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 23 January 2015

Garden Ringing

We have made four visits this autumn and winter to Jerry and Barbara's garden on the edge of Silverdale. It is ideally situated on the edge of a large block of woodland and very well provided with a variety of  feeders. Using just two nets we have caught 307 birds of these 34 were retraps so involved 273 different individuals over the four visits.

The woodland setting is reflected in the species caught with 99 Blue Tits, 32 Great Tits, 32 Coal Tits, 6 Marsh Tits, 5 Nuthatch and 7 Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Surprisingly also 13 Dunnock and 8 Robins. These figures  are for the total individual birds. Jerry tells me that when doing Garden Bird Watch the most Blue Tits they have seen at once is just 8 along with 6 each of Coal and Great Tits but our ringing gives some idea off the numbers visiting their well stocked feeders.

Several of the retraps show movements between our other ringing sites in the area. Outstanding is a Blue Tit ringed 2 km  away at Leighon  Moss and re-trapped  7 years and 177 later. It had not been re-trapped in the intervening period.


Sunday 11 January 2015

2014 A Record Year

With most returns for 2014 now in it has been a record year for the group with  16151 new birds ringed (12982 fully grown  & 3169 nestlings.) This is 3600 up on  2013. Certainly better ringing weather has helped but the warmer drier weather appears to have been produced excellent productivity in many of our regularly ringed species.

Our ringing during the spring and summer focuses  around our four RAS projects and two CES plots. With low water levels on the River Lune Sand Martin colonies we ringed 1424 new birds and recorded 419 retraps and 19 controls including 6 with French rings on. Pied Flycatchers had a good year with 86 occupied nest boxes of which 77 successfully reared young and we ringed 534 nestlings and caught 82 adults as part of our RAS study. At Leighton Moss Reed Warblers also had a good year with 988 new birds and 252 retraps. It was the second best year for  juveniles ringed in the 17 years of our study being only exceeded by 9 in 2003. Continuing the same theme Bearded Tits had a much better season with 70 juveniles caught compared to just 48 in 2013 and only 17 in 2012.

Almost all our regularly ringed species were well up this year examples compared with the five year average include 437 Chiffchaff's a 150 % increase. Whitethroat with 229 an 120% increase. We ringed 285 Blackcaps representing a 178 % increase on the 5 year average. Residents did well also Robins at 377 was 110% up and Wrens at 233 was almost double the 5 year average.
What will 2015 bring?