May 2022 – Summary

Each May I live in the hope that I will ring a good number and selection of migrants at SML. The reality this year (and every other year) has been a large number of re-traps, both of resident species and returning migrants such as Blackcap and Chiffchaff, whilst new birds and passage migrants have remained elusive. I have to accept the fact that, given reasonable weather, there is little reason for birds to linger or even stop at South Milton on route to their breeding grounds. Consequently, I have struggled to find the enthusiasm to keep the blog up to date.

However, 96 birds of fifteen species were trapped this month, with 45 new birds, 50 re-traps and one UK control Reed Warbler. Adults and juveniles of resident species such as Blackbird, Dunnock, Long-tailed Tit, Robin and Wren made up 75% of the new birds with just 11 migrants amongst the total.

SpeciesNew BirdsRe-trapsTotal
Blackbird4913
Blackcap369
Blue Tit044
Cetti’s Warbler033
Chiffchaff459
Dunnock6410
Goldfinch303
Great Tit112
Great-spotted Woodpecker101
Jay101
Long-tailed Tit718
Reed Warbler257
Robin6511
Sedge Warbler235
Wren5510
Total455196

Thursday 5th May 2022

Back in the field after a relaxing break at Portland Bird Observatory. There was little evidence of migration at South Milton Ley with just 25 birds trapped. Only 10 of these were new, including 3 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Jay and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker. The re-traps were mostly returned breeding Blackcaps, Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers, Chiffchaffs and two local Cetti’s Warblers. The Jay and Great Spotted Woodpecker were the last two birds to be caught and I managed to extract and process both of them without personal injury!