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)

Friday, 3 August 2012

Birds Do the Unexpected

In our recent batch of recoveries there were three which appear quite unusual. The first was a Lesser Whitethroat ringed at Middleton Nature Reserve as a juvenile on 27th July last year and presumably a locally bred bird. It was caught on 5th June this year at Icklesham in East Sussex 423 km to the south. It was identified as an adult female, presumably on brood patch, suggesting it was breeding there as indeed you would expect in early June. It appears as though this bird has not returned to its natal area but is breeding some 420 km to the south. A similar scenario is possible with another Middleton ringed bird - a Sedge Warbler ringed as a juvenile on 26th June last year. It was caught at Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire on May 5th this year 285 kms. SE. Although possibly this bird could still have been on spring migration when caught. The third was a Lesser Redpoll ringed at Heysham on April 1st this year at a time when many Redpolls are moving north. However this bird was caught six days later 72 kms. to the south at Bidston in the Wirral. Just a postscript to my last post on the low numbers of Sedge Warblers. Early August saw no improvement in the situation but we did catch a French ringed adult to add to the Dutch one we caught last week. John

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