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, 19 December 2010

Record Breaking Bittern

The photographing of a ringed Bittern from Lilian's Hide Leighton Moss on December 15th by Stan Parrot established 1291702 as the longest lived ringed Bittern in Britain. It is ten years and 221 days since it was ringed

This bird was ringed as a nestling at Leighton Moss by the RSPB Research Department on May 5th 2000, and on DNA evidence was sexed a female. The improvement in camera and telescope technology in recent years has allowed the reading of the rings of ringed birds in the field. Using these methods this bird has been identified on one occasion in 2007 and twice in both 2008 and 2009 and now twice in 2010. Prior to the recent sighting it was last recorded on 31 January 2010.

All the certain sightings of this bird have been in the period October to January. However ringed birds have been seen at Leighton Moss during spring and summer but not identified with certainty. It is much more difficult to get photographs showing the ringed leg during the spring and summer when the legs are often hidden in the vegetation. The best time is during cold spells when they often walk on the ice,

The Wardens at Leighton Moss are putting out sprats to help tide the bitterns over the present cold spell. This bird was seen to disappear into the area where the sprats are being provided. Excellent views of at least three Bitterns from Lilians hide have been obtained recently.


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