Today I asked two very regular birders who visit Leighton Moos several times a week how often they see Reed Buntings at this time of year. Both replied that the most they see in a day is up to two feeding or gritting on the paths. When I told them that today we had caught 18 in one small area they were amazed. Obviously the birds are feeding quietly within the reedbed not calling or showing themselves.
Since October 1st this year we have ringed on 12 days and caught 117 Reed Buntings. The interesting thing is that we have only retrapped one of these. This means either there is a steady movement through of birds or that there is a very large population indeed.
Ringing returns suggest that there is a movement from the reserve at this time of year. In total over the years we have had eight birds found wintering in the Merseyside to Cheshire area. We have also had one that went to the south coast being ringed at Leighton in August and caught the following October in Dorset 386 kms south.