It's been a funny September with us achieving our best ever months total of 2532 new birds ringed from 14 sessions, an average of 181 per session. What an achievement for this truly landlocked site! Our lowest catch was 66 on the 4th and our highest was 448 on the 2nd whilst the weekend of the 9th/10th produced 2 exceptional catches of 338 and 320 respectively. Under 10 retraps from the previous day also demonstrates how quickly birds are moving through at this time of year. At the beginning of the month we went through a period of time when each session we seemed to catch a Redstart resulting in 7 for the month and a total of 15 for the year which is excellent for us as no Redstarts breed in either Leicestershire or Northants. The 'bread and butter' species for us at this time of year are Blackcap and Chiffchaff, two short distance migrants that winter mainly in the Mediterranean basin. This year catching 1255 and 519 respectively. This weekends catch of Blackcap sends us over our best yearly total for this species and also being our first species to go over 10000 ever caught. The top 5 species ringed at Stanford are Blackcap 10080, Blue Tit 7845, Whitethroat 6460, Great Tit 6046 and finally Chiffchaff 5713, this is in stark contrast of when we first started ringing at Stanford in 1976 when Blackcap and Chiffchaff were infrequently caught. In fact after 10 years of ringing at this site we had only ringed 138 Blackcap and a paltry 45 Chiffchaff. How times change!.
Again, this year we have caught 10 species of warbler to date resulting in 4112 new birds so far compared to 4560 last year. With about 2 weeks of warbler catching to go and weather willing we may just equal last years warbler total. Finally, where have all the Blackbirds gone? We are just entering October and we have only ringed 19 this year... in fact we have ringed more Song Thrushes with 20 being ringed. Very concerning indeed!