Thursday, 30 October 2014

Leys CES 2014

The CES at Leys started in 2008 and in now in it's seventh year. Six nets are erected from 6am until noon on 12 occasions from May until early September. It means an early start to have all the nets open for 6am. It was an easy year as far as weather goes with no sessions cancelled but one or two were curtailed due to showers or windy conditions. 

The site is a loch that has naturally colonised with a mix of sedges, reed bed and willow carr. Boardwalks have been build into the wetlands to allow safe access when water levels are high.

Setting up the nets c Walter Burns

This year was the second best ever for the number of birds ringed. 453 new birds were caught during the 12 sessions this year. We had good numbers of adults of most species and productivity was good. Sedge Warblers did particularly well this year with 102 juveniles ringed.  Wrens had a superb year with 47 Juveniles ringed compared with 4 in 2012 and 23 in 2013. Nine Reed Bunting juveniles were ringed compared with none in  2012 and 7 in 2013.

Highlights this year were a pair of Grasshopper Warblers, a juvenile Redstart, a juvenile Water Rail and a Reed Bunting ringed in 2008 and not caught since.

Water rail c Walter Burns

Garden Warbler c Walter Burns

Grasshopper warbler c Walter Burns

Thanks to Leys Charitable Trust for permssion to use the site and to the Ranger Thys Simpson for his help and encouragement.

Those involved in helping during the 2014 season were Phil Bacon, Walter and Ann Burns, Tony Hurst, Dennis McCullough, Harry Richardson, Cairns Smith and Jenny Weston.

Ringing will continue over the winter. This autumn we have already ringed a Jay as well as sixty plus Lesser Redpolls with a few Common Redpolls among them.

Alister Clunas