Another good, if truncated, month (I had 2 sessions planned and postponed by the weather for the end of the month, no doubt others had sessions planned as well). It was our best June since the group as currently constituted was formed on 1st January 2013.
The highlight was undoubtedly Jonny getting to start his reed bed project at Langford Lakes, massively boosting the number of Reed Warbler in this month’s haul. His first catch includes a Spanish ringed recapture (for which we haven’t yet received a report) and he caught another at his Melksham site that was ringed as a Juvenile at Marsworth Reservoir, near Tring, last year.
The restrictions we still had in place are reflected in the numbers of House Sparrow and Starling being caught: the glut of House Sparrows is mainly down to Andy Palmer and Jonny catching in their gardens. I think they should share their catching secrets. There are a lot around me but I catch very few. The other notable increase is in the number of Blackbirds in the catch, to which Jonny and I made the largest contributions.
Two significant falls though: Blackcap and Blue Tit. I am not sure what is behind the reduction. Although I have been locked out of both Ravensroost Woods and the Firs, due to the Trust’s restrictions as a precaution against Covid-19 (now lifted for the Firs and Ravensroost Meadows, but not yet for Ravensroost Wood), they aren’t big Blue Tit catchment areas in the summer, but they are for Blackcap. Also, I remain restricted to the wildlife refuge area at Lower Moor Farm, and the numbers there have been quite disappointing so far.
The first 6 months of the year have delivered record months in March, May and June. This has meant that we have had our best second quarter and best first half of the year so far. Let’s hope it continues.