Report of the month - March


History: The nature reserve "Schlammwiss" was founded in 1982 by the foundation"Hellef fir Natur" (HFN). Afterwards the group "Letzeburger Natur- a Vullenschutzliga" (LNVL) founded the station "Schlammwiss". The station is leaded by the "centrale ornithologique Luxembourg" (COL), a part of the asbl. Natur & Emwelt. Due to the fact that Luxembourg doesn't have its own bird ringing central, we work in cooperation with Royal Belgian Instutitute of Natural Sciences. Therefore, we use rings from the Belgian Museum of Natural Sciences.


Location: The bird ringing station "Schlammwiss" is located in Luxembourg, between the communities Schuttrange & Munsbach. The nature reserve is part of the 375ha big Syrvalley and is an extremely important Natura 2000 zone. The reserve is periodicly flooded due to the Syr river, which is an important generator of biodiversity.


Research area: Around 30ha are used for researche, on a length of 1km and a width of 30-120m. The main area is covered by reeds and wetlands (20ha). Furthermore, the resarch area is subdivided and caracterized by an orchard, a forest, several ponds distributed throughout the reedbed and a purification plant (SIAS). The main techniques employed are mist nets and rail traps in order to realize population estimates (i.e. breeding population, migration, overwintering population) and survival estimates by Capture-Mark-Recapture. There are several projects running in the nature reserve and visitation are possible.


Summary of the ringing activity this month

In March, our members who are mostly volunteers, have spent about 654 hours working at  at the birdringing station "Schlammwiss".  This results in 514 hours ringing activities and 140 working hours at the station this month.


Thanks a lot for your help!


With this effort it was possible to capture 710 birds of 29 species (see the table left) this month at our station.


This number is subdivided in 300 E, 138 K and 1272 W.  The total amount of individuals (E+K) is 438.  This is lower (-10) than the mean number of birds caught at the station from 2001-2020 and higher (+194) than the number of last year.


None bird foreign origin has been caught.


E:  first capture of this individual

W:  recapture of an individual which was already captured this year

K:  individuals which were ringed one or more years ago or individuals with a foreign country or station



    species n
1. EMBSCH Reed Bunting 55
2. EMBCIT Yellowhammer


3. PHYCOL Chiffchaff 46
4. ERIRUB Robin 45
5. PARCAE Blue Tit 35

Interesting birds captured:

  species n
1. Accipiter nisus 1
2. Luscinia svecica
3. Passer montanus
4. Rallus aquaticus
5. Remiz pendulinus

The first graphic below shows the current situation of birds captured this year in comparison of the median number of birds captured from 2001-2020. In addition, we include a new bar chart with an more accurate time calculation. The bar chart is divided in the normal ringing activities, special ringing activities (e.g.: ringing Barn Owls, control of nest boxes,..) and time we spent at the bird ringing station for further work or "other activities" (e.g.: replacing of nets, clearing net lines, visits,...).

In older calculations, only a time calculation was done on the basis of the ringing data. This time calculation was retained for graphs 2 and 3 so that the results can be compared with recent years.

The number of birds captured this year and working time this year (old calculation) in comparison of the mean number of birds caught in the years 2001-2020 and the mean working time from 2018-2020 is shown in the second graph below left.

In the second graph below right you can find a comparison of this year with the last three years.

Graph 1

In the graph on the left you can see the course of the ringed species compared to the days with open nets of each month. Furthermore, the mean value of species and the open nets days from 2018-2020 are displayed. The distribution of birds ringed and working time per day are illustrated in the graph on the left. The number of birds ringed is separated in E, W and K.

First spring arrivals captured:

Species Latin Name








or early

Water Rail Rallus aquaticus 23.1 23.2 31.3 +31
Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla 13.2 17.2 31.3 +4
Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita 20.2 2.3 10.3 +10
Bluethroat Luscinia svecia 27.3 16.3 25.3 -11
Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus 28.3 27.4


Stonechat Saxicola torquata 20.3 3.3 17.3 -17
Firecrest Regulus ignicapilla   16.3 9.4  
Goldcrest Regulus regulus   23.3 /  
Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros   24.3 /  
Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus   30.3 1.4  
Spotted Crake Porzana porzana   31.3 /  
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica   5.4 /  
Savi's Warbler Locustella luscinioides   6.4 10.5  
Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola   19.4 /  
Whitethroat Sylvia communis   19.4 8.4  
Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus   21.4 1.5  
Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca   21.4 14.4  
Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia   21.4 /  
Garden Warbler Syvlia borin   28.4 22.4  
Wryneck  Jynx torquilla   28.4 /  
Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus   18.5 22.4  
Red Backed Shrike Lanius collurio   17.5 10.5  
Marsh Warbler Acrocephalus palustris   10.5 13.5  


The distribution of the age is shown in the pie chart below. You can find the exact amount in the table right. Birds with the age code 1 or 3 are considered as juvenile and birds with an age code of 4 or higher are registered as adults. Note that the age of birds with the code 6 or higher is (in the most cases) only possible to tell by recaptured birds (K). The age of birds with the code 2 is unknown.


Code Amount   Definiton
C 1   older than four years
B 4   born four years ago


  older than three years
9 8   born three years ago
8 9   older than two years
7 20   born two years ago
6 35   older than one year


  born last year


  age unknown, but not born this year
3 /   born this year
2 /   age unknown
1 /   nestling

Foreign birds that we controlled this year:

 Month Species  Country  Central  
 March Phylloscopus collybita  Germany Radolfzell  

The weather information are offered by


Thank you!

All our sightings are registered by


Thanks to everyone who was observing at our station and put the data online!


Photos of this month

Some photographers sent us their photos which we included into our report.

All other photos are provided by Jim Schmitz.


Thank you for the photos!





Did you take any photos at the station, a visit or of any birds with a ring that could be from our station and want to publish those in the next report of the month?

Contact us!

Extra story:

In order to support the expansion of the Hoopoe (Upupa epos) and hopefully the natural reintroduction of breeding birds in Luxembourg, we installed about 30 new nest boxes this year!


We cross our fingers!



Thanks to the editiors of this report:

Charel Klein


Photos: Jim Schmitz

Providing the data: Cédric Brodin:

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