What a strange month this July has been at Stanford - starting and finishing with large catches but with relatively mediocre catches in between. The first ringing session (2nd July) produced 210 birds (142 new, 68 retraps) and the last session (30th) 193 birds (129 new, 64 retraps). However between these dates we struggled along, failing to achieve a 100 new bird day on any date. Nevertheless we persevered and managed to grind out a record month with 1,546 bird processed and a total for new birds ringed of 972! That has to be impressive for a single in-land ringing site.
Warblers have had a mixed year to date with some marked differences in this July’s ringing totals compared to July 2010. The rise in Sedge Warblers ringed, from 90 last July to 132 this month, probably reflects a genuine increase in bird numbers, whilst the Reed Warbler increase from 51 to 95 merely shows an increased effort on our behalf in the Leicester Reed bed this year.
Species in line with last year’s totals are Whitethroat, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler.
Two warbler species give us cause for concern though, both showing more than a 50% decrease in numbers. Lesser Whitethroat has declined from 26 to 11 ringed, whilst Garden Warbler has dropped from 65 to 30. Following last year’s tremendous totals, we were hoping for a repeat performance, or even a further increase in breeding numbers of these species, but it's not materialised.
On a brighter note we continue to have great success with Tree Sparrows with 104 ringed in July taking our annual total to date to 227. Linnets have also maintained their growth in population.
To see a complete totals list for the month, follow this link.July Totals