29 December 2014

Last few Chiffchaff of the year

Barring calm enough winds tomorrow to net a few garden birds, today saw the last mist-netting of the year for the group. A morning start at The Lizard caught a few Goldfinch, Greenfinch and House Sparrow, and we then headed on to Gwennap Sewage Works. The cold start to the day had brought reasonable numbers of birds into the works, but the afternoon sun meant the insects were up in the trees, so most of the 20 Chiffchaff and three Siberian Chiffchaff there were too high to catch. But enough were milling round the site that we still managed to ring seven collybita Chiffchaff and one tristis Siberian Chiffchaff.

The tristis Chiffchaff (left) stands out against the 'standard' bird on the right, lacking olive-green or yellow tones on the plumage. Seems odd, but tristis Chiffs always seem to fluff up...

Travelling between the two sites today, we stopped off to check a dead bird on the road for rings, but by the time we'd turned round it had miraculously recovered and was stood in the middle of the road! After narrowly being missed by a passing car, we managed to scoop up a stunned adult Water Rail and take it with us. After a short while in the bag we normally store our nets in (and a nice portion of Sardines we bought for it) it recovered and was quite feisty. So it was duly ringed and released into the more salubrious setting of the new reedbed at Gwennap.

18 December 2014

Stithians Chaffinch in Norway and even more Welsh Stormies!

Our last blog post highlighted a few interesting recoveries received from the BTO, and with only a very slight alteration to the theme (this time "Autumn migrants going the right way and more Welsh Stormies"), this post highlights more recoveries received today. Normally the crown would be taken by the reports of three more Lizard-ringed Storm Petrels recaught in south Wales, but instead of the usual reports from Skokholm Island, these came from nearby Skomer Island. Two of these birds were ringed on The Lizard in 2013, recaught on 28th and 29th July 2014, but 2683255 was more interesting. It was ringed on The Lizard on 30th June 2014, before being recaught on Skomer Island at 23:25 on 25th July. Not satisfied with this, it was then recaught an hour and a half later (01:00 on 26th July) on Skokholm Island, 3-4km from Skomer. The chances of this must be rather slim, but it'll be fascinating to see if this bird is caught again in future years.

But this time round, the most interesting recovery was of a lowly Stithians Chaffinch, ringed as an adult way back in December 2011. We've often wondered how far these birds came to winter at Stithians and presume that they'd be local SW birds relocating, so this report from southern Norway was amazing! Y397543 was recaught near Høvåg on 25th March 2014, presumably on return migration to somewhere else in Scandinavia.

This is just the second Cornish-ringed Chaffinch to be found in Norway (following one in 1977), but four have made it to Sweden.

Last up was another northward-bound migrant, but this time a Sparrowhawk ringed in a Lizard garden on 6th September and sadly found dead on the road in Falmouth a month later.

5 December 2014

Autumn migrants going the wrong way and more Welsh Stormies

We've just received a whole batch of reports back from the BTO detailing some movements of birds to and from the group area. There were rather a lot of local movements, but here are some of the highlights.
Our great run of Storm Petrel movements continues (see the first few here), with yet more movements to and from Wales. This time we received details of four birds ringed at The Lizard that were recaught in Pembrokeshire, on Skokholm Island and at Wooltack Point. Two of these were birds ringed in 2012 and 2013, but the others were quite quick same-year movements, at 38 days, 26 days and 20 days. In fact, all of these last three were ringed on the same date (30th June), the same date we also caught a Portuguese-ringed bird.

The Portuguese-ringed Stormie caught back in June
We then just had one Storm Petrel movement he other way, from Skokholm to The Lizard (194km), but in managed this in just one day! It was ringed at 00:40 on 24th July and recaught down at The Lizard at 00:30 on 25th July.
Two rather more unusual reports came from Nanjizal, with migrants moving north in the late summer/autumn. A Sedge Warbler ringed on 21st August was recaught 250km away in Dorset seven days later (so moving northeast) and even more bizarrely a juvenile Sand Martin ringed on 10th July was recaught nearly 500km away in West Yorkshire six days later! This again is a very quick northeasterly movement and seems most odd...

Six-day movement of Sand Martin Z118605

1 December 2014

Lesson in fault bars

In what turned out to be a quiet morning at Predannack, I thought we'd just post up a pic of this rather obvious set of fault bars on a Chaffinch.

Fault bars are areas of weakness where growing feathers have been compromised by poor weather, food shortage etc, and are normally most obvious on tail feathers. This can happen at any age, but the key thing to remember is that juveniles grow their main flight feathers (including tail) at the same time (in the nest), whereas adults will moult them sequentially. So although birds of any age can show fault bars, the fact that on this bird the distinct pattern of fault bars is the same distance from the tip of all the tail feathers indicates these were all grown at the same time; ie this is a juvenile bird.

28 November 2014

Nanjizal 2014 totals

After another succesful season at Nanjizal, the nets were finally taken down yesterday. Whilst there are boind to be a few more wintering Chiffchaff and Yellow-browed Warblers on site, it's time to focus on other things.

So time for a quick summary of the 2014 season, when an exceptional 5524 birds were ringed. The top five species ringed for the year were:

2014 total
Blackcap 1305
Sedge Warbler 1274
Chiffchaff 753
Whitethroat 353
Robin 304

But some of the totals of scarcer species are perhaps more notable:

2014 total
Tree Pipit 9
Grasshopper Warbler 146
Yellow-browed Warbler 10
Firecrest 9

Add to these totals a fair smattering of rarities (Aquatic Warbler, Paddyfield Warbler, Barred Warbler, Common Rosefinch and Little Bunting) and it's been a good year! If anyone is interested in ringing at Nanjizal (and joining the autumn warbler monitoring at Marazion  Marsh RSPB reserve), then check out more details on the Nanjizal page.

Netful of Grasshopper Warblers
Paddyfield Warbler
Aquatic Warbler
Barred Warbler
Little Bunting

26 November 2014

Helston gulls and our first Skylarks

After putting up a new Barn Owl box with the National Trust yesterday, I couldn't resist stopping off with a loaf of bread at Helston Boating Lake to see what gulls were around. I soon had a good gathering of Black-headed Gulls, along with a few other scroungers. The few birds there included the regular White 23D8 from Berkshire, but also a young Herring Gull with a nice blue ring!

W:047 was ringed on an industrial estate roof in Falmouth in June. This is only 15km from Falmouth, but still interesting to see it leaving the town rather than hovering round eating chips.

White 23D8 and Blue W:047 hanging out together
Later in the afternoon we then set nets out at Predannack in the hope of catching some of the 100+ Skylark using the set-aside fields there. Setting up seven nets in an 'H' pattern, we put a 'tape' on pre-dawn and at first light walked the adjacent field, moving over 30 birds towards the nets. But with a little too much dawn light, we only managed to catch eight birds, but now know better for next time (tomorrow). These are the first Skylark ringed by the group and weighing in at almost 40g some were quite impressive!

Swithching the 'tape' (actually an MP3 player) to Meadow Pipit, which seem to be less wary of nets in daylight, we topped up the day's catch with 16 Meadow Pipits.

Bit hard to see, but the 'H' of nets now furled for tomorrow morning

24 November 2014

Peregrine and Blue Tit on the move

Unrelated movements I'll add, but both quite interesting nonetheless! At the weekend we were emailed the photo below of a Peregrine seen at Pointe de l'Herbaudière, Ile Noirmoutier in western France. It's a bit hard to make out in the photo, but the ring was read by two people as Yellow JF, which makes it a bird we ringed as a chick at Kenidjack in May this year. This is a really interesting movement in its first winter (some 417km), but not unprecedented, with one other Cornish-ringed Peregrine seen in France.

Our second exciting movement of the day came from a new ringing site near Predannack, where a wild bird seed crop has been planted at Teneriffe Farm. Our morning session didn't catch many of the finches (Chaf, Green and Linnet) in the field, but did produce a surprisingly large number of Blue Tits. One of these was already ringed though (with a group ring), so we presumed it was from a Lizard garden just a few kilometres away, but it was in fact a bird ringed as a nestling at Bonallack, near Gweek, some 10km from Predannack. This doesn't seem the longest of movements, but in the Blue Tit world it's quite impressive!

L930113 had been moving so fast it even came out blurred in all my photos!
The fields at Predannack do look quite promising though, with over 110 Skylark in two large fields and a good scattering of finches and even the odd Snipe, Lapwing and Golden Plover. A couple of brief calls very reminiscent of Red-throated Pipit also livened up the morning, but we never managed to pin that one down...

Sunrise at Predannack - for no reason!
Thanks to Dominique Robard for reporting and photographing the Peregrine in France.

18 November 2014

More Sibes at Nanjizal

Thinking we'd have a busy thrush day at Nanjizal, a few of us headed out to Penwith in anticipation, but it wasn't to be. The curse of Grantham struck again, and our catch total of 39 new birds (and a scattering of retrap Wrens) was a bit on the low side...

But it did include a couple of nice Siberian visitors, in the shape of a Yellow-browed Warbler and a Siberian Chiffchaff.
Very hazy, burned out but unedited photo of the Yellow-browed

I thought I'd leave it unannounced in a bird bag as a little surprise for Guill McIvor, who runs the Exeter University Jackdaw project around Stithians and Penryn.

See left the slightly bemused look on his face on taking something small out of a bird bag, before the lightbulb moment happened and the resultant childlike grin below developed!

Bit hard to see in this photo, but this bird was carrying plenty of fat (4/8 on the ringing fat scale), and weighed in at over 8g. Doesn't seem like much, but it is if you're a Yellow-browed Warbler
Our second Sibe of the day was a rather smart Siberian Chiffchaff (tristis). It wasn't calling unfortunately, but the general lack of olive tones (it did have a green wash over a lot of the upperparts), gleaming white underparts and striking face pattern did make it stand out amongst the five more typically olive local Chiffchaffs (collybita).

Cornish weather can be a bit unpredictable, so you've got to use only the best storm ties!

5 November 2014

Birds of a feather...

...and a rather smelly feather at that! But do they really stick together?

We've just received various reports of our ringed birds from BTO, detailing when/where they've been found subsequently. For a House Sparrow and Blue Tit ringed at the Stithians feeding station this wasn't too far, being found just along the road; the former found dead and the latter killed hitting a window.

But we did also receive news of two of our Storm Petrels recaught on Skokholm Island. Both had been ringed at Hot Point, Lizard, on 11th July 2013, being recaught on Skokholm on 24th and 30th July 2014 (see details on the Skokholm Island blog). Interestingly, last year ringers on Skokholm also recaught two other Stormies ringed on 11th July, so there musty have been something special about that night. Looking back, we ringed 78 birds that night, which is the second most we've ever caught in any one night at Hot Point, beaten only by 80 birds on 7th-8th July 2013 (blogged here). So maybe there was just something special about that week...

The map below shows Hot Point, Lizard, in yellow and all of the sites where we've exchanged Storm Petrels in red, with Skokholm highlighted in orange. The bias towards the English Channel and southern Irish Sea is perhaps not surprising, but it's a bit surprising we don't draw in more passage birds heading to colonies further north.

4 November 2014

Blackcaps galore and a smart Little Bunting: October at Nanjizal

After a really good September's ringing at Nanjizal, hopes were high for an even better October, but sadly it wasn't to be. Strong winds, rain and fog reduced October ringing sessions considerably across the county and despite its sheltered location, Nanjizal suffered as much as any.

Despite the weather though, over 800 birds were ringed during October, including 355 Blackcap and 135 Chiffchaff. The late run of Blackcaps brought the year total up to an incredible 1253, which is already by far the highest-ever annual total ringed in the county. The BTO online ringing report shows county ringing totals back to 2006, and the highest Blackcap total since then was 624 birds in 2011. In fact, the average annual total since 2006 is just 389 birds! So even considering the well-documented population increase in Blackcaps in recent years, the massive jump in ringing totals is amazing.

Other species ringed in good numbers included Sedge Warbler (bringing the year total to 1204), Whitethroat (340) and Grasshopper Warbler (136). On the rarity front, with so many Yellow-browed Warblers arriving up-country, we were hoping to beat last years total of 12 birds ringed, but just six were ringed in October: maybe November will see a big push of birds heading west. The pick of the bunch though, was a very smart Little Bunting ringed on 11th October; still not an annual visitor to the county.

Although the east coast has recently seen huge numbers of thrushes arriving in the last week, very few have been coming through Cornwall. Also seemingly lacking are the expected big numbers of Chaffinch, although the last few days has seen a notable increase, as well as the first flushes of Redwing and Song Thrush. So here's hoping they arrive soon, before Nanjizal closes down for the winter...

26 October 2014

23D8 returns

It's that time of year when we should be out catching migrants, but it's also the time of year when the weather is never calm enough to open nets. So it's also the time to await the arrival of some of our returning winter birds, including some real creatures of habit. One such regular is 23D8 that we've blogged about before (see here).

Breeding in its natal colony at Hosehill Lake, Berkshire, 23D8 is a regular winter visitor to Helston Boating Lake, but in recent years has paused briefly on the Camel estuary en route to Helston. This winter it arrived back bang on cue on 24th October, and for once we thought it had slipped through the Camel estuary unnoticed, but having just heard back from the ringer, that's apparently not the case!

23D8, third from the right (honestly!), back on bread-stealing duty
Over the last few years, 23D8's movements can be summarised as...
  • last seen in Berkshire June 2012
  • Camel estuary 4th October 2012
  • Helston Boating Lake 21st October 2012 (to 1st March 2013)
  • back in Berkshire by 19th March 2013 (last seen 2nd July 2013)
  • Camel estuary 22nd July 2013 (and again 24th August)
  • Helston Boating Lake 17th October 2013 (to 16th February 2014)
  • back in Berkshire 9th March 2014 (last seen 4th June 2014)
  • Camel estuary 23rd June 2014 (and again 3rd October 2014)
  • Helston Boating Lake 24th October 2014
Pretty much the only other ringing we've managed recently was this very rusty rehabilitated Tawny Owl ringed at the Screech Owl Sanctuary last week. This is part of a long-term project monitoring the success of their rehab programme.

21 October 2014

Urban gull swaps Falmouth for France

It's been a while since we've blogged, but the weather's not been conducive to much ringing, and apart from a few Meadow Pipits and Linnets at The Lizard and a few more PIT-tagged tits, all's been quiet.

But today we received interesting news of one of our Great Black-backed Gulls from Falmouth, ringed in addition to the birds on Mullion Island. In 2013 we ringed three chicks on the roof of the Falmouth Marine School, but these then disappeared. We presumed they'd stay locally, but then several of the Herring Gulls ringed in the town have wandered, so perhaps Great Black-backs are likely to wander further.

But on 12th October, L:BF8 was seen at Baie de Lampaul on Ile d'Ouessant in western France. We know that birds from Looe Island will wander quite widely into France, but this is the first of our own birds (from Falmouth or Mullion Island) that has been seen abroad.

Thanks to Benjamin Griard for reporting this bird and it'll be interesting to see if it stays around the island over the winter.

30 September 2014

Lizard Arctic Warbler eludes...

Well having spent the morning trying to get to grips (not literally) with an incredibly elusive Arctic Warbler in Church Cove, Lizard, I've been playing catch-up for the remainder of the day! The warbler was found by group ringer Tony Blunden first thing and despite being heard calling a few times has eluded most people. A really dull Wood Warbler hanging around the churchyard has also added to the confusion at times...


But anyway, in more important ringing group news (and to explain the random begging dragon above!), one of our ringing group members will this weekend be doing something quite stupid and needs your help... Luke Edwyn Marsh, from Falmouth Marine School (who fund a lot of our seabird work), will this Sunday be leaping out of a perfectly fine aircraft at 15,000 feet (yes, 2.84 miles!!) as part of a big fundraising day for Pete's Dragons.

Luke (right) in his more natural habitat: ringing gull chicks on Mullion Island
The dragons fundraise for two charities: The Samaritans and Cornwall Search and Rescue Team, the latter obviously very important to me as a SAR team member! But Luke ('Enter the Dragon') is still a bit short of the funding he needs to do the jump, so what better way to use the power of the ringing group blog than to try to add a few pounds (or hundreds of pounds??!!) to his pot for these worthy causes.

Members of Cornwall Search and Rescue Team steep slope
rescue training earlier in the year; a vital technical skill
So if you'd like to read a bit more about Luke, then he's 'dragon of the day' today so check him out on the Dragon's website, and to donate click the dragon below! If just 20% of the readers of our recent Paddyfield post felt inclined to donate just £2.84 (miles to pennies...), then we'd add a whopping £354 to Luke's pot! So if you can spare a pint's worth of cash, then please donate away...


23 September 2014

Complete Goldfinch moult and other eccentric finch moults

It's long been known that some finches will undergo a limited moult of their primaries as part of their (partial) post-juvenile moult. It's not always easy to spot, but over the last couple of days we've seen some good examples in my Lizard garden. This Greenfinch is easily aged as a first-year bird (juvenile) by virtue of its relatively fresh plumage and brown-centred, pointy primary coverts. But you'll notice that it's in primary moult, with one feather still growing and another fully-grown inside it. The moulted feathers are not only fresher, but have much blacker centres, greyer tips and the yellow portions on the outer web are brighter than the juvenile feathers. But note that in this type of eccentric moult, the corresponding primary coverts aren't replaced.

The difference in the colouration of the moulted/unmoulted feathers is obvious here
This same pattern of moult is seen in several other finch species, including Goldfinch, Siskin and, rarely, Linnet. Two Goldfinches bizarrely caught at the same time today also showed this same moult pattern ,but had already finished moulting. So whilst they didn't have any obvious growing feathers, the contrast in the two ages of feather is still obvious enough. Both birds had just moulted two primaries in the centre of the feather tract.

Note the difference in the base colour of the feathers and also the degree of wear
on the white tips of the new feathers and those inside them
The second bird was very similar. Note how the two new feathers not only have
much 'smarter', unworn white tips, but also have much brighter yellow outer webs,
forming a brighter yellow patch in the wing.

Interestingly though, we did also catch a Goldfinch that was just finishing a complete moult, having moulted all flight feathers (primaries AND secondaries), primary coverts (seemingly) and tail. We know this was a first-year bird, as it was ringed as a 3J (complete juvenile) on 26th May. This is a much rarer pattern of moult, but unfortunately we don't have any photos of this bird!

Apart from garden ringing, we've also been helping out a Masters student at University of Exeter, helping to fit PIT tags (transponders) to Blue and Great Tits. This is part of a study looking at the effects of supplementary feeding on fitness in birds. PIT tags allow birds to be recorded remotely at feeders, checking themselves in and out of a feeding aviary as they pass through an aerial.

Although it looks clunky, the PIT tag on the right leg (on the left here) is very light,
and acts like a bard code which scans as the bird enters the aviary.

17 September 2014

Nanjizal update: Barred and Aquatic Warblers ringed

Ringing at Nanjizal has continued at a fair pace, with the September ringing total now just over 1000 birds. The totals for some species are also really building now, including 44 Grasshopper Warbler (138 for the year), 182 Sedge Warbler (1248 for the year), 98 Whitethroat, 400 Blackcap, 78 Chiffchaff and four Redstart. Even better are the tit totals: just eight Blue and two Great!

On the rarer front, both juvenile Barred and Aquatic Warbler have been caught, adding to the already impressive species list for the year, and a close call was a Western Bonelli's Warbler sat by a furled net on 15th.

Barred Warbler ringed on 8th September
Aquatic Warbler ringed on 9th September, caught as nets were being furled!
Anyone wanting to ring at Nanjizal over the remainder of the autumn (and needing somewhere to stay), should have a look at the Nanjizal page on the blog for more info.

16 September 2014

Another gull coincidence

Following the bizarre gull coincidence we blogged about before (here), they just keep coming! On the weekend I needed to go out to St Ives to replace a battery on one of the relay stations (that bounce the downloaded logger data to our base station) and also to retrieve one of the loggers from the Co-op roof that had either fallen off or been removed by one of the gulls... We knew the bird was alive and well as it had been seen on Hayle estuary by ring-reader extraordinaire Steve Lister (holidaying Leicestershire county recorder), but the tag was still just transmitting from the rooftop!

One of the two relay stations in St Ives
The retrieved logger, unfortunately now minus aerial
Whilst I was there it would be rude to not have a look on the beach for some of our birds... As ever, W:186 was still mugging children on the beach by Rod's Deckchairs (now accompanied by two begging juveniles) and on the beach by the ice cream parlour was W:194.

W:194 on the beach at St Ives, 20m from where it was ringed!
Once these jobs were done I decided to drop in to Hayle estuary to have a quick look through the gulls there. Not only did I bump into Steve Lister (and show him the logger dropped by the bird he'd seen earlier in the week), but also spotted a couple of our St Ives birds. Nothing really special there, until I realised that one of them was W:194 which must have followed me down from St Ives! I worked out I'd been watching it on the beach in St Ives just after 3pm and then watching it on the estuary at Hayle at 3:50pm. OK, so it's only a matter 4km from St Ives to Hayle as the gull flies, but I was impressed by the coincidence!

W:194 45 at Hayle, less than an hour after I'd been watching it in St Ives

5 September 2014

Early autumn at Nanjizal - and an early Paddyfield

Autumn ringing at the private 'off site' at Nanjizal, near Land's End, has been picking up, with some pretty good numbers of birds ringed over the last couple of months. The totals are all checked now and make for impressive reading...

July - 1,090 new birds ringed

The top three species in July were Sedge Warbler (314), Willow Warbler (120) and Chiffchaff (86), although the supporting cast also included an excellent 45 Grasshopper Warbler and 68 Whitethroat.

Net full of Grasshopper Warblers

August - 1,184 new birds ringed

The top species in August was unsurprisingly Sedge Warbler again (658), taking the number ringed at the site in 2014 over the 1,000 mark (1,079 to be precise)! Second was Whitethroat (166) and then Blackcap (65), though the supporting cast was a bit more varied, including 2 Water Rail, Little Ringed Plover, 8 Tree Pipit, Redstart, 33 Grasshopper Warbler and Cornwall's fifth record of Paddyfield Warbler; a juvenile caught on 31st August.

The long-tailed appearance of Paddyfield Warblers is in part due to their very short wings
The fresh flight feathers age this Paddyfield Warbler as a juvenile bird

Nanjizal will continue to be regularly ringed through the rest of the autumn, and the next couple of months should bring big numbers of Blackcap and Chiffchaff, along with a few surprises (recent highlights include a very smart Red-eyed Vireo). Any ringers wishing to help out at Nanjizal over the autumn are welcome to come along and there is cottage accommodation nearby which sleeps four people. If you fancy coming down to help out then get in touch with us via the 'Contact us' page above.

3 September 2014

Aquatic Warbler recaught in France!

Back in August 2012, we were lucky enough to catch a juvenile Aquatic Warbler on our CES at Gunwalloe, not at the more expected Marazion Marsh where we specifically play 'tape-lures' for them on autumn migration. This was a complete surprise on CES, but not as surprising as today's news...

Y752695 at Gunwalloe in August 2012
We heard just this morning that Y752695 was recaught by French ringers in August 2013 (yes, a year ago...) at Reserve de Briere Sud in western France. This is amazing news and a great link between the migration sites in the western UK and western France. Interestingly, this isn't our first exchange with this reserve, as a Reed Warbler ringed there in August 2010 was recaught by us as a breeding bird at Gunwalloe in  July 2011.

The global population of Aquatic Warblers is just 15,000 pairs, concentrated in eastern Europe (and further east), wintering in sub-Saharan Africa. So although we can put dots on the map linking Cornwall and France, we can also put a big smudge where this bird will have bred in summer 2013...

The BTO's online ringing report has details of just two previous foreign movements of Aquatic Warblers from the UK. These were birds ringed within a day of each other in August 2006, both recaught shortly after in France (one recaught 234km away the next day and another recaught 394km away nine days later!). In fact, 2006 was the last year double-figures of Aquatic Warblers were ringed in the UK (11 birds), with the most since then being 2012 (seven birds), including two in Cornwall.

So the movement of our bird is a really nice addition to the migration picture for this globally endangered bird.

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'