Monday, 25 May 2015

RAS Update

I thought I would update you on what has been happening on our RAS project on Blackcaps.
This is our third year monitoring Blackcaps and this year we started slightly earlier than the previous year. We made this decision based on experience from the previous years and the timings of birds arriving back to established territories in the woodland.

On our first session of the RAS this year, on the 18th April (see here) we caught and ringed 18 Blackcaps, a 50/50 split of males and females, which was a brilliant start. However, we soon found out that these birds were likely to be just passing through the area and on to other destinations, as we re-trapped one of the eighteen at another destination a reasonable distance away.

This means that we have discounted those 18 as part of the RAS numbers for the moment.  But if we should re-trap any of those in our designated RAS site we will include them in our RAS totals.

So where are we up to now? Following on from the first session we have been as active as we can in attempting to catch breeding pairs of Blackcaps; juggling school, work and the poor weather we have been having (it just seems to be windy all the time).

 We are on 47 new encounters this year, (excluding the 18 from the first session); this includes 2 re-traps from 2013, 6 re-traps from 2014 and 1 re-trap from another site.  These are our best numbers since we started, but we would of course like to have further re-traps.

It will be interesting to see what the final numbers are for this year's RAS.

1 comment:

  1. Very Interesting Finlay the up date work you are helping with on the Blackcaps.