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, 17 March 2010

Migrating Reed Warblers

May seem a bit early to be thinking about Reed Warblers But a recent batch of recoveries included five Reed Warblers controlled at Icklesham in East Sussex. The group has ringed almost 14,000 Reed Warblers over the years, of these 55 have been caught by other ringers on their onward migration in southern England with Icklesham reporting the largest numbers.

Juveniles obviously migrate fairly soon after moulting their juvenile body feathers. The earliest reported in the south of England was on July 30th and the latest on the 26th of September. The quickest movement was just four days after ringing and the longest gap between ringing and recapture was just 35 days.

Adults also move early, the earliest in the South of England was on August 2nd and the last on September 8th.

Onward movement is shown by eleven recoveries along the French coast, five in Portugal, two in Spain and four in Morocco.

On first sight one assumes that the birds we are ringing are either bred in our area or possibly in Cumbria where there is about 200 pairs, or Dumfries where there is about 25 pairs. However there are always surprises thrown up by ringing. A juvenile ringed near Hammarsjon in Sweden on 2/08/97 was caught 22 days later at Leighton Moss. So one has always to be careful in making assumptions

John Wilson

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