I have already reported that it has been a disappointing season for Reed Warblers at Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve, this I am sure is due to the poor weather throughout much of the season. This has rather restricted our activities and number of ringing sessions is down to 46 compared to an average of 61 over the past five years. Numbers of adult birds caught were only slightly down at 140 compared to an average of 156. Of these 56 were re-traps from previous years. Our oldest bird was 7 years and 295 days from first ringing as a juvenile. Surprisingly it had not been re-trapped until this year. We had 2 other birds in their 6th year.
Productivity was well down with only 263 juveniles ringed compared to 976 in 2014 and a five year average of 687. One can only assume that the cool, wet and windy weather during the bulk of the breeding season has taken its toll.
Our main study is Bearded Tits and these are also well down with only 31 juveniles ringed this year compared to 69 last year. To date we have sighted or re-trapped 16 adult males and 17 adult females compared to 21 males and 20 females last year. But there may be more to come as we get more grit tray sightings. The first high flying behavior was seen yesterday- just a short flight then back into the reeds. Last Saturday we caught 24 Bearded Tits but only 1 was un-ringed. Recent ringing has produced good numbers of Lesser Redpoll, Goldcrests and Chiffchaff.