18 August 2009

Come and say hello at BirdFair

Its the British BirdWatching Fair at Rutland Water this weekend (Friday to Sunday), and we'll be running a ringing demonstration on all three days. So why not come along and say hello and see some birds up close and personal?

The main BTO stand (in Marquee 3) will also have a nifty little application to produce a personalised Migration Atlas of birds from your home postcode, so give this a try too. There are masses of other things to do and see at BirdFair, so do come along.

17 August 2009

More Kittiwakes

Regular readers may remember the unusual Kittiwake wreck back in February... Over the weekend we had an email from BirdLife Malta with details of a dead bird found there back in March.

This turned out to be a Kittiwake as well, ringed as a chick on the Farne Islands in July 2006. This is only the tenth Kittiwake to be found in the Med, with previous records from Morocco, Libya (three), France (three), Sicily and Italy (two).

Thanks to Andre Raine from BirdLife Malta for the info on the bird.

10 August 2009

Little Egrets on the move

We seem to have received a good number of sightings of colour-ringed Little Egrets this summer. Birds from a small colony in Norfolk have been seen as far afield as Northumberland in previous years, and a bird ringed in 2008 (colour rings 'UZ') appears to have spent the winter at Fairburn Ings, also staying into the spring.

More impressive though was 'AF' (above), which was ringed in Kent in May 2003. It was seen local to the colony in July 2003, but then disappeared. It then reappeared on 27 June at Leighton Moss in Lancashire! This is not only a good long movement, but also makes GF09838 the oldest Little Egret we know of so far (in Britain and Ireland anyway). We still have a way to go to beat the 22 year old French bird though!

Colour-ringed birds (of any sort) can be reported online at www.ring.ac

Thanks to Richard du Feu for the photo and info.

05 August 2009

Tapping for Goatsuckers and a Breckland first

We've been out and about catching up with some Breckland specialities over the last few days.

As part of some BTO work on nest predation, we were out yesterday 'tapping' along forestry plantations looking for Nightjar nests. Once found, we can install nest cameras to monitor the progress of nesting attempts. Below you can see the camera on the left, and the eggs in the so-called nest on the right. Nightjar nests are never more than this, with eggs pretty much just laid on a patch of open ground.

The footage from these cameras is an amazing insight into the daily lives of these birds. Footage from Woodlark nests is also online here.

Then this morning, members of the BTO Nunnery Ringing Group finally caught up with the family of Cetti's Warblers that we suspected were breeding on our reserve. This is the first proven breeding in the Brecks of this colonist. The photo here shows mum (on the left) and two kids, and dad was also caught earlier in the morning.

Thanks to John Marchant for the Nightjar photo and Kate Risely for the Cetti's photo.