Our ringing visits to Leighton Moss RSPB over the past few days suggest that Reed and Sedge Warblers especially have had a very successful season. The average August catch of Reed Warblers over the past 16 years has been 366, over the first ten days of this August we have already caught 232 and mid to late August usually produces the best catches. The breeding population based on the numbers of adults caught (140 against 182 in 2012) appears to be down but productivity has obviously been good. Adults prepare to leave as shown by one caught today weighing 13.8 grams and a fat score of 4. But juvenile weights have yet to show any noticeable increase.
The main Sedge Warbler passage is also in mid to late August. The 16 year average catch is 180. To date we have caught 64.Other warblers also appear to have done well especially Blackcap with 56 caught so far this year compared to just 27 in the whole of 2012. Our isolated Bearded Tits are our main study. They have also done better this year with 36 juveniles caught compared to only 17 last year. They are now stating to moult which makes them much more difficult to catch.