The Group's four RAS projects went well. With lower water levels and despite a decline in the numbers of occupied holes we handled 979 Sand Martins at the Lune colonies compared with 580 in 2012 when many colonies were washed out. We had 11 controls including three from France. The Leighton Moss Bearded Tit RAS also did better with 21 nestlings ringed of which 16 were retrapped as juveniles. In total 49 juveniles were caught compared with only 17 in 2012. Survival from previous years was excellent with a crude survival rate of 64%.
The Reed Warbler RAS run at the same time as the Bearded Tit RAS suggested a lower adult breeding population (146 compared to 2001 in 2012). However productivity was good with 743 juveniles ringed compared to 504 in 2012. Nestbox breeding pairs of Pied Flycatchers in the Lune valley were down from 75 to 59 mainly due to logging disturbance in two woods. We recorded 55 retraps/controls but males appeared to be more difficult to catch this year. Productivity was good with 294 nestlings ringed in the RAS woods. Our two CES projects were completed successfully with 127 birds caught at Heysham and 206 at Middleton.
Our most ringed species was Blue Tit with 2118 ringed, closely followed by Swallow with 2046 ringed at two roosts . This generated four controls and only 4 retraps. However the prize for the lowest number of retraps went to Meadow Pipit with no retraps or controls from 779 ringed! This compares with Lesser Redpoll with 150 retraps and 31 controls and Siskin with 142 retraps and 23 controls from 451 ringed. Of species ringed infrequently 8 Skylarks and 7 Hawfinch are noteworthy.All in all a very satisfactory years for the Group.