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 20 March 2009

More godwit sightings

This morning shortly after dawn I made a visit to Leighton Moss. Present were a flock of around 1100 Black Tailed Godwit. At least 4 of these were colour ringed - 3 marked were in Iceland and 1 on the Wash (as mentioned on the 14th post).

The life histories of these 3 birds are outlined here:

July 2004 N Iceland
May 2005 Dee estuary
April 2006 Leighton Moss, Lancashire, NW England (2 sightings)
August 2006 The Wash estuary (at the same time as the bird on the 14th was ringed)
December 2006 Leighton Moss
December 2006 Hodbarrow RSPB Reserve,
March 2007 RSPB Leighton Moss, Lancashire, NW England (2 sightings)
January 2008 Marshside, Ribble estuary, Lancashire, NW England (2 sightings)
March 2008 Leighton Moss Allen Pools, Lancashire, NW England (3 sightings)
March 2009 Leighton Moss
Total 15 sightings in 6 locations

June 2005 NW Ice
January 2006 Western Spain
May 2006 The Dee estuary
January 2008 Marshside, Ribble estuary, (2 sightings)
February 2008 The Dee estuary (2 sightings)
April 2008 Leighton Moss (4 sightings)
September 2008 Marshside
October 2008 The Dee (3 sightings)
February 2009 The Dee
March 2009 Leighton Moss
Total 17 sightings in 5 locations

July 2005 N Iceland
January 2006 Co. Wexford, S Ireland
March 2006 Loire-Atlantique, NW France
December 2006 Algarve, Portugal (2 sightings)
April 2007 Cambridgeshire, E England
July 2007 Dee estuary, (2 sightings)
October 2007 Dee estuary
January 2008 Marshside
February 2008 Dee estuary ( 2 sightings)
May 2008 E Iceland (2 sightings)
August 2008 Dee estuary
October 2008 to February 2009 Dee estuary (22 sightings)
March 2009 Leighton Moss (2 sightings)
Total 39 sightings in 9 locaions

From the last two (which were ringed as chicks) it is clear they do not attempt to breed in their first summer. One didn't appear to move north in the second summer. They spend much of their first year finding the place to winter. Once they have the winter site they become very site faithful until March when they start to move northwards.

The 'Islandica' population of Godwit have between 1 and 2% colour marked. Here we rarely have evidence of more than about .5% being colour marked. The bulk of the marked birds here (75% this year) are colour marked on their breeding grounds in Iceland. This once again points at birds being very area faithful after their first winter as no Godwit are currently colour ringed in the north west UK.


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