Highlights of a Dismal Spell of Weather

Been a really poor period for ringing so far this year with heavy rain producing flooding making access difficult and high winds severely restricting mist netting activities. However we had some interesting retraps and recoveries. The best recovery was a Goldfinch in France. This is only our second foreign recovery despite having ringed 8333.over the years. This bird was ringed by Mark on  April 13 2017 and recaptured over the channel near Calais in December. Our previous foreign recovery was also from France.

Thanks to the outstanding dedication of Pete, Richard and others the high tide sightings of roosting Knot at Heysham have been amazing, with at least 11 birds from Iceland six from Norway and no fewer  than 23 from the Netherlands. We look forward to  a full write up of this amazing data.

Retraps of garden birds have also been interesting. A Coal Tit was caught five years and 95 days after ringing but it had only been retrapped once. A Blue Tit at five years and 16 days had also only been retrapped once. By contrast our colour ringed study of Nuthatch in Jerry and Barbara's garden shows the value of colour ringing. One bird ringed in 2017 has been sighted 120 times but only retrapped three times despite regular twice monthly ringing sessions  from September to April. Another Nuthatch ringed in 2018 has only been sighted seven times but was retrapped in early March this year. In my last post I reported on our study and showed how birds with a local territory visit often, but other are either passing through looking for a territory are from distant territories attracted by the abundant food available.