NLRG was formed in 1957 to help in the study of birds in the Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society area. There are currently 12 active ringers. Species currently being studied include: Pied Flycatcher, Bearded Tit, Sand Martin, Twite, Goosander, Oystercatcher and Grey Wagtail. Migration has been studied for 28 years at Heysham. We welcome anyone who wants to observe, help or perhaps wish to become a ringer. Photo: A Heysham-ringed Twite on the Mull of Kintyre (thanks to Eddie Maguire)

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Gritting Season Has Started

The Bearded Tit gritting season has started earlier than usual this year. The first bird reported to me was on September 14th compared to the 20th in 2010. As usual the first birds to come to the trays are adults. One interesting feature as shown in Mike Killelea' s photographs taken on the 18th some of these birds are still moulting, the head is not fully feathered and the black beard has not fully formed. I can't remenber birds in this state of moult being recorded on the trays before.

From the colour rings we know this bird was ringed in September 2009 . It was recorded on the grit trays on six days in autumn 2009 and on ten occasions in 2010. Then this May it was found feeding a brood in one of our nest boxes ca 150 metres away from the grit trays.

By the 20th four birds were seen together on the trays. however the breeding population is down this year following the cold winter so fewer birds are expected to visit the trays this year.

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