2010 has been a significantly busier year for members of SW Lancs Ringing Group as the annual total of birds ringed in 2009 (a grand total of 3013 birds) had already been surpassed in September. Part of this increase has been down to an increased number of net hours with some members of the group being able to get out more frequently than in 2009 as well as the addition of a new ringing site at Brook Vale on Rimrose Valley Country Park.
So far the group has posted significant totals of Swifts (SWLRG rings between 25 and 40% of Swifts ringed in the UK each year) despite there not being a single Swift ringed since May (due to weather conditions). Unfortnuately Barn Owls haven't had a great year in SW Lancs, with little increase on last years total. Anecdotal evidence suggests a more scattered breeding season with some boxes producing young very early and some boxes were occupied yet, eggs weren't laid until late on. The last box was re-checked only last week following a September visit revealed a bird on eggs, sadly the eggs were cold although two full grown birds were in the box.
The addition of Brook Vale as a group site has seen a diversification in species on the group totals, with Lesser Whitethroat and Garden Warbler (not ringed in 2009) being caught and over three times as many Blackcaps being ringed at Brook Vale than the group ringed in 2009.
With two and a half months still to go until the annual totals can be collated, there is still a lot of ringing to be done... Let's see what happens!