Amazing surprises in the post breeding ringing campaign in Gautegiz Arteaga marshes

Wednesday, 28 August 2019 08:04

carricerin comun

Aquatic warblers in the marsh!!

Following the post breeding migration has been particularly interesting this August. The ringing in Urdaibai campaign has been underway since the 1st of August and will continue until the 8th September. Weather permitting the ringing station has been open every day and many birds have been banded.


Part of the ringing team

At the beginning of the month, the reed warblers and sedge warblers were the main species to be ringed. As time went on other species arrived: the willow warbler, whitethroat, bluethroat and of course, the aquatic warbler.

carricerin comun

Aquatic warbler


Pair of bluethroat left female, right male

Curruca zarcera


Martin pescador

Beautiful kingfisher

We have been lucky enough to ring three aquatic warblers during the campaign. The first had previously been ringed in France. Although the ring number is still being processed, it is very likely that it comes from the Atlantic coast of France. This data is a very interesting contribution to our understanding of the migratory route of this species.


Comparison of the sedge warbler and the aquatic warbler

This species is considered to be the most threatened passerine in Europe. It is estimated that there are only 15 000 breeding pairs and these inhabit a very small area which is limited to wetlands in Poland, Belorussia and the Ukraine. The aquatic warbler requires wetlands with flooded areas where there are extensive reed beds and grasslands for breeding. The decline of the species is mainly due to loss of habitat as marshes are drained for agricultural purposes or urbanization.


The aquatic warbler uses the wetlands it finds on its migratory journey to rest and replenish. The fact that three have been ringed during the campaign underlines the importance of the Gautegiz Arteaga marshes on the post breeding migratory route of the species.



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