Monday, 20 October 2008

Ringing at Vilamoura II

We’ve been with the ringers again today at Parque Ambiental Vilamoura, their last full day before they return to the UK tomorrow. As usual, the early morning was busy but the number of birds caught got fewer as the day went on. Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were the most numerous species but we were lucky to see the only Reed Bunting that they have had and one of only two Subalpine Warblers.

Subalpine Warbler

Although it will be a while before all their ringing records are collated and a full report prepared, it seems that the number of birds caught during their week was well over 1,000 with about 20% of them being Blackcaps. Some of the Blackcaps we’ve seen today were really fat, as heavy as 25gm, perhaps confirming that although many spend the winter here, some at least are feeding up in preparation for onward migration. The highlights of the week in terms of rarity were six Penduline Tits, although there has been a suggestion that a pair of these birds may have actually bred at Vilamoura this year.

It seems certain that Colin and his team will be back at Vilamoura next year. Wouldn’t it be nice in the meantime if the importance of the Parque Ambiental as a wintering site and staging post for migrants were to be better recognised and the area protected and managed accordingly.

No comments: