20 July 2021

Back in the marsh

So with a change of tenancy and Covid rules relaxed enough to allow more ringing freedom, three of us ventured into Gunwalloe reedbed for the first non-roost ringing at the site since September 2016. Since that time we've ringed the Swallow roost just twice (in August 2018 and September 2019), so it was great to get back in for some warbler ringing. The site was originally run as a CES (Constant Effort Site) so we hope to restart that in the future.

But as is always the way it has taken a bit of clearance and work to get the reedbed net ride back to a usable condition, including finding the original boardwalk and filling in some gaps. We did still manage to find some poles and guys from years gone by though!

We started early this morning to avoid the heat and with just a small number of nets caught 41 birds before closing up at 9am. Having not ringed at the site for so long it wasn't too surprising to find no local retraps, but we WERE surprised to find two ringed warblers (a Sedge and a Reed), both with AXL rings. The ring sequence did seem familiar and it turns out these were both birds ringed last autumn at Nanjizal (just 30km as the warbler flies), so nice to share some Cornish birds between a breeding site and a migration site.

One of the AXL birds from Nanjizal
Not surprisingly the majority of captures were Sedge and Reed Warblers, but we did also manage a few juvenile Whitethroats and a juvenile Cetti's Warbler. We hope to ring the site more over the autumn so will add updates when we can.

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