The poor season continues in the reed bed at Leighton Moss. To date we have only ringed 18 juvenile Bearded Tits this compares with 53 in the same period last year. Our Reed Warbler RAS is going well in catching adults, 106 so far compared to 115 in the same period last year, half of which are retraps from previous years. But juveniles are disappointing, only 39 to date compared to 230 by this time last year.
Other warblers are doing better with similar numbers to last year of Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Sedge Warbler. Although the main influx for these species is usually from late July on.
Why Reed Warbler productivity should be so low when the adult population appears normal is interesting. Is it due to the poor spring weather or is it a late start to the season? One other factor is that for the first time half the reedbed is being dried out in an attempt to re-invigorate the reed in future years, the other half is being held at normal water levels. To date we have caught most of the juvenile Reed Warblers in the wet area.
Will be interesting to see how the season progresses. We will continue to study these important reed bed populations and their productivity This is the 19th year of our study