Whilst Britain is lashed by various storms, it is time to write up a brief summary of our totals for the year, courtesy of the group’s secretary Adam, who has sent round totals on a spreadsheet.
Numerically, we have broken our own 40 year record for new birds and hence grand total (8,376 and 10,343 respectively). Controls have been very much in line with previous years (23) and have generally confirmed that our warblers fly down the west coast of France and through the Iberian peninsula en route to West Africa. The balance has been made up with 1944 retraps.
A number of species have done exceptionally well. We have had the best year ever for a number of species, including Blackcaps (2360), Blue tits (636) Sedge warblers (453), Reed warblers (439), Willow warblers (392), Garden warblers (119), Long tailed tits (97) Song thrushes (54) and Redstarts (16). Adam has applied himself diligently to the nest boxes and is largely responsible for recording breaking numbers of Stock doves (62) and Tawny owls (8).
All in all, a difficult year to follow. In summary, we have rung 61 species, the second best ever total, despite no birds of prey, and very strangely no House martins.
At present we are busy scrub bashing, and will be until the end of March, when our migrants start to return. It will be nice if and when the rain stops falling- perhaps by June?
As can be seen, we have a good line in mud, also rain and wind, but despite this we have good fun, all are welcome to join us!