Tuesday 30 March 2010

Tiree Greylag in Lancashire.

This bird was ringed on Tiree in July 2009 and has been seen at various sites around West Tiree on 7 occasions since ringing - being seen last at Balinoe, Tiree on 17 Feb 2010. On 27th March 2010 this bird was noted at the swan feed at WWT Martin Mere, Lancashire.

This may not be the most interesting movement but when you consider John Bowler has ringed 1,282 Greylags on Tiree since 1998, this is the only bird to have moved south of Islay - and is the furthest mover from this project!

Green - Tiree

Red - Islay

Yellow - WWT Martin Mere.

Thanks to Dave Walsh for the photo.

Sunday 28 March 2010

At last....a visit to Windermere!

With two of the four members of the ''Windermere Ringing Team'' now working & studying in other parts of the UK, we find it hard arranging visits there. However this week has found us all up in the North - so over a few pints during a meet up in Preston on Tuesday night (which later turned into a night out in Blackpool!), we decided to have a trip up to the Lake District this weekend.

I've been delivering cannon-nets to Dumfries this weekend and so I decided to make a weekend of it and stayed with some friends. So I left early this morning to meet up with Craig, Chris and Ciaran at Bowness-on-Windermere for 10am.

Bowness on Windermere - Mute Swan, Canada Goose and Black Headed Gulls caught and ringed.

Then onto the river in Ambleside catching a Dipper & finding two nests with incubating females (hopefully we'll get the chance to return to ring the pulli)

Quickly rescuing Chris before he is swept downstream!

With the help from us he eventually found his feet!

Then onto catching Canada Geese in a field at Rayrigg, where Craig pulled off the most impressive Canada Goose catch I've ever seen :-)

You had to be there to see it!

All in all a very good day out in the Lakes.........

Sunday 21 March 2010

BBC North West Tonight.

Apparently the piece on Whooper Swan migration (see below) will be showed on BBC North West Tonight (BBC 1) on Thursday 25th March, between 18:30 - 19:00.

Tuesday 16 March 2010

Martin Mere Swan Catch.

We thought the February swan catch would have been the last of the winter 09/10 - however word came through that we'd been successful in gaining funding to carry out more transmitter work on Whooper Swans.

With birds now departing Martin Mere for their summering grounds and the daily feeds due to end very soon we had to be quick in organising the catch. So staff & volunteers were roped in to help from WWT centres all over the country.
It seemed somewhat strange travelling into Martin Mere this morning at 6am and it being quite light outside - and what a glorious day to have a catch on.

We had the company of the BBC's Diane Oxberry and a film crew, who filmed the entire catch. North West readers of this blog will be able to watch this on BBC's North West Tonight (to be scheduled). The news team are planning on following the progress of a migrating Whooper Swan back to Iceland this spring. I'll keep the blog posted on when this piece is to be aired.

125 Whooper Swans caught today
66 new
56 recaps
3 controls (from Iceland)
A sock was placed over the birds head to keep it calm, whilst it's transmitter was being fitted.

5 adult male Whoopers were fitted with transmitters and their progress can be followed on our website here.

It was nice to catch Martin Mere's oldest known swan, V3T the ''Wanderer'' who at the age of 22 was first ringed in Iceland as a cygnet in 1988 - on WWT's very first expedition there. Donna & Geoff Atherton who read this blog will be pleased to know this as they saw him on Shetland in November 2009. (see the comments of that blog post here)

Thursday 11 March 2010

What's that smell!? And who does it belong to?!

Nipper (my dog) regularly greets the post in the mornings and leaves letters & parcels strewn across the living room floor. However today a package made it as far as his bed, where I found him guarding it! On retrieving the parcel and opening it, a very horrible smell followed us as we both made our way into the garden!

The parcel had been sent by a member of the public and in it was a leg & foot of a bird. As you can see above, the leg has a blue darvic ring - LLB, but according to the letter no metal ring was found. The finder is wanting to know where & when the bird was ringed. Well - I don't even know what species this will have come from. So any suggestions please leave a comment below. In the meantime I'll make some enquires!
Thanks to Lee Barber at the BTO for helping to unravel this mystery. The above ring & foot belonged to a Shag ringed on the Isle of May as a chick in 2009. Found dead on 28/02/2010 at Boulmer in Northumberland.

Wednesday 10 March 2010

Coot sighting.

Some news yesterday of a Coot ringed at Crompton Lodges in Bolton, Grt Manchester - sighted at Westport Lake, Stoke-on-trent - 60km.

29/10/2009 - Age/3 - Crompton Lodges
28/02/2010 - Age/5 - Crompton Lodges
09/03/2010 - Age/5 - Westport Lake - 60km.

Tuesday 9 March 2010

Colourful Coots.

Today will probably be the last Coot catching session for some time - since it's not as cold, the days are getting longer + most birds seem to have moved onto breeding grounds.

I thought it would be worth while taking stock on the project so far.
A total of 342 birds have been colour ringed - from November 2009 to March 2010. Of these 310 were new birds at the time of ringing and 32 were birds either recaptured or controlled and had colour rings added. These colour ringed birds have generated 459 re-sightings, either at the ringing site or within the local area. At the moment we've had one sighting of a bird that had travelled over 100km from the ringing site (see here).
More birds will soon be dispersing to summering & breeding grounds - so any sightings of colour ringed birds would be gratefully received. Sightings can be sent to me at kanebrides(AT)googlemail.com - all sightings will be acknowledged with full ringing & re sighting information on the bird/s observed.

I'd like to thank all the ringers who have helped me fit colour rings and also to everyone who has supplied sightings of colour marked birds.
Many thanks to Andy Harmer for allowing me to use these two photos - http://www.btinternet.com/~andyharmer/

Sunday 7 March 2010

Twit Twooo Sexy....!

Managed to catch a Tawny Owl this morning whilst out putting nesting boxes up in Atherton Woods. Nice sharp talons but well worth the pain, what a fantastic bird!

Apart from that - one or two mist netting sessions at Shakerley - catching - 40 new, 15 (recap) & 1 control.

Blackbird - 1
Starling - 1
Blue Tit 2 (1)
Great Tit - (3)
Long Tailed Tit - 3 (1)
Bullfinch - 2 (5)
Chaffinch - 1
Goldfinch - 19 (3)
Greenfinch - 8
Reed Bunting - 1
Redpoll - 1 control
Dunnock - 2 (1)
Robin - (1)

Some news from the Netherlands. My friend Otto de vries spent two hours yesterday trying to read a BTO metal ring on a Snow Bunting near the costal area of the IJssel-lake in the Wieringermeerpolder. He successfully managed to get the full code - TP780725.

Thanks to Otto for these photos.

Saturday 6 March 2010

Astley Moss.

A nice morning out with Steve today on Astley Moss. Three nets set resulting in 30 birds being caught - 24 new & 6 recap (in brackets)

Yellowhammer - 8 (2)
Reed Bunting - 8
Greenfinch - 1
Chaffinch - 1
Dunnock - 2 (1)
Tree Sparrow - 2
Blackbird - (2)
Great Tit - (1)

Tuesday 2 March 2010

Redpoll brightens up a dull morning!

I had a quick netting session at Shakerley this morning before work. It seems though that the birds are getting a little net shy - every time I go to fill the feeders they are empty - but when I put the nets up I'm hardly catching any birds recently!

So my nets were up early this morning and an hour or so later - 12 birds caught, 4 new, 7 recaps & 1 control.

Just as I was about the take the net down, I noticed a Redpoll land in the tree opposite - so I thought I'd have another 10 mins, just in case this Redpoll wanted to place himself into my net. And he did - X629162 - the bird we controlled at Shakerley on 06/02/2010. *will post the ringing information on it when received*.

Totals - (recaps in brackets)

Blackbird - 1
Bullfinch - 1 (5) - Making it 50 new birds at Shakerley this winter.
Robin - (1)
Dunnock - (1)
Goldfinch - 1
Greenfinch - 1
Redpoll - 1 control.