It has been a very busy summer, indeed. So busy that I have ended up writing this blogpost in December...
CES ringing (SYLVIA project) has revealed a quite good breeding season for many species. Early and abundant spring rainfall provided a food for many passerine species and no strong rain episodes occurred during the main incubation period, which is usually a potential cause for breeding failure. By mid-May some of the early species had already chicks in regular numbers, and June is the best time for all the species, with fledgings from the latest breeding species and, usually, second broods of the sedentary fellows.
|Juvenile (EURING 3) Melodious Warbler (Hippolais |
polyglotta). They arrive quite late, mostly during May, chicks
are mostly flying by mid-July, and they migrate very fast,
leaving the breeding grounds mostly during August.
|Juvenile (EURING 3) Western Bonelli's Warbler (Phylloscopus|
bonelli). They arrive slightly earlier, mostly during April, and
chicks are flying between late June and early July. They also leave
the breeding grounds between August and September.
Some especial species caught during the CES ringing sessions were this juvenile Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor) and this adult Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur) at La Corbatera, a riparian forest station, and two juvenile Rock Buntings (Emberiza cia) caught at Montserrat, a Mediterranean pine tree succession community.
|Juvenile Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocpos minor).|
I had never seen one with this greenish tinge on the face and
|Adult (EURING 4) Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur).|
|Juvenile (EURING 3) Rock Bunting (Emberiza cia).|
At my main ringing station, L'Aiguamoll de la Bòbila, it was very nice to recover the breeding of Great Reed Warblers (Acrocephalus arundinaceus). Last year, since the wetland was dry during the whole spring and summer, there was only a brief sighting of a singing male after some little rain in June; but they never bred. This year, interestingly, two breeding pairs succeeded! Thanks to the ringing activities, both males and one of the females were already ringed from 2014 and 2015, which is quite interesting, since only one of these birds came last year, but they have all returned and succeeded this season!
|A returning breeding female Great Reed Warbler from 2015!|
|Male Bee-eater (Merops apiaster).|
|Juvenile (EURING 3) Hoopoe (Upupa epops).|
|To compare with the previous one, this breeding individual|
from the SYLVIA station in La Corbatera was also on primary
moult in mid-July. It was aged as a 2cy (EURING 5) on the
pattern of the unmoulted primary coverts in the previous moult.
Surprises are always welcome, as this cracking male Rock Thrush (Monticola saxatilis)!
It was also about wheatears when we went to some areas in the central part of Catalunya to target Black-eared Wheatears (Oenanthe hispanica), in collaboration with Reto Burri and José Luis Copete. The wheatears themselves are very nice birds!
|Black-eared Wheatear in its typical open habitat.|
|Adult (EURING 6) male, black-throated morph.|
|Adult (EURING 6) male, white-throated morph.|
|Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris).|
|Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator).|
|Western Orphean Warbler (Sylvia hortensis).|
|Ortolan Bunting (Emberiza hortulana).|