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)

Monday, 17 August 2009

Of camcorders and Med Gulls

Now is the time to look out for Mediterranean Gulls and various other species such as Cormorant with darvic or even metal rings. There are a few ring-reading specialists in the county, notably at Brockholes Quarry where Bill Aspin and Tony Disley have a really good track record for "sorting out" ringed birds, bordering on the 100%!

This is due to a mixture of highly-skilled digiscoping and 'blasting away with a camcorder'. Anyone interested in ring-reading should consider a camcorder

Bill uses an old Sony PC - 110 with mini DV tape

These used to be £1,400 at the start of the millenium, but you can now pick them up for under £300

You will need an adaptor (37 mill) which screws on to the camera and placed over the cap of the telescope - best set the zoom at x 20.

A videograb at this setting gives 680,000 pixels which is quite adequate for most ring-reading. Some modern camcorders now deal in megapixels e.g. some of the crystal-clear postings on Surfbirds.

Back to the Meds. In the area at the moment are:
1) Polish-red-ringed adult around Lancaster Quay and nearby playing fields
2) Formerly Belgian-darvic-ringed adult which lost the this ring in summer 2008, but the metal ring can still be read as Mark Prestwood managed to do yesterday. This lives in the Morecambe Broadway area during the non-breeding season
3) Czech metal-ringed bird which lives around Heysham Harbour. Not absolutely definitely seen yet this autumn, but a bird with a ring in the right place (see above photo) has.
4) Surprisingly reappearing , and of unknown future status:

Arnhem 3651898 & darvic
Ringed: De Kreupel, Netherlands: Pullus: 5/7/07
Seen: Heysham power station outfalls: 1-2/9/07 (prob since 28/7/07)
Seen: Morecambe Broadway area: 16/8/09

There may be some interim sightings of this bird which we dont yet know about. They will be inserted here if this is the case.

1 comment:

Pete Marsh said...

A green-ringed small adult female with either three or four characters appearing to start (from bottom up) with A4 & include at least one '1' seen last Sunday (23rd)

Please concentrate on top characters if you get a chance........... I'm sure these Heysham birds interchange with those on the Lune Estuary, even over the high tide if it is a 'spring'.