With the rain beating down and the wind blowing and a poor forecast for the next two days it looks as though our ringing is finished for this July. Time to take stock and compare with last July's ringing in our RAS studies at Leighton Moss RSPB reserve. Its so easy to do this with IPMR. We managed 16 ringing visits this July, two more than in 2012.
Bearded Tits have done well with 32 juveniles compared with just 17 last season. The most intriguing increases though are Blackcap with only 14 last year but 50 this July and Chiffchaff increasing from just 6 in 2012 to 46 this year. Willow Warblers after a good start have slipped back recently and we caught 83 in both years.
Sedge Warblers have done well with 91 compared to 39 last year. Reed Warblers though are down from 261 to 202. Whether this reflects a population decline or just a late start to the season only ringing in August may reveal. Interestingly we caught two adults in the last week showing signs of preparing to start their return migration, one weighed 13.1 grams, with a fat score of 3 and the other 12.4 and a fat score of 2. From past ringing we know that return migration in this species starts in late July, for we have had 5 adults caught on migration on the south coast during the last week in July.