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)

Friday, 30 March 2012

Russian Visitors

Just received details of two colour ringed Bewick's Swans which were sighted by Ian Hartley at Thurnham on 4th March.Two of a party of 13 seen that day. Both had been originally ringed on Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Expeditions to Russia, presumably close to the breeding area at a time when they were flightless after breeding.

The first was ringed as a young female on the Hunovey River on the Zavorot Peninsula 68' 35 N 53 '40 E on 8th August 2004. It was reported on five occasions between 20 Feb and 13th March in Friesland in the Netherlands. No further sightings until 29th Febrary2008 in Niedersachen and then Schleswig Holstein Northern Germany until 15th March.

In 2009 it was in Groningen in the Netherland on 9th November and in Schleswig Holstein the following early March. In 2010 it was in Flevoland Netherlands on February 11th then from 3rd to 16th March in Northern Germany. In 2011 it was again in Northern Germany from 12th February to 5th March. The only 2012 sighting was the one in our area on 4th March.

The other bird was ringed as an adult female on 16th August at Lake Lovetskuy in Russia 68'21 53'58E. In 2009 it was sighted on 11th January in Cambridgeshie and three days later in Norfolk then on 22February it was in Northern Germany. In January 2010 it returned to Norfolk. But in 2011 it was seen on 29th March and November 5th in Latvia before moving to our area .

According to the BTO Ringing Recoveries Web Site there has only been six previous Bewick's Swan ringed in Russia and found in Britain although there has been 37 reports of British ringed Bewick's reported in Russia.


Saturday, 17 March 2012

Ring reading part 2

In this morning's horrible weather (well unless you're on the east coast and have a hose pipe ban) I had another look for the goldfinch. Anyway, it didn't turn up however I did read two greenfinch rings - neither my own (one from about 2km away and one from about 10km at Heysham). It just goes to show that it can be worth a quick look at rings on birds on a feeder. Now the weather has cleared up I'll try and catch them instead.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Rapid Coal Tit movement, and interesting Goldfinch

This morning before work I noticed a ringed Goldfinch on my feeder. As I have only ringed one in the garden I thought I should have a go at reading it. After about 5 minutes I had read V9xx519 when the bird flew off. After a quick check with the BTO to see if this could be tied down to a single bird it turns out it could be one of 6 birds. All of these are over 100km away. Looks like I'll have to spend some more time with the scope to nail this one. What a valuable resource having all the ringing data stored electronically - in the past this would have been a good hour long job and not worth the effort, now it is a very short job to see it not uniquely identifiable.

A Coal Tit I caught on the 4th March which was not from any of the local ringing groups turns out to be a fairly long range Coal Tit travelling around 60km in 90 days from South West Lancs RG. There have only been 17 records of Coal Tits in Lancashire moving more than 10km and no records of them moving more than 100km. As a result this is one of the largest movements of a Coal Tit recorded in the county.

Many thanks to Lee Barber for the information.

Friday, 2 March 2012

First Stop Sussex

Our latest batch of recoveries was one of our largest ever but it was dominated by controls from the Icklesham Ringing Station in East Sussex. These involved five Sand Martins a Sedge Warbler and six Reed Warblers.

One Sand Martin was caught at Icklesham just 12 days after ringing. With these five the group now has records of 113 Sand Martins found on autumn migration through Sussex almost all of them at Icklesham.

We now have 41 Reed Warbler records in Sussex all on Autumn migration. The six latest confirm the pattern of adults moving earlier than most juveniles . The three adults were controlled on July 11th, August 2nd and 15th, while the earliest juvenile was on August 29th and the other two on September 2nd and 15th. An adult Reed Warbler obviously made an earlier sea crossing for it was controlled in Belgium on August 20th 21 days after ringing. This is only our third Reed Warbler from Belgium.

Juvenile Sedge Warblers were reported from Powys and Icklesham , both in mid August. While one was controlled in Belgium in early August, our fourth record from that country.

A Greenfinch ringed in mid September was found dead 98 km south in Cheshire in early December. A Reed Bunting made a similar movement ringed in mid September and found wintering in Staffodshire in January,