23 January 2009

Foreign Colour ringed Cormorant reaches UK

Back in October 2008 the BTO received a report of a colour ringed cormorant from Russell Hayes at Boultham Mere, Lincoln, but the bird proved difficult to identify as the colour ring combination didn’t seem to match any colour ringing schemes. We finally discovered that the reason for this was that the bird had lost a colour ring. However, we have been able to establish that it corresponded with a project in Lithuania, making this the first Lithuanian-ringed Cormorant to be found in Britain & Ireland!

Since the bird did not have its full set of colour rings it cannot be identified as an individual, but we can deduce that it is one of 54 individuals ringed in 2008. These 54 birds comprise 23 pulli, 29 first-year birds and 2 adults caught near the Juodkrante Cormorant colony in Klaipedos apskritis (55°31'16"N, 21°06'41"E), which means that this bird has travelled a distance of more that 1,400km!

Surprise in the net!

Last Sunday a group of BTO staff, including two trainees Alice Risely (volunteer) and Paul Stancliffe, went ringing for a few hours at a local site only a couple of miles from HQ. Here we regularly catch Blue, Great and Coal Tits, and this weekend was no exception.

On the penultimate net round, however, we were surprised to see a Woodcock take off from the ground and fly straight into our first net, only to then watch it bounce out again and head off in the opposite direction….into the second net! By this point we had reached the bird and were able to extract it quickly, thus preventing its second great escape!

Although the morning’s total was only 28 birds, this was enough for Alice and Paul, and with the added bonus of a Treecreeper (as well as the Woodcock), all in all it was a very good session.

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