With most returns for 2014 now in it has been a record year for the group with 16151 new birds ringed (12982 fully grown & 3169 nestlings.) This is 3600 up on 2013. Certainly better ringing weather has helped but the warmer drier weather appears to have been produced excellent productivity in many of our regularly ringed species.
Our ringing during the spring and summer focuses around our four RAS projects and two CES plots. With low water levels on the River Lune Sand Martin colonies we ringed 1424 new birds and recorded 419 retraps and 19 controls including 6 with French rings on. Pied Flycatchers had a good year with 86 occupied nest boxes of which 77 successfully reared young and we ringed 534 nestlings and caught 82 adults as part of our RAS study. At Leighton Moss Reed Warblers also had a good year with 988 new birds and 252 retraps. It was the second best year for juveniles ringed in the 17 years of our study being only exceeded by 9 in 2003. Continuing the same theme Bearded Tits had a much better season with 70 juveniles caught compared to just 48 in 2013 and only 17 in 2012.
Almost all our regularly ringed species were well up this year examples compared with the five year average include 437 Chiffchaff's a 150 % increase. Whitethroat with 229 an 120% increase. We ringed 285 Blackcaps representing a 178 % increase on the 5 year average. Residents did well also Robins at 377 was 110% up and Wrens at 233 was almost double the 5 year average.
What will 2015 bring?