11 July 2012

Wet Wet Wet! Not just a pop group, it's a British summer

Ringers and nest recorders have been finding it tough this year trying to fit in ringing sessions and nest searching between the rain storms. May produced some mixed results with some resident birds nesting successfully and others completely failing. June and July have so far been a bit wet with record levels of rainfall! The arrival of early migrants was staggered this year with some birds managing to fit in a successful breeding attempt and others arriving just in time for the rain.

Bob Burridge from Devon has been ringing for some 45 years and has been amazed by how bad this season has been for his study groups, the warblers and buntings. There have been some Chiffchaff and Whitethroat broods but he hasn't seen any fledglings of Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warbler, Blackcap and Reed Bunting which are normally very prolific at this time of year at his ringing site in South Milton Ley. All of his Spotted Flycatcher nests so far this year have also failed.

The wet weather coupled with wind and low temperatures have really hindered the migrants' food resources. Hopefully things will improve and some of the birds may still have time to have a successful breeding attempt but the weather man isn't so confident.

Thanks to Bob Burridge for letting us know and to Amy Lewis for the photo of the Chiffchaff.

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