Lista Bird Observatory – report May 2015
A total of 470 birds were ringed during the month; 419 in mist nets during the standardized protocol (138 birds less than in 2014) with 51 birds being recaptures and birds caught in spring traps.
By Aïda López
Regarding the weather, the average temperature has been 8.7 °C, 1.1 °C below the normal. Highest temperature was 13.0 °C (14 May), and the lowest was 1.0 °C (9 May). Highest daily precipitation was 28.6 mm (19 May) with a total of 119.2 mm (average 72mm). Highest wind speed was 16.9 m/s (17 May) with the average wind being 7.2 m/s.
So, in broad terms the month has been colder and more rainy than normal.
A total of 470 birds were ringed during the month; 419 in mist nets during the standardized protocol (138 birds less than in 2014) with 51 birds being recaptures and birds caught in spring traps. 32 species have been ringed, most noteworthy being single Thrush Nightingale, Marsh Warbler and Wood Warbler. The three most abundant species ringed in May were Lesser Redpoll (117), Willow Warbler (68) and Eurasian Siskin (40).
The ringing numbers for around 30 species was lower than average, especially obvious in Thrushes and Warblers (excepting Blackcap and Chiffchaff). On the other hand, Finches, primarily Linnet, Siskin and Redpoll have been above average; while Chaffinch and Greenfinch have been caught in lower than average numbers.
We have started this year to track Northern Wheatear nests and colour ring the adults and chicks within a limited area.
A total of 164 species have been seen in May out of 191 species observed in the area during this year.
Passerines have been seen in lower numbers and arrival dates have been later than normal almost right across the board. Some species have appeared in higher numbers than recent years including Red-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, Dotterel, Rock Pipit and Chiffchaff.
A range of other species have been observed in lower numbers than normal including Black-headed Gull, Barnacle Goose, Redwing, Fieldfare, Tree Sparrow, Black-throated Diver Woodpigeon, Thrushes and Lapwing.
Some of the Waders have appeared in good number (Redshank, Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Common Sandpiper) but others have had a poor May in the area (Oystercatcher, Green Sandpiper, Curlew and Lapwing).
At least 5 different pairs of Lapwings laid eggs but none made it to chicks stage; a minimum of 3 nests have been destroyed in farming areas.
It has been a good May for remarkable/ rare species, which have included Black Kite, Pallid Harrier, Stone-Curlew, Pectoral Sandpiper, Mediterranean Gull, Little Tern, Bee-eater, Serin and Laughing Gull (the last one is the first for Lista Bird Observatory).