Gary, Mick P, Duncan, Tom, Sue and I made the trip to Wales on Sunday to ring the Pied Flycatcher chicks. We had again received varying reports about the season, suggesting our planned visit may be a little late and then a report on Friday suggesting we may be going a little early!
The weather was blue sky and sunshine all the way there and continued like that for the rest of the day. The lack of Buzzards in the wood over the last few years had given some concern but we saw plenty on the spring visit and two flew out of the wood as we arrived.
We decided that Sue and Tom would probably fare better ringing wise in the main wood as last year the 'Toilet Wood' was poor. So we set off checking the boxes, I went to Toilet Wood alone expecting to find very little but was surprised to find half the boxes occupied by Pied Flycatchers or Redstarts. All the pulli (other than 1 runt) in these boxes were at a suitable stage for ringing and I ended up ringing 40 Pied flycatcher chicks and 1 adult, plus a recapture and 8 Redstart chicks and 1 adult.
I set off to meet the others and continue to check the remaining boxes, expecting the day to be a bumper ringing day. How wrong I was as the other 110 boxes produced only 18 Pied Flycatcher chicks, 8 new adults and 4 recaptures – the chicks that were in these boxes were all too small. It means there should be approx 150 chicks to ring in 24 boxes early next week – anyone care to make a weekday trip?
We did manage to catch a Wood Warbler to end the visit but despite seeing the Buzzards on arrival we could find no active nest. We ended with 58 pulli Pied Flycatchers and 14 adults, 8 Redstart chicks and 1 adult plus a Wood Warbler. The oldest retrap was from 2010, two of the ringed birds were controls.
Thanks to Sue and Tom for the photos.