On Sunday September 19, the second ringing session at Torberes d’Almardà (39.7113 -0.2069) took place. We finished placing the line of seven 9.5m long nets at 7:30h and removed them at 11:30h following the usual 4h duration of the Grup Au sessions.
Captures were disappointingly low at the stage of the migratory session, 7 birds of 4 species, none of them recaptures of ringed birds. Six birds caught in the first hour and an adult female of Luscinia svecica on the third. These are the totals (in parentheses, recaptured birds):
Cettia cetti: 3 (0)
Luscinia svecica: 2 (0)
Acrocephalus scirpaceus: 1 (0)
Phylloscopus trochilus: 1 (0)
This compared to the 12 birds of six species caught in the first session on September 4, including an Acrocephalus scirpaceus wearing a Czech Republic ring:
Acrocephalus scirpaceus: 7 (1)
Acrocephalus arundinaceus: 1 (0)
Cettia cetti: 1 (0)
Hippolais polyglotta: 1 (0)
Luscinia svecica: 1 (0)
Locustella luscinoides: 1 (0)
As on September 4, most birds caught show decently high fat levels, indicating they are still following the migration to the South. Regarding the species, the Sub-Saharan wintering species are in lower numbers, a Phylloscopus trochilus the first been caught at the site and a single Acrocephalus scirpaceus representing the marsh species.
Hence, the majority of the ringed birds correspond to Pre-Saharan species wintering around the Mediterranean: adult male and female of Luscinia svecica, the closest breeding populations in Northern Spain and Western France, and the Cettia cetti.
The latter species merits more attention. This is a broadly distributed species breeding along rivers, ponds and marshes, wintering in good numbers around the Mediterranean. In the País Valencià, there are some small breeding populations in inland wet areas (i.e. Vilamarxant) and very locale ones in coastal marshes (i.e. Prat de Cabanes).
We have not yet detected any breeding population in the Marjal d’Almenara, being absent between April and August. During the March to August 2010 ringing period in La Closa (39.7226 -0.1971), 1.5 km North-East of Torberes, we did neither catch nor hear the species after April 10. All in all, the status of this species in the Marjal must be studied closer.
Despite the low numbers of the September 19th session, we’ll try it again this coming weekend. That said, we will continue to study alternative locations for the Constant Effort Ringing Site we plan to establish.
Ringer: David Olmos
Assistant: Ángel Bereje