Quick Movers

Posted on - In
  Two controls received today,  both at Icklesham in East Sussex on the south coast are good examples of the  quick movement of our summer visitors at this time of year. - A Sedge Warbler on July 31st just six days after ringing and a Sand Martin on August 6th 12 days after ringing both were juveniles and involved movement of 425 kms. They set me looking back at our data set for these two well ringed species.The latest control brings the total of our Sedge Warblers controlled along the south coast to 88, 36 of them in Sussex. Of these 19 have been under 10 days after ringing and a further 11 within 20 days. The shortest was just two days after ringing. Further afield we have had 53 controls from Western France of these two were under 10 days and four within 20 days,  the quickest was six days after ringing.The Sand Marti...
Continue Reading » Quick Movers...

Colour Ringed Mediterranean Gulls at Heysham

Posted on - In
The numbers of Mediterranean Gulls appearing in late summer to mid/late September around Heysham outfalls has increased markedly in recent years, in contrast to the status at other times where there has in fact been a decline (spring passage) or no change (winter) for many years.  At least 70 birds were involved in 2017 and an absolute minimum of 74 have been seen in 2018.  This figure is reached by adding together the maxima for each age class with the highest day count of 62 being in early August 2018. Unfortunately, as regards deciphering the darvic numbers, the immediately local birders/ringers have struggled with ring reading and we have had to rely on better eyesight and better optics/cameras from outside in order to read all but the very occasionally obliging individuals.  Double-figures of Mediterranean G...

Early Population Indications

Posted on - In
One of the great things about reasonably standardised ringing is that it gives you some insight into the productivity of the most frequently ringed species. It's early days yet but there are a few indicators from our two regular ringing sites in the Silverdale area. Two species stand out -Treecreeper we have already caught 29, the best we have ever achieved in a full year was  27 and weve still five months to go. We have already also caught 29 Long-tailed Tits two more than in the whoe of 2017.Of the species ringed in larger numbers Willow Warblers are doing well with 110 ringed and the best period for passage yet to come. We have caught a good number of moulting adults. After a slow start both Reed and Sedge Warbler are doing well. I feel that both these species  had a protracted arrival this past spring and this is reflected in ...

Pied Flycatcher End of Term Report

Posted on - In
Our Pied Flycatcher RAS spread across 19 upland woods in the Lune valley in Northern Lancashire has been completed for this season.Following last seasons good productivity we hoped for an increase in the breeding population. We were not disappointed, there was an increase of seven occupied nest boxes to 107 for the year,an all-time record. Of these 69 successfully produced young, down somewhat on last years total of 89. Predation by Weasels and Stoats was a problem especially at two sites.However we ringed 448 nestlings and caught 70 adult females and 34 males. Males are always harder to catch at the nest than females as they do not incubate and can be only caught for a limited time  while they are feeding the young.Our oldest bird was ringed as a nestling and caught  5 years and  362 days after ringing this year, so it was i...

Reed Warbler RAS Report

Posted on - In
Yesterdays ringing on our Reed Warbler and Bearded tit RAS studies at Leighton Moss RSPB was rather spoilt by a sudden upsurge in wind mid morning. However of the three Reed Warbler retraps two were very interesting. The first had been ringed at Leighton Moss as a juvenile in late July 2016 and caught  45 days later at the foot  of the Pyrenees in the south west corner of France a distance of 1195 km. It was not recorded in 2017 but had returned this year to the same ride where it was first caught in 2016. We have 28 other Reed Warbler recoveries from Western FranceThe other retrap  was first ringed as a juvenile in late August 2011 so it was 7 years old . It had not been caught since 2014. Although a good age it is not our oldest Reeed Warbler. We have two at 10 years, two at nine and three at eight years all still going str...

Garden Ringing

Posted on - In
Another visit to Jerry and Barbara's  woodland edge garden brought 57 birds in two short nets in just two hours. Almost all were young birds  suggesting a successful breeding season. Of the 33 tits only one, a Great Tit was an adult. The one exception was Bullfinch  with nine caught of which only three were juveniles. A few more young birds than our last visit two weeks ago,when we caught only one juvenile out of 11 birds.This means that so far this season we have caught 20 Bullfinch compared with  only seven in the whole of last season.Other members of the group have reported good numbers of Bullfinch in their gardensLooking back at July catches in past years gives a very similar picture of low numbers of adults with the marked exception of Bullfinch. It is not until mid August that we start to get a good numbers of adu...
Continue Reading » Garden Ringing...

A Bullfinch Morning

Posted on - In
Paid our first post breeding season visit to Jerry and Barbara's woodland edge garden. With just two short nets we caught 50 birds. We expected to catch young tits and of  25 tits caught only one was an adult. We also caught 3 young Nuthatch which is great for our colour ringing study of this species. The big surprise though was Bullfinch, we caught 11, especially when you consider that  we only caught seven over the  previous 12 months! Interestingly only one was a juvenile, the others were adults including four we had ringed before. One of these had been ringed as a juvenile almost three years previously. Does this mean that Bullfinch have had a poor breeding season, or that juveniles do not visit feeders at this time of year? Future visits may  throw light on the situation.John...
Continue Reading » A Bullfinch Morning...

Pied Flycatcher RAS Interim Report

Posted on - In
Now got the data for about half our RAS study of Pied Flycatchers in the Lune valley woodlands.So far it has been a good season although there has been three reports of nest box predation by either weasels or stoats.So far in total we have ringed or retrapped 369 birds  made up of 33 males, 60 females and  286 nestlings. The later have survived well in the excellent June weather, the number of caterpillars on the Oak especially appears to be high, and the numbers of insects especially midges is amazing!A quick analysis of the retrap data shows that although 13 of the birds ringed as nestlings in previous years and retrapped breeding this year returned to their native wood, but 27 moved to other woods within the Lune valley. But  of adult birds 13 returned to the wood they breed in last year and only  two changed woods. T...

Siskin Movements

Posted on - In
The Group has over the years ringed 3390 Siskin, these have produced 112 recoveries or controls. We have just received our first recovery from Norway as shown on the map below. It fell victim to a cat on May 6th just 43 days after ringing in Dave's garden, a distance of 1151 km NE.We had one previous recovery from Sweden. Most of our ringing of this species is done in winter and early spring although in recent years numbers have started to breed in our area. The recoveries suggest that the bulk of our wintering birds  breed in Scotland with  34 reports from Northern Scotland and 15 from Galloway during the breeding season, almost all caught by ringers.Comparing our data with the national picture shown in Online Ringing Reports one would have expected more Scandinavian reports from the numbers we have ringed and had recovered Natio...
Continue Reading » Siskin Movements...

A Record Breaking Reed Bunting

Posted on - In
Over the years our Group has ringed 4674 Reed Bunting mainly during or just after the  breeding season. These have shown a southward movement in winter with seven recoveries in the Cheshire/Merseyside area, three in Shropshire and singles in Kent, Dorset, Nottingham, South Wales and Sussex. The only birds showing any significant  northerly movement was an April ringed bird  found a day later 60 km north in Cumbria and a Tyneside bird in January.So the report of one ringed on October 9th 2016 at Middleton Nature Reserve and caught at Fair Isle in Shetland, 698 kms. north on April 24th this year was completely unexpected. It was however caught during a period of marked easterly movement.The BTO online Ringing Report shows this recovery to be the second longest recorded movement of Reed Buntings within Britain. The only one to e...