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)

Sunday, 17 May 2015

A Pied Flycatcher Bonanza

With our  some of our first two visits to our nest box schemes in woodlands by the tributaries of the Lune now completed it is turning out to be an amazing year for Pied Flycatchers. We run an RAS scheme spread over 11 woods, last year we recorded 86 pairs. First returns suggest that we could well exceed a hundred pairs this year.  Typical of this year  are the following numbers of occupied boxes in a surveyed woodland.                               
                                                 7 pairs 2014 - 14 so far this year
                                                 3    "        "        8   "        "
                                                 2    "        "        5   "        "
                                                 2    "        "        6   "        "
We still need the details from some of the larger woods but first reports suggest a similar increase. When we start to catch the adults it will be interesting to see if the increase is due to good survival of adults or of good numbers  of last years young returning or of course a combination of both.

Over the years the Group has ringed 9085 Pied Flys. Birds ringed as breeding adults manly return to the same wood but 15% moved within the Lune Valley and a very few move further afield. Only 3.9% of birds ringed as nestlings  are traced again. Of the returning birds 34% breed in their natal wood, 50% moved elsewhere in the Lune Valley and 16% move further afield to northern England south west  Scotland and Wales . One though was found nesting in western Germany and another caught on spring passage in Holland on May 4th and then found 33 days later in a nest box in Denmark.


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