Monday, 3 August 2015

July-----------A difficult month

Well what can we say really ? The weather during the month has been terrible here at Stanford with what feels like continuous wind varying from strong to very strong. This severally effected both the number of times we were able to get out [11 compared with 14 in 2014] and what nets we could put up/area we ringed thus reducing the catch.

 This month we have ringed a total of 706 birds of 30 species compared with 1073 of 33 species last year[2014] of these only 4 species showed an increase in numbers they being Kingfisher from 3 to 4 , Blue Tit from 32 to 35 Reed Warbler 59 to 74 and finally Blackcap 118 to 135 all the rest showed a decline the most dramatic being Tree Sparrow 156 to 28 Whitethroat 174 to 118 Reed Bunting 77 to 24 and finally although only small numbers are involved  I think it is still significant Linnet down from 13 to only 1 !!! In fact when I look at all the Finch and Bunting numbers they all show a significant decline, this can be for a number of reasons.
1. Smaller adult numbers. 
2. The fact we ringed 360 fewer birds this month.
3. Due to the generally cold weather birds are breeding later / failed to breed successfully.
 Hopefully its just a late breeding season and things will pick up in August. 
We have been trying a new area this summer on the Leicestershire side of the Reservoir. It was formally a field  that had sheep grazing it but some years ago the sheep were taken out and the field was left to go wild. I think we have been ignoring a good area as the catches in this area have been really good with 4 catches of 90+ birds and a French control of a Sedge Warbler. Hopefully this will continue throughout the rest of the year, finally we have just had a good Chiffchaff recovery a bird that was ringed in April last year and caught in Portugal on December 30th.