Sedge Warblers on the Move

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
A report of a Sedge Warbler ringed by the Group on July 25th this year and caught 12 days later in Kent 412 km SE set me looking at all the similar quick recoveries we have for this species. Over the years we have ringed just over 14,000 Sedge Warblers which has produced 172 recoveries most at ringing stations on the south coast with some further a field in France (51)Spain (3) Portugal(1) and Senegal (1).Our quickest mover was one ringed on August 13th 2004 at 10.00 and caught next day at Coventry at 05.50 a distance of 220 km. Sedge Warblers are night migrants so this gives some idea as to how far they can fly in a night. It weighed 12.7 gms at ringing but only 11.7 on ...

Nest Box Statistics

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
Further to my last post where the Group had 141 nest boxes occupied by Pied Flycatcher of which 121 were successful I now have data for the occupation rate of Blue and Great Tits in 24 of the woods we record they show some interesting differences.The 11 woods at lower altitude mainly on the limestone where Ash is the dominant tree species and Pied Flycatchers do not nest Great tits outstrip Blue tits. In total in these woods we had 113 Great tits but only 62 Blue Tits. In contrast in the higher altitude woods with Oak dominant and where Pied Flycatchers also occur we recorded 143 Blue Tits but only 62 Great Tits.To what extent this is due to the number and size of natural holes is difficult to assess. But the differences occur in comparatively new woods in both areas. Productivity was good as it was with Pied Flycatchers with very few ...
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Pied Flycatchers on a High

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
Now got full results of our Pied Flycatcher study. In total we had 141 occupied nests of these 121 successfully produced some young. This compares with 120 and 65 last year. Although we missed ringing a few broods we managed a record total of 722 nestlings 223 up on 2016. A total of 65 new adults were ringed and 113 adults retrapped. Most of these were birds first ringed in our area but we had two from Durham and one from North Yorkshire ringed as nestlings there, but now nesting in our woods.There was little predation this year compared with 2016 when weasels played havoc in some woods. Perhaps due to this year being a good vole year. Brood size at ringing averaged 6.5 compared with 6.0 last year with 20 broods of 8 nestlings and one of nine.Of the retrapped birds, 17 were 3 years old, six four years,one five and three six years....

A Good Morning at Last

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
The recent wet and windy weather has delayed the start to our Reed Warbler and Bearded Tit RAS Studies at Leighton Moss RSPB. But today was great, we could only set four nets but we caught 15 Reed Warblers, all except a short tailed juvenile were adults.One of the adults had a Spanish ring. We all thought it was one we caught at the same site last year but IPMR showed it was a different bird. So we await details with interest.We also caught two Bearded Tits-the first juvenile of the year and an unringed adult male. We rarely catch unringed adults as we are so successful in catching juveniles. in 2016 we caught 41 adults and all were already ringed. Observations over the past few days suggest that the second broods are fledging. The weather looks good for next week so hope we can catch up on our studies.Pied Flycatchers seem to have su...

Pied Flycatchers Record Year

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
Now got all the data in for our Pied Flycatcher RAS for the 18 woods we survey in the Lune Valley. We have a record 98 occupied nest boxes 19 up on last year and 8 more than our previous best year of 2015.To date they are doing well.We visited nine nests yesterday all had young and seven were old enough to ring with an average brood size of 7.2 including two with eight young.Have got the first details of the adults that we have caught. They show the usual pattern of adults mainly returning to the same wood in successive years but birds ringed as nestlings mainly move away from the natal wood to other woods in the Lune valley with a few moving outside our area. The two extremes from past years were birds found breeding in Denmark and Germany after being ringed as nestlings in our boxes.We have many broods yet to ring hope that the heavy r...

Pied Flycatchers and Barn Owl do Well

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
Yesterday's visit to my main wood for Pied Flycatchers saw a further increase. We now have 16 pairs compared to just 11 last year. One at least already has young. Reports from other members of the Group who monitor nest boxes suggest a similar increase. Last year we had a total of 79 occupied boxes. Our peak was 90 in 2015. Good chance of reaching 100 this this year! The only downside was a blue tit nest which had been woodpeckered. Removing the young after enlarging the nest hole.We checked our Barn Owl box and were surprised to find 5 young and two eggs. Last year they had only two eggs and reared one young. We ringed the two oldest chicks. A clue as to their success this year was the pile of ca 10 voles or mice in the box, obviously a good year for small mammals.On the way home we ringed a further 3 Lapwing chicks and our first Curlew ...

Pied Flycatchers Increase

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
Visited my main wood in the Lune valley for Pied Flycatchers yesterday and it was good news. There were 14 nests most at the laying stage but a few incubating. Last year we had ten nests.Numbers in this wood have usually been under ten although in 2015 they peaked at 15. At a smaller wood there were 4 pairs compared to 3 in 2016. Tits have also increased in the larger mainly Oak wood which has 66 nest boxes. Last year we had only 6 Blue Tit nests this has increased to 16 this year although Great Tits are the same at 3 pairs only. We spent sometime watching for Lapwing chicks in the surrounding fields and ringed a further 6 but our impressions were there are fewer young so far this year possibly due to the very dry weather which has left the fields bone dry although we caught a brood of 3 which was only about a week from fledging.John...

Siskin and Lesser Redpoll Ringing

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
Its been a good winter and early spring for ringing Siskin and Lesser Redpoll mainly at garden feeders. So far we have caught 354 Siskin and 283 Lesser Redpolls including a good number of controls and they have already generated several recoveries. Looking at all our recovery data over the years there is quite an interesting difference between the two species.The breeding area for our wintering Siskin is mainly in Highland Scotland with 30 recoveries there. Next was Galloway SW Scotland with 15.Only one has been reported abroad, killed by a cat in Southern Sweden. Birds ringed on passage have been found wintering mainly in the South East of England with 12 reports along with two in Northern France.One unusual recovery was one ringed as a juvenile in Powys in July and caught in our area in mid March the following year.Lesser Redpoll bree...

No Pied Flycatcher Housing Shortage in this Wood

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
A visit this week to my main Pied Flycatcher wood in the Upper Lune valley found at least 10 male Pied Flycatchers either singing or visiting nest boxes.There were seven completed nests but none with eggs and at least three others just starting.So it looks as though the population is going to be similar to last years count of 11 nests. Tits though have increased after last years low of only 9 there were at least 14 occupied nests mainly at the laying stage and 4 others just building, this leaves at least 25 unoccupied nest boxes.This wood is ideal Pied Flycatcher habitat, a steeply sloping mature Oak wood with a stream in the bottom and ground flora dominated by Bluebells which because of the altitude were only just coming out. Amazingly we found a female pheasant tucked up in the bluebells and incubating 18 eggs surely the prod...

Housing Shortage for Pied Flycatchers?

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
Just returned from a visit to one of my nest box schemes in the Lune valley. Over the past 10 years the number of nesting Pied Flycatchers has increased from one to a high of six pairs in 2016. Today of the 39 nest boxes only four were unoccupied.Of the occupied ones 33 were tits, mainly Blue Tits most of them at the laying stage only two were incubating and two Pied Flycatchers both with only males in attendance.Tit numbers appear to have increased dramatically from just 26 last year to 33 this year and the highest occupation rate to date. It looks as though the tits have survived well over the past mild winter. The high tit occupation rate means there are only 4 empty nest boxes for the later arriving migrant Pied Flycatchers unless they take over the two tit nests which were not yet fully built. Seriously wondering if we should tak...