Wednesday 21 September 2011

1000 Up!

Almost two years have passed since we started our colour ringing project on north west Coot, today we colour marked our 1000th bird! This milestone total saw the end of us using individual colour ring combinations, to see the start of using individual coded darvic rings!


On 29/10/2009 when we had hundreds and hundreds of colour ring combinations to use up, it felt as though it would take us an age to reach our target goal! However, I’m rather surprised to be writing this today – that 1000 hand captured Coot have now been colour ringed!!

I won’t go into great detail on this, as we’re just about to analyse what we’ve already gathered. However of the 1000 colour ringed birds, 540 have subsequently been sighted again and 202 of these away from their ringing locations, with many birds being sighted at more than one location.

Coot Movements 1000

The updated sightings map, looking rather hectic! Red = ringed at Southport, Green = Crompton Lodges, Blue = Redesmere, Purple = Westport Lake. Many more sightings are on here, however they’re hidden by already placed markers.

The milestone also represents bringing on board other ringers throughout the UK, who will be colour marking birds as part of the project. This includes ringers in Newcastle, Shropshire, Norfolk & North Wales and possibly ringers in Cornwall, London, Derbyshire and Cumbria. Together with Radipole Ringing Groups current marking programmes in Dorset & Devon – we’re hoping to colour mark birds on a broader scale across the UK.

P1040191 - Copy

Our new colour ringing scheme uses white darvic rings, with black alpha numeric codes, on the left leg – with a BTO ring on the right leg. Letters used are – A, B, C, D, F, H, I, J, L, N, R, S, T, V, X & Z. Numbers used – 3, 4, 6 & 7.


Please report sightings of ALL colour marked Coot to me at kanebrides(add) – it is very important to carry on sending in sightings of the individual colour ring combinations – as these will add further to the information that we’ve already got on these birds.


If anyone is sitting on any sightings and have still yet to report them – I’d be particularly grateful if you could send these to me (at the above address) so that we can use these sightings in the analysis. 


With special thanks to the following people for their help in the colour marking project over the last two years – Steve Christmas, Craig Brookes, Seumus Eaves, Pete, Peter & Tom Fearon, Kieran Foster, Ciaran Hatsell, Sean Gray, Chris Bridge, Zac Hinchcliffe and Gillian Dinsmore.

Saturday 17 September 2011


A session at Smithills Moor this morning with Steve, yielded 10 of these delightful little birds, before bad weather put stop to that & we packed in. Hopefully the weather will be kind enough next weekend for another go………….


Thursday 15 September 2011

& Some of the Killington Gulls are still alive!


I was beginning to wonder why we had not heard back from any of our 80+ darvic’d Black headed Gulls from Killington? Then Chris Baines contacted me with a sighting of the above bird – 2A64 – which was seen by him on Loch Ryan in Stranraer 82 days & 166km WNW later!

Thanks to Chris for the sighting & photo. 

Wednesday 14 September 2011

I’m Still Alive!

A quick update…..Sorry for the lack of postings recently! I’ve been quite busy, mainly as I’ve got a new job at WWT Slimbridge, so I’ve been busy in sorting things out, twinned with the fact that the weather has been awful! 

I shall be moving to Slimbridge in the next two weeks to start my new job in the Species Monitoring Unit. The post is ringing based, so I’ll be able to blog about what I’m getting up to! I’m also planning on being at home most weekends to catch up with family & of course to continue my ringing activities back in the great NW!


Anyhow over the last week or so I’ve had one or two days catching Coot and have managed to capture and colour ring 35 more birds. We’ve got a rather special occasion looming with the Coot project, so we’ll blog about this – probably next week, depending on how quick we can work, and how good the lads are at catching this week < no pressure Zac/Chris!

During a quick meet at Preston Docks at lunch time today with Zac, we managed to catch this juvenile Lesser Black Backed Gull.