1 September 2015

Final CES of the year

This morning finally saw the end of the CES season at Gunwalloe. With the rides getting wetter and wetter, we're not overly sad to see this last session done! The total of 30 birds seems low but was the highest visit 12 total yet and did include a Kingfisher: only the second ever caught at Gunwalloe.

Whilst we missed three visits mid-season due to poor weather, it was still a very productive year, with more birds caught on visits 10, 11 and 12 than any year since we started in 2011. In fact the year total of 366 birds (315 individuals) was the highest since the outstanding 676 in the first year we ran the site.

Catch totals by visit in the five years of CES at Gunwalloe, with 2015 in red

The change in the annual total is primarily driven by catches of Sedge and Reed Warbler, but the table below also shows interesting changes in some species, in particular the crash in Reed Bunting numbers.

  2011    2012    2013    2014    2015 
Sedge Warbler 30/85 33/36 13/64 19/41 35/79
Reed Warbler 88/96 60/48 52/63 43/65 42/61
Blue Tit 23/22 14/8 2/16 4/17 13/30
Wren 5/14 0/9 6/4 5/5 7/14
Cetti's Warbler 3/12 3/0 0/1 1/2 2/1
Reed Bunting 8/13 8/3 2/15 3/3 1/1

The fact that just two Reed Buntings were caught on CES this year seems incredible given the double-figure numbers in every other year.

The most notable recaptures this year included two Blackbirds and a Cetti's Warbler ringed in 2011, and two Wrens and a Dunnock ringed in 2013. For the migrants, we retrapped two Sedge Warblers originally ringed in 2013, but the recapture (and presumably survival) rate of Reed Warblers seems higher, with captures of two Reed Warblers ringed in 2011, one ringed in 2012 and nine ringed in 2013.

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