As usual , January was a quiet month for bird ringing. In total 8 ringing sessions were carried but much more technical visits and work were done. In the beginning of the month , an inventory of all the ringing material and rings was carried out. Still, with 8 sessions only, 448 birds were ringed and recaptured mostly in the last two weeks of the month when the weather turned cold and chilly.
This is a good number for January!
Most of the birds are caught near the bird feeders at this time of the year or at the water's edge with special traps. Interesting captures were a Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) on the 17th, 1 Chiffchaff (Phy. collibita) and 2 wintering Water Rails (Rallus aquaticus) thanks to the effort made to check the winter population of Rails in our reserve . To note also were 6 Long tailed Tits (Aegithalos caudatus) of the nominate ssp, 3 Mallards (Anas plathy.), 17 Yellowhammers (Emb. citrinella) and 1 Magpie (Pica pica).
We had also some remarkable recaptures of 3 different Nuthatches (Sitta europea) and 3 Middle Spotted Woodpeckers (Dendrocopus medius) that are visiting the feeders on a regular basis, the latter is quite worthy of note since it is not that common to have 3 Medium Spotted Woodpecker visiting our feeders on the habitats of our reserve.
It was a good opportunity for the team to learn more about this secretive species of woodpecker. Schlammwiss Reserve is not only about bird ringing but our team also keeps a good lookout on the birds around.
The big task for this month was observing the water pipits (Anth. spinoletta) roost in preparation for the GPS project that will take place in the coming months, more info on this project on our website, click here.
There was up to 6 Teals around (Anas crecca) 2-3 Water Rails (Rallus aquaticus) wintering in Sias area, regular flocks of Siskins (Carduelis spinus) visiting the Birch trees during the day and 2 Black headed Gulls (Lar. ridibundus) were also observed in the first days. Cormorants number increased in the reserve as the water starts to freeze in lakes and waterways around the reserve but fortunately the water does not freeze in the water treatment ponds so it's a good fishing place for Cormorants.
A white wagtail (Mot. alba) and at least 2 Grey Wagtails (Mot. cinerea) are passing the winter in the resrerve too. Up to 6 Great White Egrets (Ardea alba) were obsreved flying over the reserve , some roost in the reserve too.
We also observed an increase in the numbers of Fieldfares (Turd. pilaris) and Blackbirds (Turd. merula) at the last week of the month probably due to the recent cold snap that pushed more birds from the North to move South.
The nestboxes have been cleaned on Sunday morning, the 18th with Raoul, Tiago and Cédric. We got a surprise in one of them being populated by a mice family.
Thanks to the team for the effort they make even in this cold weather to work, ring and observe birds in our reserve.
Visit of our members from the Schlammwissteam: