Still proving a rather difficult and disappointing season at Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve. Our main study species Bearded Tit is well down, 60 juveniles by this time in 2014 only 16 so far this year. Reed Warblers, 70 juveniles last year only 17 to date this year. Sedge Warblers a little better,12 last year 8 this year. Blur Tits though are disastrous, we ringed at our normally most successful site along the reed edge and for the first time in 25 years did not catch a single blue Tit. Last year we had ringed 80 juveniles, this year only 24.
I am certain that the cold ,wet and windy spring is the main factor behind these poor figures for ringing effort is only marginally down. Lets hope that in the case of Bearded Tits and the warblers it has just delayed the start to the breeding season. One complicating factor is that half the reserve is being dried out in an effort designed to re-invigorate the reed in future seasons.There does appear to be less insect life in the dry areas than the still wet areas. What effect this will have on productivity will be interesting to see.