15 May 2014

A Chaffinch from Lithuania

Chaffinch by Jill Pakenham
Here at the BTO we know a lot about the common species. We are excellent at monitoring their numbers during the breeding and wintering seasons through several of our schemes. The information gathered by thousand of dedicated volunteers is used to help answer the key conservation questions of our time.
The Chaffinch is undoubtedly one of our commonest species, and as is often the case with such species, (take the Dunnock for example), it is easy to overlook them.

BTO ringers ring more than 30,000 Chaffinches each year. 1,402,733 were ringed during the period 1909-2013, and more than 10,000 have been recovered and reported to us in that period.
Many Chaffinches travel to and from the Continent, and even to the Faroes and Iceland! In the winter we are more likely to encounter Chaffinches that have originally been ringed abroad, as they visit UK & Ireland avoiding the harsh continental cold. In the BTO's recovery database there are 15 Chaffinches that covered a distance greater than 2000km, the furthest recorded distance in our scheme is 2362km, as shown in the map below.


T848360 was ringed a Female in 22-01-2006, coordinates 51°35'N 1°43'W (Wiltshire), later Caught by ringer in 31-07-2006, coordinates 60°41'N 32°57'E (Leningrad) Russia. Greatest distance recorded in the BTO database for a Chaffinch: 2,362km 
In the map of recoveries below you can see that the movements of Chaffinches to other countries are most likely to be between the UK and the Scandinavian countries, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany, with a few going further east to Latvia, Russia and Lithuania.

Chaffinch: Ringed in Britain & Ireland, Found Here; Ringed Here, Found in Britain & Ireland

This week, we received a recovery of a Chaffinch ringed in Lithuania. This bird was ringed at Ventes Ragas on 30/09/2012 and killed by a cat in Gurteen, Galway on 25/11/2013. It travelled a respectable distance of 1926km and is the first ever Chaffinch ringed in Lithuania reported to the BTO. Before this bird, we have only one other record of a Chaffinch travelling between UK and Lithuania; that was ringed in Kilnsea, England, and later found in the same ringing station in Ventes Ragas, Lithuania.



Vast information on ringing and recoveries of all species in the UK & Ireland and associated maps can be found in the Online Ringing Reports - if you haven't visited yet, take a look!

We have also talked about Chaffinches here.

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