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)

Thursday 8 November 2012

Two Survivors

Kevin Briggs has been studying a small population of Ringed Plovers nesting on the River Lune shingle banks at Arkholme for many years. Many of his study birds have been colour ringed. In recent years the number  of pairs nesting on the shingle beds has declined, mainly due to  a series of years with high water levels in spring and also changes in the shingle banks . However some of these birds have taken to nesting in  newly sown maize fields close to the river.

This year Kevin located two of his birds on maize fields and was able to read their colour rings. One an adult male had been ringed in May 1996 and was found this year ca  2 km from its ringing site but 16 years later. The other, an adult female was ringed in May 2000 and found nesting this year ca 4 km from its ringing site and 12 years later. Both  pairs hatched young but Kevin is not certain if they survived to fledging.

The national longevity record for Ringed Plover is 19 years and 8 months  set in 2000 so these two are somewhat behind  but I have checked  the on-line ringing reports  for the past six years and the oldest during this period is just 12 years so these two are doing well and still going strong.

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