In the last couple of days the first returning passage Twite have arrived at Heysham Harbour. Having, by chance, previously decided to set out the whoosh net and fix the hole positions etc. this afternoon, I left the net set for a while and managed to catch 3 Twite and 8 Linnets.
A number of Heysham birds have previously been seen at Machrihanish Bird Obs. and during this autumn the staff there have been catching and colour ringing Twite themselves (they have ringed more than 400 so far, a splendid effort!).
It seems logical that we should see some of their birds at Heysham during the passage and winter periods, although they are hoping that some will also be found in Ireland. We should all keep alert for colour ringed Twite in the area. Each bird is normally ringed with a single colour plus a split double colour ring on one leg and a BTO metal ring on the other - the single colour represents the ringing site and the split colour the period of ringing. Heysham's site colour is Pale Blue so any other colour will be particularly interesting. The Machrihanish team have so far used the slightly different combination of a split Green/White ring on each leg, with the BTO metal ring fitted above the colour ring on the left leg.