Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Scouse Ringer no Verão: Veiga da S.Simão

My summer of ringing has begun as we arrived in Portugal on Sunday night. This year will see my ringing efforts focusing on the north of the country, mostly in coastal reed bed sites to monitor the migration of sub-Saharan passerines with both PADA grupo de anilhadores in the Mondego Valley and Grupo Viana do Castello (GCV) in the beautiful Minho region in the north.

We have six days of ringing planned in the Minho - three days at our, now established, site Veiga da S.Simão, across the river from the city of Viana do Castelo, and three days at Paul do Coura on the border with Spain.

The ringing sessions at Veiga have been relatively slow to start with only 51 birds ringed over the first two days, but these included Melodious Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Stonechat and Nightingale. The winter was quite dry in this area this year and as a result, the insect count is quite low and this could have had an impact on the number of breeding warblers as the numbers of Blackcap, Cetti's Warbler and Iberian Chiffchaff are greatly down on last year.

Juvenile Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)

 Nightingale: This bird was aged as a juvenile due to the buff tipping on the tertial feathers - this becomes less reliable later in the summer as the fringes of the feathers become more worn.

Tomorrow we have the first of two public ringing demonstrations for Ciencia Viva: Biologia no Verão where we will be joined by ten members of the public (and a few trainees) to explain what ringing is, how and why it is done and to discuss some of our findings. We will then repeat the three day cycle at Paul do Coura, a reed bed site, culminating in another Ciencia Viva session.

Juvenile Robin (Erithacus rubecula) with slight beak deformity
23 July

Blue Tit -   3
Stonechat -   1
Blackcap -   3   (2)
Robin -   4
Sardinian Warbler -   3   (2)
Cetti's Warbler -   1
Great Tit -   4   (1)
Greenfinch -   1
Short-toed Treecreeper -   1
Wren -   1
Blackbird -   8   (1)

TOTAL:    30   (6)

Waxbill (Estrilda astrild)
24 July

Melodious Warbler -   1
Robin -   3
Sardinian Warbler -   4
Chaffinch -   2
Blackcap -   1   (3)
Nightingale -   1
Reed Warbler -  1
Wren -   1
Waxbill -   2
Song Thrush -   2
Blackbird -   2
Great Tit -   1

TOTAL:   21   (3)

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