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)

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Recoveries Bonanza

A recent batch of 62 recoveries from the BTO brought some interesting info, all except 4 were of birds re-trapped by other ringers. We had reports of 9 Sand Martins from France bringing the total we have had reported on migration through France to 55. A juvenile ringed at the Lune colonies on 15 July was reported 933 km to the south 24 days later. Three Reed Warbler were also reported in France bringing the group’s total  from France to 30. One of them was 6 years old when re-trapped. More unusual  was a Reed Warbler from Belgium bringing our total from there to 5. Intrigues me that they cross the North Sea so early in their migration south. Four Sedge Warblers from France on southerly migration  brings the Group’s total in France to 50. The recoveries also  included details  of re-sightings of Belgium and Czech Republic Mediterranean Gulls which regularly winter here. The Czech bird is in its 12th year.

Quite a few of the recoveries were of birds that we usually think of as residents or at best short  distance partial migrants. Pride of place must go to 2 Long-tailed Tits ringed from a  group of 5 on 11th October and caught 36 days later 69 km  south in Cheshire. We have many retraps and recoveries suggesting this species rarely wanders more than 15 kms, but obviously some do occasionally. In 1993 we had 2 birds which moved 306 km north in just 19days. A juvenile Cetti’s Warbler ringed in mid-July near Wakefield was caught at Middleton 106 kms WNW  and 68 days later. Goldfinch have become common garden feeding birds in recent year. One ringed at feeder on 5th December 2011 was caught in January 2015 264 km  W in Co Tyrone Northern Ireland. A Bearded Tit ringed as a nestling this year and colour ringed as a juvenile was sighted in early October 30 km WSW , only the third Bearded Tit in recent years to have moved away from Leighton RSPB  Reserve. Finally a Greenfinch ringed October 2nd was found freshly dead 128 km  NW 20 days later.