After last years extraordinary September little did we think that this year would be as good. How wrong we were !!! Although we didn't have the spectacular catches of last year we had good numbers every time we went out and ended up with 2401 new birds compared with 2488 last year.
Of the birds caught this year 2015 of them were warblers with Blackcap being the top species again with 1183 ringed, just over 100 less than last year. Chiffchaff, the other classic September migrant increased in numbers this year to 592 from last years 507. I think you will agree it's a great result from both species reflecting what was probably another good breeding season. As for the other warblers they all returned similar numbers to last year other than Lesser Whitethroat and Willow Warbler which both doubled in number. As for the rest of the species we caught they were broadly in line with last year, there were however some notable exceptions. Meadow Pipits have just not turned up at all with a dismal 22 ringed, Tree Sparrow was also well down for the second month running to 36 from last years 66 and finally Reed Buntings are continuing their abysmal year with a paltry 13 caught. However, on the plus side Goldfinch have doubled to 50 and we have had a welcome return of Lesser Redpoll with our best ever September catch of 32. I have to mention that we have had an exceptional movement (for us) of Redstart, we have caught an amazing 9 birds this month!
To put it in perspective, in the previous 39 years we have ringed 19 birds so to do 9 this month with others seen and not caught represents a brilliant effort. Finally, a Whinchat, the first since 1981, rounded off what I do have to say was a staggering months effort.