First time ringed on our standardized ringing at Lista Lighthouse.
Report from spring 2018
Lista Bird Observatory completed in 2018 its 28th consecutive year of spring ringing campaign. The station has been run for a total of 87 days from March 15 until June 10. 13 mist-nets have been currently used on the standardized (138 meters) and the results have been lower than normal years with 918 birds ringed (average for spring is 1030) of 47 different species.
Young Wheatears with colour ring
Maria and Ida help with the ringing of young Wheatears.
The average temperature has been higher than normal throughout the year, with 2.3 ° C higher than normal from March 15 to June 8. There has been very little precipitation all months, being an extremely dry season. Average precipitation from March until May has been 55,3% down average, having no precipitation from 1-10th June. The low precipitation and high temperatures may have affected positively the breeding success. There have been some days with strong winds, dominating from the East, but most of the season has been calm. We have not been able to open the nets because of the wind during only 11 days this season compared to 24 days in 2017.
Although the number of ringed birds has been under average, the number of species has been higher than last year. The number of White Wagtails and Warblers has been high.
Many thrushes have been ringed in numbers above average, including Whinchat, Blackbird, Redwing and Ring Ouzel. However, the species of small thrushes such as Robin, Redstart and Northern Wheatear have been between 34% and 49% down average.
The finches have been in general very low in the ringing campaign this year. Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Siskin, Linnet, Lesser Redpoll, Rosefinch, Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting have been ringed between 21% and 90% down average. The exception has been the House Sparrow, ringed in slightly higher numbers than normal.
A Nightjar was ringed for the first time on our standardized ringing in the lighthouse area!
The "top 5 species" in the nets have been Willow Warbler (161), Blackbird (133), Robin (87), Blackcap (86) and Chiffchaff (65).
This year we have again monitored the Wheatear breeding in the station area, ringing both adult and young birds with colour-coded rings. The effort has been very good, being more people in the field this year. It's difficult to determine how the breeding season has been since the project started in 2015 and we therefore have limited data. However, we suspect it has been a very good year, resulting in 16 nests found in the lighthouse area (Gunnarhaug, Vågsvollvåien, Vågsvollvika). All parents and 20 chicks were colour ringed.
From January to June, 203 species have been recorded in the station area (10 more than last year). There have been a number of species that have been registered in very high numbers, such as, Wryneck, Willow Tit, Cormorant, Mistle Thrush, European Shag, Blackcap and Rock Pipit, showing the last 5 species record high numbers since 1990.
Although the median date for Brent Geese migrating through Lista is on May 27th and the being seen all year from 26th to 31st of May, this year most of them were seen migrating towards NW on May 21st. This is not only 6 days earlier than expected, but also the earliest date they have migrated through Lista since 1990.
On the other hand, there have been relatively low numbers of seabirds on the move, because of the low winds among other reasons. Velvet Scoter, Fulmar, Arctic Skua, Pomarine Skua, Kittiwake, Lesser Blacked-backed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Arctic Tern and Common Tern have been seen in much lower numbers than average.
The number of waders registered in the area has been also low, including Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Sanderling, Dunlin, Ruff, Whimbrel, Curlew and Wood Sandpiper. The only remarkable wader with good numbers this year has been Green Sandpiper.
There hasn’t been any Lapwing pair breeding in the area, being this spring the fourth year in a row with 100% of unsuccessful breeding for this species.
There have been a number of unusual species in the area during the spring. We have registered 1 Red Kite, 1 Pallid Harrier, 1 Avocet, 1 Pectoral Sandpiper, 1 Red-necked Phalarope, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Short-toed Lark , 2 Red-rumped Swallow, 1 Citrine Wagtail, 1 Siberian Stonechat, 1 Blyth´s Reed Warbler, 1 Firecrest and 1 Rose-coloured Starling.
The Bird Observatory has continued to guide schools and private visitors in the spring. In total, around 100 visitors have been guided in cooperation with the Lista Wetland Center. Konstantin Lebus (Germany) and Ida Verbraeken (Netherlands) have been volunteers at the station for most of the season and helped Rubén Piculo (the main ringer this spring) and Aïda López, which have been the responsible people for the fieldwork in spring 2018.
If you want to check the list of birds ringed during this spring, click HERE