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, 23 August 2015

Pied Flycatcher End of Term Report

We run a Pied Flycatcher RAS on our nest box  schemes in 12 upland woodlands in the Lune valley North Lancashire. This year saw a record population with 90 occupied boxes four  up on 2014. It was rather a mixed season with 51 successful nests compared to 77 in 2014. Two of the larger woods suffered predation of eggs and young probably by weasels. In one wood  only part of the wood was affected. In two woods, young died  about a  week after hatching suggesting a shortage of caterpillars. In one of these woods the four pairs nesting in the mature alder  part of the wood lost their broods but the one in the oak section  reared six young. Brood size overall was also down from 6.9 last year to 5.4 this year but we managed to ring  293 nestlings.
We re-trapped a total of 85 birds from previous year's ringing.  Of the 53 originally ringed as nestling in the valley,  15 returned to nest in their natal wood  and 27 moved to other woods within the Lune valley and 11  either moved outside the valley to breed or had been ringed as nestlings outside the valley. One of these had been ringed in a nestbox in Wales  242 km SSW. 
Of  adults  27 returned to breed in the same wood and just 5 moved to a new wood within the valley.


Wednesday, 19 August 2015

The Poor Season Continues

July was a disappointing month  especially for Reed Warblers and Blue Tits August has continued in the same vain.  Reed Warbles  are having a very poor season at Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve. By this time last year we had ringed 635 juveniles,  this  year just 165 despite similar effort. Sedge Warblers are mainly passage birds here and a similar comparison  shows a  small increase,  87 in 2014 and 103 juveniles this year. Willow Warblers  have also done better with 193 last year and 201 this  year.

Blue Tits are down  from 132 in 2014 to 98 this year. Over the past five years in summer we have averaged 11% of adult Blue Tits in our catch. This year it has risen  to 30.5% suggesting very poor productivity which reflects what we found in our nest boxes.

To date we have only caught 3 adult Reed Warblers in August. they seem to have made an early  move out. A conclusion backed up by one adult that we caught on the 15th . It weighed in at 14.4 grams compared to the usual 10-11 grams. It had a fat score of 5 and was obviously preparing to leave.

Today we moved away from the reed bed to Jerry's well stocked woodland edge garden and caught 100 birds including 8 Great Spotted Woodpeckers. In past visits Blue Tits have been the commonest bird but today  Great Tits surpassed them .Of the 20 Blue Tits caught 13 were adults confirming the poor productivity this year.