14 September 2011

August recoveries update

"I found a bird's leg in my sock!"

Over the years there have been some odd finding places for bird rings, including at the bottom of the North Sea, a Red Kite in the engine of a plane and a Mute Swan killed by a Lion at Chester Zoo. This month's winner is quoted, "I put my sock on this morning and felt something sharp dig into my foot. Upon further inspection, and to my disbelief, I found a tiny metal ring attached to a dismembered birds leg!". We are waiting for the ringing details on this one, but the leg was small, perhaps Wren or Goldcrest sized.

With the start of the shooting season, reports of ringed wildfowl are increasing. Last month we had 2 interesting reports of Pochard that were shot in Samarskaya Oblast, Russia (3287km) and Shaturskiy Rayon (2600km), Russia, after being ringed at Welney WWT, Norfolk in 2007 and 2008 (yellow pins).

Passerines played their part last month with Common Redpoll L656176 (blue pin) being ringed by Spurn Bird Observatory on the 16th of October 2010 to be then controlled by a ringer in Finnvik, Tromso, Norway on 5th August 2011 (2035km in 293 days).

View August update in a larger map

We don't normally get many reports of dogs attacking birds (apart from the odd swan) but House Sparrow TS36895 was very unlucky to be killed by a Jack Russell while flying past a bird table! Cats are the normal cause of death in gardens, partly because they frequently bring the ringed bird to the owner for reporting. Out of the 32 'caused by predator' reports during August, 22 of these were from cats, with the next highest being five deaths from birds of prey.

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