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, 3 January 2011

2010 a Record Year

With just over 12,600 new birds ringed in 2010 making it the highest total since the group was established and over 5,500 up on 2009.
In total with re-traps and controls we handled nearly 16500 birds of 78 species. This good total partly reflects more effort helped by better weather but it also reflects an excellent breeding season for many species.
Much of our effort during the spring and summer goes into our four Re-trapping Adults for Survival (RAS) projects.
Sand Martins on the River Lune with 1659 new birds and 446 re-traps heads the list.
Our Reed Warbler study at Leighton Moss with 897 caught of which 249 were re-traps is in its tenth year. This year saw the third highest number of adults caught.
Pied Flycatchers are ringed in the nest boxes in the Lune valley Oak Woods. This year we had 63 occupied nest boxes and ringed 308 nestlings and caught 67 adults of which 40 had been ringed in previous years
Bearded Tits at Leighton Moss had a successful season with 104 young birds ringed and an amazing 1062 re-traps or sightings of our colour ringed birds . In total 761 were sightings mainly on the grit trays.

In other projects we ringed 1422 Swallows mainly in a maize field roost. Wintering Twite at Heysham . have been studied for several years this year we caught 238, But the bird heading the list of most ringed bird was Blue Tit with 2013 ringed many of them in our nest boxes. It was obviously an excellent breeding season for this species and is all part of the BTO's population monitoring. During the recent cold spell we have had several examples of Blue Tits moving from the upland breeding woodlands to the well stocked feeders in towns. We also re-trapped one which was in its eighth year.
A successful breeding season resulted in peak catches for Willow Warbler (605), Chiffchaff(238), Grasshopper Warbler(32),Long-tailed Tit (399) Goldfinch (532), and Coal Tit (564)
So all told an excellent season, we look forward with interest to 2011, will the severe December weather have cut the numbers of our resident birds? Will the three species of summer visitors that we study return from their African wintering grounds in good numbers? Watch this space!

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