With ca 95% of the Leighton Moss reed-bed trashed by roosting starlings last winter, we were rather concerned that Reed Warblers might have a poor season. They arrived in late April to find almost all the reed bed under a metre high and our impression was that the few good reed areas were colonised first.
However this has turned out to be a good season . To date we have caught 246 adult birds and 806 juveniles making it the best year since 2003. However breeding does seem to have been later than usual. By the second half of August almost all the adults have usually left. Over the past 11 years we have averaged just seven adult birds in the second half of August but this year we have caught 23. A few were fattening up ready for the off but a female(ringed as a juvenile in 2010) we caught this morning( September 4th) was typical, it still had a marked brood patch.- no fat and weighed 10.3 grams. We are also catching a number of young birds still in post juvenile moult.
Did the poor condition of the reed delay the start of the breeding season so making second broods later than usual.?