Keyhaven Marsh Ringing Report: Autumn 2017

Keyhaven Marsh Ringing Report: Autumn 2017

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By Marcus Ward, 27 January 2017

 

Introduction

In this second year at Iley Point ringing continued, largely using the rides established in 2016. Ringing was conducted on a near weekly basis through the peak migration season between mid-July and mid-October with four additional off-peak visits to gauge productivity outside the peak migration period. Over the course of 17 sessions (13 during peak period) a total of 806 birds of 36 species were caught and ringed (table 1).

The main aim of the project is to get a better understanding of the range and number of migrant passerine species using this important area through the post breeding and autumn migration period. In addition ringing will enable us to get a better understanding of key resident species in the vicinity such as Dartford Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Linnet and Bullfinch.

Lesser Redpoll, Iley Point, 4 Oct 2017 (photo: Marcus Ward)
Lesser Redpoll, Iley Point, 4 Oct 2017 (photo: Marcus Ward)

 

Observations and key species

As with last year, a diverse range and breadth of species were recorded. Despite similar effort to 2016 fewer Grasshopper Warbler were recorded with just four caught compared to 17 during the same period in 2016. This tallies with other locations along the south coast also recording much reduced numbers for the species in 2017.

Significant totals included 25 Bullfinch, all bar one being immature birds suggesting a very good breeding season locally. This will provide a good baseline for future years and potentially the opportunity to monitor survival. A superb total of 40 Tree Pipit were caught on the morning of 20th August, probably a Hampshire record and certainly more than the average annual total for the county. A healthy total of 37 Linnet were ringed through the season, effort was also made to find and monitor nesting attempts at Iley Point with a handful of nests found in May though no pulli were ringed this year.

Bullfinch, Iley Point (photo: Marcus Ward)
Bullfinch, Iley Point (photo: Marcus Ward)

 

In addition, a broad selection of passage migrants were ringed, significant totals included 48 Whitethroat, 125 Blackcap, 44 Chiffchaff, 34 Willow Warbler and 47 Goldcrest again highlighting the importance of the site for migrant passerines. Other noteworthy records included six new Cetti’s Warbler including four immatures, together with a recapture of an individual that was ringed as an immature male in 2016 suggesting that it has remained in the locality.

Despite putting in a similar amount of effort to 2016 no Dartford Warblers were caught through the season despite at least one pair holding territory nearby. This suggests that the species possibly had a poor breeding season, however one colour ringed individual that was originally ringed at Lepe Country Park provided a good record (details in ringing recoveries section below).

Of the scarce species caught this year the standout bird was an immature Yellow-browed Warbler caught and ringed on 4th October, a typical date for the species.

Imm Yellow-browed Warbler, Iley Point,, 4 Oct 2017 (photo: Marcus Ward)
Imm Yellow-browed Warbler, Iley Point,, 4 Oct 2017 (photo: Marcus Ward)

 

Ringing recoveries

At the time of writing we have had six interesting recoveries/sightings this year as follows:

Reed Warbler (immature, ring no S369300)

Caught and ringed at Iley Point, Keyhaven Marsh on 3rd September 2016

Re-trapped at Wanlip, Leicestershire on 30th June 2017

Travelled 221km in 300 days

Blue Tit (adult, ring no. V154150)

Caught and ringed at Normandy Marsh 14th Sep 2014

Re-trapped at Normandy Marsh 18th Sep 2017

Travelled 0km in 1099 days.

Willow Warbler (adult, ring no JEN365)

Caught and ringed at Iley Point, Keyhaven Marsh 29th August 2016

Re-trapped at Iley Point, Keyhaven Marsh, 3rd September 2016

Re-trapped at Iley Point, Keyhaven Marsh, 20th August 2017

Willow Warbler do not breed at Iley Point suggesting that this individual has been using the area on southerly migration over successive years.

Blackcap (immature male, ring no S369290)

Caught and ringed at Iley Point, Keyhaven Marsh 3rd September 2016

Re-trapped at Iley Point, Keyhaven Marsh, 4th May 2017

Travelled 0km in 243 days (though in reality it probably travelled a considerable distance between captures)

Blackcap (immature male, ring no S369235)

Caught and ringed at Iley Point, Keyhaven Marsh 29th August 2016

Re-trapped at Newtown, Isle of Wight 18th May 2017

Travelled 13km in 262 days

Dartford Warbler

Caught and ringed as an immature male, Lepe CP, 7th November 2016

Observed at Lepe CP 5th March 2017

Observed at Iley Point, Keyhaven Marsh, 29th April 2017

 

Future plans

In the short term we plan to continue on the same basis as 2017 with intensive ringing through the post breeding migration period, from July 15th through to October 31st. In addition, we will continue the monthly sessions as this helps us build a better understanding of the range of species using the site throughout the year.

More effort will be made this year to record and monitor breeding species on site, in particular I am looking at establishing a colour-ringing project focussing on Linnet, a number of pairs breed across the site and use communal roosts at Iley Point and Normandy Marsh. Colour-ringing both fledgling and full-grown Linnet we will be able to better understand dispersal and movements of the species both around the Marsh and further afield. Effort will be made to monitor the roosts and record colour-ringed individuals across the site. Linnet is a poorly understood species that is in decline across Europe, currently there are only two other colour-ringing schemes in the UK.

Linnet, Iley Point, 7 Sep 2017 (photo: Marcus Ward)
Linnet, Iley Point, 7 Sep 2017 (photo: Marcus Ward)

 

Acknowledgments

Thanks to Pete Durnell and Simon Curson for arranging access to Iley Point and providing the relevant permissions. Also thanks are due to my trainer Graham Giddens for helping out with many sessions, greatly increasing the number of birds processed.

Table 1: Totals from Iley Point, Keyhaven Marsh 2016 & 2017

2016 2017 Total
Sparrowhawk 1 0 1
Green Woodpecker 1 0 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker 0 1 1
Sand Martin 1 0 1
Swallow 63 65 128
House Martin 16 5 21
Tree Pipit 7 40 47
Meadow Pipit 14 12 26
Wren 11 16 27
Dunnock 9 11 20
Robin 19 21 40
Redstart 1 0 1
Stonechat 4 6 10
Blackbird 10 11 21
Song Thrush 3 10 13
Redwing 3 10 13
Cetti’s Warbler 5 6 11
Grasshopper Warbler 17 4 21
Sedge Warbler 19 16 35
Reed Warbler 7 16 23
Dartford Warbler 5 0 5
Lesser Whitethroat 4 2 6
Whitethroat 45 48 93
Garden Warbler 3 6 9
Blackcap 92 125 217
Chiffchaff 108 144 252
Willow Warbler 16 34 50
Yellow-browed Warbler 0 1 1
Goldcrest 14 47 61
Firecrest 0 1 1
Spotted Flycatcher 1 0 1
Long-tailed Tit 14 16 30
Coal Tit 0 1 1
Blue Tit 5 12 17
Great Tit 4 10 14
Chaffinch 2 12 14
Greenfinch 0 21 21
Goldfinch 7 4 11
Lesser Redpoll 0 1 1
Linnet 0 37 37
Bullfinch 3 25 28
Reed Bunting 8 9 17
Total 542 806