22 January 2017

Wonderful Waste Water Works

After a very busy Chiffchaff morning at Carnon Downs works, now seems like a good time for an update. Perfect conditions this morning allowed an amazing catch of 73 Chiffchaffs, including no fewer than eight tristis race birds! Our catch also included two controls from Nanjizal (45km as the Chiff flies), including a tristis ringed on 1st December. Equally interesting was the recapture of a bird ringed at Gwennap works on 5th January; the first time we've recorded any bird moving between two sewage works sites! It may only be 4.5km between these sites, but for all the time we've netted at various sites this is a notable first.

After such a big catch, we then decided to work out our Chiffchaff totals for the year. It turns out we've ringed 151 Chiffchaffs, including 14 tristis birds. This is a bit artificial though, so the more sensible totals are for the whole winter; 211 Chiffchaff ringed, of which 22 were tristis! These totals really do go to show how important these sites are for wintering Chiffchaffs. Just for fun, below are a few of the recent tristis birds, some taken in apparently poor light...

Two very different-looking tristis

Two tristis, with a collybita for comparison

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