28 April 2014

Dunnock doing time in Denmark

At this time of year Dunnocks are in full breeding mode. We have found a few nests here on the BTO reserve so far this year with their amazing sky blue coloured eggs. The vast majority of Dunnock recoveries we receive are of birds that haven't travelled very far.

Livermere, Suffolk - John Walshe

We sent a report to John Walshe recently of a Dunnock that he had ringed at Livermere, Suffolk, (pink point on map) as a young bird on 31 Oct 2013 which had hit a window... in Denmark (red point on map)! It was found on 12 Mar 2014 at Braband So, Aarhus. Luckily it was only stunned and was later released back into the wild.

John writes:
"Looking at the BTO's online reports pages for Dunnock, there have only been 35 reports of BTO ringed Dunnocks found abroad and this is only the 2nd to Denmark. I've ringed nearly 4000 and only ever had 19 recoveries, never more than 2km from place of ringing."

Dunnock at Livermere- John Walshe
John continues:
"Dunnocks are the perfect illustration of the same species, with the same DNA that can behave different in different parts of their range. Scandinavian Dunnocks are forced to move in winter to escape the cold, whereas birds in the UK have no need to, in our milder climate. If the gulf stream was suddenly turned off and the UK gets colder in winter, could our Dunnocks become partial migrants like more northern birds?"

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