2 September 2014

Last CES for 2014

This morning saw three of us running the last CES visit of the year at Gunwalloe. The day dawned pretty cold and wet, so we weren't overly optimistic for a big catch... But in the end, the total of 27 birds was the most we've ever had on the last visit, ranging from 13 to 21 in previous years. This continues the trend of having much better catches late in the season this year...

Dawn over the reedbed at Gunwalloe
Visit totals on CES since 2011

Most of the catch were Sedge Warblers, a surprisingly large number of which were carrying plenty of fat. The heaviest was an adult weighing in at 17.2g, compared to a juvenile of similar size with no fat that weighed 9.4g!

Bit hard to see, but this is a Fat 7 Sedge Warbler (on a scale of 0 to 8)
The difference in wear on flight feathers between juvenile (left)
and adult (right) Sedge Warbler is pretty obvious!

Numbers of Sedge Warbler were the lowest since we started the CES in 2011, with Reed Warblers also pretty low in number. 

2011 2012 2013 2014
Reed Warbler 184 108 115 110
Sedge Warbler 115 69 77 60
Cetti's Warbler 15 3 1 3
Total catch 533 235 257 226

Apart from Sedge and Reed Warblers, the only other bird of note was a juvenile Cetti's Warbler: a species that hasn't done too well at Gunwalloe over the last few years. Compare numbers on the CES in 2001 to those the last three years!

Finally, thanks to everyone that's helped out with the CES this year and it's been pretty grim at times, especially on the so-called 'wet ride' which turned into more of a swamp than anything else over the last few visits...

The notorious Gunwalloe 'wet ride'

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