All of a sudden it is a new year and three months have gone by since the last post - I think this is mainly down to the wet weather which has put a damper on any netting activities. It has been particularly frustrating that our new wader colour ringing programme has got off to such a slow start.
We now have three new colour ringing schemes approved for curlew, redshank and oystercatcher but since two successful netting sessions in October when 18 waders were fitted with colour rings it has not been possible to put a net up.
The colour ringing is part of a long term study aiming at getting a better understanding of how these species use the estuarine habitat, their survival and site fidelity etc. All three species have declining populations with curlew recently added to the red list of Birds of Conservation Concern. The cost of the rings and some of the equipment has been funded by the Crown Estate.
|All the Pembs schemes use a plain orange ring and a numbered ring that reads upwards|
Late October and early November saw some busy netting sessions with good numbers of thrushes and goldcrests caught at the Preseli woodlands. In total 125 blackbirds, 63 redwings, 76 goldcrests were caught including a control that had been ringed in Cornwall two weeks earlier. In addition, a sparrowhawk, a second yellow-browed warbler, 4 bramblings and black redstart added variety.
|Adult male brambling|
|1st winter black redstart|
|2nd year male sparrowhawk|
Further south at Mullock, 4 firecrests were ringed during a single net round during October but this species did not feature at the two Preseli sites.