28 November 2014

This week in ringing blogs...

It's been very quiet for exciting news here at The Nunnery (we're all waiting for the preliminary CES and NRS results next week!), so we thought this week we'd take a quick tour of some of the ringing group blogs out there. Links to many of the most popular blogs are listed in the right-hand column here, so why not browse and follow a few.

Bardsey Bird Observatory
This week Bardsey Bird Obs resurrected their buried portable walk-in trap and had some success catching Starlings. They can be tricky to age accurately so catching several together allows for a good comparison. There have been several long-distance movements of Starlings ringed on Bardsey including to Latvia, Belarus and Lithuania. However, it's not only movements of Starlings that are interesting. One individual that was ringed on Bardsey was found killed by a bird of prey in the same location nine years later!

Teifi Ringing Group
Also catching Starlings in Wales were Teifi Ringing Group, but more exciting news on their blog was just the sixth Firecrest caught at the site since 2009. This bird came with a further surprise in the form of a ring with a Belgian address on. This is the 11th record of a Belgian-ringed Firecrest in the UK, with other foreign-ringed Firecrest coming from The Netherlands (three), Channel Islands (two) and Germany (one).

Gower Ringing Group
One last Welsh blog focuses on a few wader captures at a new netting site, with a pre-dawn catch managing to produce both Snipe and Jack Snipe at the same time. It's not every day you get the chance to compare these species side-by-side in such detail, so the pics are well worth a look.

Snipe - Tommy Holden

Jack Snipe - Tommy Holden

West Cornwall Ringing Group
Staying in the west, further colour ring records from the West Cornwall Ringing Group included this young male Peregrine in France. Whilst there are several other movements to the near Continent, these unexpected sightings in your email inbox are certainly a treat.

Lower Derwent Valley
With wildfowl starting to come back to the valley in good numbers, the ringing group have just started to catch again (including this smart male Teal), but they've also taken the opportunity to look at a few of the more interesting group recoveries, including a Mallard that was later found in The Netherlands.

Gibraltar Point Bird Observatory
In the east, many sites were still benefiting from an earlier arrival of winter migrants, including small numbers of warblers. Scarce species such as Yellow-browed Warbler are getting scarcer now, but various sites were catching Chiffchaffs, some of the collybita race and others the eastern migrant tristis race (Siberian Chiffchaff), such as this one ringed at Gib Point on 22nd November.

Portland Bird Observatory
A rather more unexpected warbler catch was a Willow Warbler at Portland on 24th November, the latest ringing record at the site.

The BirdTrack results for Willow Warbler show how unusual this record is, with very few Willow Warblers seen beyond late October.

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