Over the last 18 years we have ringed 988 Grey Wagtails. Since 2008 we have been colour ringing those caught on passage along the coast at Heysham. Up to this year we have had 18 recoveries with all being either colour ring sightings, or recapture by other ringers, no birds have been reported dead. These recoveries show that our birds winter mainly in the Chesire/Merseyside/ Greater Manchester area with single birds reported from Wiltshire, Staffordshire and Pembroke.
However this March we have had two reports of dead birds. The first was in Shropshire on March 1st. It was reported as being in poor condition indicating cold weather. It had been ringed as a juvenile on September 25th 2017 at Heysham and had moved 137 km. The other was killed by flying into a balcony window in Conwy North Wales on March 13th. One can only assume that this bird was searching for food in an unusual habitat during cold weather. It had moved 99 km and had been ringed on September 14th 2016.
So far the only local report of a dead bird during the cold spell was a Blue Tit . However we have been fortunate with only a short lived covering of snow.
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, 16 March 2018
Sunday, 4 March 2018
They were both ringed as juveniles in July 2016 and first seen together on the grit trays on 2nd October 2016. Since then they have been recorded together on 28 occasions including 13 sightings between early October and late November 2016 and 15 times between late September and late November 2017.
Another excellent example of Bearded Tits forming pairs in their first autumn and remaining faithful in subsquent years.We have recorded such behaviour on many ocasions but this is outstanding.
Will be interesting to see if there are any more grit tray sightings in this cold spring. Fortunately we have no snow but it has been very cold. Usually by this time of year there are numbers of insects appearing for the Beardies to catch, but not this year so they are probably still feeding on reed seed for which they need grit in the gizzard to grind up.