Siskin Movements

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
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...
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A Record Breaking Reed Bunting

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
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...

Grey Wagtails Suffer from the Cold Weather?

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
Over the last 18 years we have ringed 988 Grey Wagtails. Since 2008 we have been colour ringing those caught on passage along the coast at Heysham. Up to this year we have had 18 recoveries with all being either colour ring sightings, or recapture by other ringers, no birds have been reported dead. These recoveries show that our birds winter mainly in the  Chesire/Merseyside/ Greater Manchester area with single birds reported  from Wiltshire, Staffordshire and Pembroke.However  this March we have had two reports of dead birds. The first was in Shropshire on March 1st. It was reported as being in poor condition indicating cold  weather. It had been ringed as a juvenile on September 25th 2017 at Heysham and had moved 137 km. The other was killed by flying into a balcony window in Conwy North Wales on March 13th. One can on...

Bearded Tit Pair Remain Faithful

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
A regular visitor to Leighton Moss was very lucky to see a pair of Bearded Tits on the grit trays at 08.00 this morning. Visits to the grit trays are  most unusual at this time of year. Over the past 15 years of our colour ringing study at Leighton we have only had six grit tray sightings in March. Fortunately he  took some photos and we were able to work out their history.They were both ringed as juveniles in July 2016  and first seen together on the grit trays on 2nd October 2016. Since then they have been recorded together on 28 occasions including 13 sightings between early October and late November 2016 and 15 times between late September and late November 2017.Another excellent example of Bearded Tits forming pairs in their first autumn and remaining faithful in subsquent years.We have recorded such behaviour on many oc...

Another Good Year

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
With all the data now in it was another successful year for the group with total handlings of 15,940 made up of 9152 new fully grown, 2950 nestlings and 3838 retraps or recoveries.Top of the pile as usual was Blue Tit with 2399 handlings of these 994 were nestlings from our various nest box schemes and 472 retraps. Our RAS schemes featured highly with Pied Flycatcher having their best year ever with 944 handlings made up of 754 nestlings, 115 retraps and 75 adults. Sand Martins had a reasonable year with 757 handlings but Reed Warblers  at 389 were down due to access difficultiesWe have five colour ringing schemes. Nuthatch with 773 records of which 651 were re-sightings was the most productive. Bearded Tits with 437 records of which 405 were sightings. These are both local species with only very occasional movements out of the ar...
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Garden Ringing

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
A visit this morning to Jerry and Barbara's woodland edge garden produced 72 birds of which 50 were new birds and 22 retraps. From late summer to this morning we have caught 501 birds of 21 species in 10 visits to the garden. Top of the pile is Blue Tit with 106 different individuals closely followed by Coal Tit with 90 then Great Tit with 60. These are individual birds so a bird caught several times is only counted once.It is nice to see Greenfinch making a come back we have ringed 53 so far this season double the numbers we ringed in the two previous seasons.By contrast Bullfinch are down with only four ringed compared to 28 last season, surprising for at another woodland feeding station ca 3 km away we have had a record year for Bullfinch. At the other end of the scale we have caught only four Starlings and two House Sparrows.The woo...
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A Robin Morning

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
Visited our small woodland feeding station yesterday morning and was amazed that with just two small nets set close together we caught 9 different Robins of which 7 were new birds. The two retraps were one from last year which has been a regular this autumn and another ringed as a bird of the year in October. So far this autumn we have paid 5 visits and on the previous four visits we have caught 2 on two of them and 3 on one and none at all on an October visit.So far this autumn we have caught 14 different birds. This compares with just 5 in the same period last year.I realize that the territories of this normally territorial bird often break down with an abundant food supply but I have never caught so many Robins. It could be that food is short in the surrounding woodland and farmland, but there are other feeding stations in the gard...
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Bearded Tit Gritting Report & Reed Warbler Survival

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
The Bearded Tit gritting season at RSPB Leighton Moss, has just about finished. In total I have received details of 355 colour ringed sightings of 69 different birds. Of these 41 are adults and 28 birds of the year. Gritting started early this year in mid September and it appears to have finished earlier than usual. The number of times that birds visit varies considerably. Two birds both adults, were recorded on 15 days. While 20 birds were recorded just once. The ones that visit the most usually follow the pattern of gritting for a few days early in the season and then have a second bout of gritting, probably to top up later in the season.One of the joys of watching the birds so relatively close is the pleasure visitors get out of seeing these usually difficult to see birds so close and for so long. Last week I had three people who h...

Bearded Tit Update

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
Our birds continue to use the grit trays at Leighton Moss RSPB reserve. So far this season we have had reports of 307 sightings of invidually colour ringed birds. Of these 183 were males and 124 females. This involves 31 Males and 28 females. Of these 7 are 3 years old, 8 2 years,21 one year and 23 are this years juveniles.The number of visits they pay to the grit trays varies greatly.Nineteen have been recorded on one day only. At the other extreme one male has been seen on 14 days. At each visit birds usually stop for 2 to 10 minutes scratching through the grit before moving on to feed on the reed seed.Up to 3 unringed birds have been seen at the trays recently so we were very pleased to catch 3 unringed birds today bringing our total of new birds ringed this year to 33. One question observers at the grit trays often ask is wether tak...
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A Record Day for Bearded Tits

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
Just got full details of Steve and Jan's sightings at the grit trays yesterday. In total they identified 39 different colour ringed birds and a minimum of three unringed birds making 42 in all a record for one day. They spent just over 2 and a half hours to amass this data. Best of all they identified three adult females that were new for the year so we now have recorded 24 adult males and 17 adult females. They identified 2 other birds which had not been recorded on the grit trays so far this year making 59 in total. Not far off last years total of 65 and they continue gritting well into December.There is much chasing mainly by the males but we have three grit trays close together so chased birds usually move to a different tray. Some birds have been taking reed seed from the seed heads right after gritting. My impression is that more ar...