24 December 2009

Merry Christmas bloggers!

Just as we're in the midst of one of a big freeze, some birds just seem to be ignoring it completely. This week we had a report of a Canada Goose sitting on five eggs on a canal right in the middle of Manchester (not quite the one below), so it'll be interesting to see how it fares.

We've also hear of a Robin apparently nest-building in late November (Suffolk), a female Mallard with 14 day-old ducklings in mid November (on a golf course pond in Hainault Forest, London) and also a late Reed Warbler caught in Sussex on 1 December (it was originally ringed at the same site in late October).

If you find any odd nesting behaviour over the winter then we'd be interested to hear about it. All of us in the BTO Demography Team wish you a Merry Christmas and hope you have a New Year full of ringed birds and recorded nests!

Thanks to Judith Smith (Greater Manchester Bird Recorder) for letting us know about this bird.

22 December 2009

Lunchtime ring-reading - give it a go!

Everyone should try ring-reading.....

A quick lunchtime trip down to the river by The Nunnery (the BTO HQ) today was reasonably successful. Armed with a single bread roll and a pair of bins, I managed to read a Black-headed Gull ring from Helgoland, Germany (5501947). Not the most exciting record in the world, but there have been fewer than 20 records of German Black-headed Gulls in Norfolk, so not too bad!

So if you get a chance over Christmas, go armed with some bread and your bins and get reading! You can report any sightings online at www.ring.ac and comment here on the blog if you succeed.

21 December 2009

Scottish Red Kite in the Azores!

We do seem to be reporting on a lot of European birds heading west these days... This time though, it was a British bird deserting us! OK, so it was November LAST year, but we have only just received news of a wing-tagged Red Kite seen on the island of Corvo in the Azores. It was seen briefly on 3 November on the island, and is only the second record on an island group more famed for its vagrant American birds (see the 2009 Corvo birding blog for more).

This bird was originally ringed in the nest in northern Scotland in July 2008 and given wing tags blue 'm', black 'm'. We've added the movement to the Glossy Ibis map below, with the Red Kite in... red!

View 6PW and 'm' in a larger map

Many thanks to Martin Gottschling for reporting this and sending us the photos.

17 December 2009

Spanish Glossy Ibis in Trinidad and Tobago!

Amazingly we've just heard that a mystery ringed Glossy Ibis we helped trace last year is a seriously remarkable record!

6PW was ringed at the Fao colony in southern Spain on 3 June 2006. It was then seen over 6,000km away on 15 July 2008 at Oropouche Lagoon in Trinidad and Tobago! Our own Glossy Ibis news (here and here) now seems rather dull...

View 6PW in a larger map

Thanks to Kris Sookdeo for the original report (and photos) and the Spanish Ringing Scheme for helping us track this bird down.

14 December 2009

Amazing productivity in 2009!

We have just released the preliminary results of the CES (Constant Effort Sites) Scheme for 2009. A quick summary of the results are now online on the CES pages or can be downloaded as a pdf here.

It really was an amazing year, with lots of sites catching their highest ever number of juvenile birds. Of the core 25 species we monitor, 15 had productivity higher than the long-term average which is great news! The only species perhaps not doing so well were Blackbird (lack of access to food during a dry summer?) and Sedge Warbler. Full details are all online now, so do have a look!

10 December 2009

More Glossy Ibis news!

We had two interesting snippets of Glossy Ibis news yesterday afternoon... Firstly we found out that the two birds that were seen over Chew Valley Lake on 26 September, then seen at Catcott Lows were from rather different places! N4C was a bird ringed in the Camargue, southern France (on 19 May 2009, colony photo below), whereas L9M was a bird ringed in Donana, southern Spain!

I then received two emails from Germany reporting a colour-ringed bird, HH4. This has been present at Moorhauser Polder since 7 December (and photographed below), and is one of the birds that was originally seen at Pembrey, west Wales on 5-6 September! They do get around.....

Thanks to Andreas Noske for the report and to Regina Cunz and Michel Gauthier-Clerc for the photos.

09 December 2009

Winter holiday in Cleethorpes

For most, Cleethorpes might not seen the ideal winter holiday destination, but one Canadian visitor has been coming back for three years now.

Turnstone 1313-59558 (above, showing off its four-winged approach to flight!) was ringed at Alert, on the northern coast of Ellesmere Island in Canada in July 2001. This is incredibly far north (82 degrees north!) as can be seen on Google Maps here.

It was first seen on Cleethorpes beach on 4 December 2007, and again through subsequent winters - 1 January 2008, 23 November 2008 and lastly on 12 November 2009. It may well still be there, wandering round the beach feeding on scraps, so if you're in the area why not go and have a look at our foreign visitor! If you do, don't forget to report it to us via www.ring.ac

We have fewer than 30 records of Canadian Turnstone in Britain, and all have come from Ellesmere Island. Interestingly, birds from Alert there have also been seen as far south as the Canary Islands and even Namibia!

Thanks to Colin Smale and Chris Atkin for the photos and to Guy Morrison for the ringing details.

07 December 2009

Stone-curlews on TV

Just a quick update to point people at a TV feature looking at the ringing of some of the safest Stone-curlews in Britain - at Lakenheath US Air Force base!

Just click on the link below and scroll through to around 30.30

Norwegian Cormorant in London

One of our first posts on Demog Blog back in January involved our first record of Lithuanian-ringed Cormorant. This bird was colour-ringed in the nest in 2008 and had its details read at Boultham Mere, Lincolnshire.

Just last week we heard of our first colour-ringed Cormorant from Norway. 'Black Z4' was seen on the Thames at Wandsworth Park on 22 November. This bird was ringed at Øra Naturreservat, Fredrikstad, Østfold, Norway on 27 June 2001, so wasn't a wandering juvenile. This is the second bird we've had from this site, the first being found dead

View Cormorants in a larger map

We have had four records of Norwegian birds found dead in Britain (in Orkney, Northumberland, Suffolk and Glamorgan), but hopefully we'll see more colour-ringed birds in the future...

02 December 2009

More ringing on the BBC

Way back in the spring we filmed a bit about the history of ringing for BBC in the east. This is now available and gives a nice introduction to ringing more generally, and also has a look back at how the original ringing records were stored!

Thanks to Sue Wilkinson at the BBC Inside Out team for getting us access and permission to show this more widely!