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)

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Sand Martins and recent colour mark sightings

The sand martin season has begun with 2 visits made to 2 colonies and 1 to a third. In 2008 we failed to ring any sand martins due to the river being very high throughout the season. As a result our retrap rate of birds has been exceptionally low.

The catches have been made up as follows:
12th June Burrow:
New: 61 Juveniles, 65 Adults (42 female, 23 male)
Retraps: 3 Adult males - ringed 2006 and 2x2007 all at Burrow

14th June Arkholme:
New: 43 Juveniles, 51 Adults (22 female, 27 male)
Retraps: 1 ringed elsewhere - Sussex in autumn 2006

25th June Burrow:
New: 26 Juveniles, 39 adults (21 female, 18 male)
Retrap: 33 adults (23 female, 9 males) All but 4 from previous visit and one from elsewhere. These were ringed in 2003, 2x2006, 2007

27th June Arkholme:
New: 26 Juveniles, 25 adults (12 female, 13 male)
Retrap: 1 Juvenile, 17 adults (7 female, 10 male). All from previous visit including sussex ringed bird

30th Crossdale Beck, Tatham Fells:
New: 10 Juveniles, 25 adults (16 females, 5 males, 4 unsexed)
Retrap: 1 adult female carrying a Spanish ring. This is NLRGs 7th Spanish ringed sand martin.

The bird ringed in 2003 is now just 2 years short of the longevitity record for Sand Martin the UK and Ireland.

As the Arkholme colony is closer to the river level than the Burrow colony it is likely birds using it last year have moved elsewhere due to the poor breeding success they had or were killed during flooding. As a result the low retrap rate is not too surprising.

In other news there have been recent sightings of colour ringed birds including:
Scottish ringed Greenshank at Leighton Moss which was present for 2 months last year. It arrived 4 days late this year!
Colour ringed Little Egret, origin as yet unknown, at Leighton Moss
Redshank with an orange flag from France seen at Leighton Moss
Black Headed Gull at Teal Bay (Morecambe) ringed in Denmark, present 2 years ago.

2 Knot caught at Heysham at Easter 2008 have been recaught (and resighted) in northern Norway (Porsangerfjord) on their spring migration to the breeding grounds in Canada and Greenland.

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