Thursday, 27 October 2011



A batch of recoveries came in from the BTO yesterday, revealing that our old Canada Goose that we blogged about last year – has been found dead with an injured wing. At the grand age of 18 years & 254 days. Although this bird was ringed as an adult in 1993 so is older than 18yrs!

Several other Canada Goose recoveries were also included in this batch, all mainly involving local movements. A Reed Warbler pullus that I ringed at Pickmere this year, was captured by ringers 43days later at Rostherne Mere (10km). And confirmation came through of the UK’s first recovered Portuguese ringed Sand Martin!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

A Bit of Cooting!


‘Angel of the North, maybe!?’

Back in the great NW for the weekend and after taking delivery of a rather large batch of G and darvic rings, I couldn’t wait to get out and start using these.

So a trip to Redesmere Lake & Westport Lake this morning, bagged us 17 Coot in total, 16 new & one recapture – which was previously a colour ringed bird, however it had lost a colour ring, therefore the bird was issued with a swanky new darvic ring.


Apart from the Coots the net has been up in the garden & caught 20 Goldfinch along with a number of Chaffinch, Great Tit & Greenfinch.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Rounding Up Mutes……

On Sunday along with Wes, Charlie and Heather McGinty we headed up to the Lakes for our annual Mute Swan ringing day. Starting off at the usual Bowness-on-Windermere and working our way round, before finishing off with an awkward brood of cygnets on Coniston Water!


In total we caught around 40 birds, most mainly non breeding adults and very few cygnets!! Although some cygnets were being ‘stubborn’ and wouldn’t come anywhere near us!! They weren't for changing their attitudes, not even for the Lake District’s finest bread – so therefore went unringed!!!

I was hoping for a sneaky Goosander or a Black Headed Gull or two, but that was not to be!

P1040317   P1040328

Charles looking like a Leprechaun, whilst gluing a darvic! And Heather stands in as scribe come cellotape hand’er’outer


All ready for release with it’s shiny new bling!

Any sightings of blue darvic’d Mute Swans in the NW can be sent to Wes Halton at info’@’

Monday, 10 October 2011

Today I Bumped Into A Fellow Northerner!

Walking through the Big Pen in the grounds at Slimbridge casually observing the Coots, I was rather shocked when a flash of yellow & pink caught my eye!!


This is getting spooky! It’s like they’re following me! Yup this is a Southport Marine Lake bird. Ringed there in November 2010, sighted 29 days later 6km away at Ainsdale by Stephen Menzie. It was then sighted at New House Pond in Stockport, Grt Manchester (64km ESE) on 28/03/2011 & 29/03/2011. The next sighting is at WWT Slimbridge on 07/10/2011 and today – 217km south in 311 days!

Slimmers  Coot


It’s not bothered about bread anymore! More like relishing on the daily grain handouts by staff & visitors!!

Now I’m waiting for the ‘‘You ringed this at Slimbridge’’ & ‘‘ you’re transporting them between sites’’ comments! :)

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Hello Again D4A!


I’ve been waiting to see this nasal saddled Teal again here at Slimbridge to get some photos of it! However I haven’t seen it since! So the above photo will have to do!

My colleague Steve Heaven first sighted D4A on the Rushy Pen at Slimbridge on 10/09/2011 and I eventually caught up with it a few days later! So why do I say ‘hello again’? Well I’ve seen this bird many times before on my old stomping ground at WWT Martin Mere, Lancashire!

It was ringed on 15/01/2010 at Reserve du Duer, Sarzeau in France and first sighted at Martin Mere on 19/10/2010, it returned back to it’s ringing location in France, being sighted there on 24/01/2011 (presuming escaping our cold weather at the time!?). Then the next sighting was on 08/04/2011 at Lewes Brooks in Sussex before being sighted at Slimbridge on 10/09/2011 and 12/09/2011!

D4A Movement

It’ll be interesting to see whether D4A is sighted back at Martin Mere over the coming winter! This bird proves how attractive WWT sites are to waterbirds!!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Good day for Gold & Grey in the Garden!

Upon arriving back to Manchester last night, I was told how the garden was alive with Goldfinches earlier in the day, with around 40 counted from the living room window. I awoke this morning & peering out of my bedroom window I was amazed to see around 70 Goldfinches on the feeders & covering the ground!


So up I got and started to get the net ready with the help from Chris, no sooner had we got back inside and the net started to fill with Goldfinches, with 15 in the first net round & we ended the day on 42 new birds & 2 recaptures.


We were aware of several Grey Wagtails hanging around the lane and were rather surprised when one found it’s way into the net! Unfortunately this happened just as Steve Christmas left the house! As he’d been round dropping off rings (thanks Steve!)


Don’t think a Wren has ever appeared on this blog before!! So here’s one to settle that……


We ended the morning on catching 50 birds – 47 new & 3 recaps.

Goldfinch 42 new & 2 recaps
Grey Wagtail 1 new
Coal Tit 2 new
Blue Tit 1 new
Wren 1 new
Dunnock 1 recap

Monday, 3 October 2011

Introducing Twitter to the Blog!

Things have been pretty hectic over the last week or so, hence no updates on the blog! I have introduced the twitter application > at the side of this page, which allows me to automatically post updates from my phone on the things I’m getting up to.

I’m hoping to be back in the NW this weekend, where I’m planning on getting the feeding stations going, having a dabble at trying to catch a few Coot & possibly a day in the Lake District rounding up Mute Swan broods is on the cards……..

I’ve got a rather nice Teal story to bring to the blog too! Just need to get some photos of the bird first!!

Check back soon!!