Preselis this year.

Visit 7 has been the quietest ever July session with only 30 birds caught compared to an average catch of 78 at this time of year.  It is becoming increasingly obvious that 2012 not just a late season, but for many species, an extremely unproductive one. The Teifi blog is reporting an identical story.

All adult willow warblers caught in visits 6 and 7 were heavily in moult, so they will not be making any further breeding attempts, but it looks like blackcaps, chiffchaffs and whitethroats are still trying to rear broods.

Willow warbler half way through moult - it could still fly - just about