A Bumper Month for Meadow Pipits

 During this September the Group ringed 508 Meadow Pipits about the usual number of this common  dirunal migrant. What was outstanding was we had two controls. One caught on 21st September had been ringed  six days previously  at Watch Tree Reserve Northern  Cumbria. The other was caught on the 18th and had been ringed in Devon a year and five days previously a movement of 406 kms. Nothing unusual about that you might say but although we have ringed 7353 Meadow Pipits over the past 20 years these are only our third  and fourth controls and over the same period we have had only two recoveries.

Retraps have only totaled 29  over the 20 years. We have ringed at three coastal sites and three inland sites on the edge of the moorland.. With roughly equal numbers inland and coastal. The coastal sites have produced only two retraps while the inland sites had 27 with the oldest bird being four years and seven days from first ringing. The reason for this difference is that the coastal birds in September are very much on the move. Whereas the inland catch probably includes many locally bred birds which return in the following years.

We catch birds by playing song and use  both mist nets and whoosh nets. September produces the largest catches with 5095 compared with 1136 in August and only 364 in October over the 20 year period.

John