Thursday 1 October 2015

Late September Update

Generally we are restricted to weekend ringing, so we've only managed to squeeze in a couple of sessions and have not been able to fully utilise the great weather of late.  The calm spell looks set to last until Monday so John, Ken, Steve and myself are heading to stay at Copeland Bird Observatory for the weekend.  There seem to be plenty of nice birds about (although maybe not Northern Ireland) so hopefully we can pick up something good. 

Reed Bunting

We held two ringing sessions at Portstewart Strand in the second half of September and then a further restricted visit this morning by John and Steve.  Nothing of note seems to be moving through just yet but our bigger catches came in October and November of last year.  Tits are normally very uncommon with only a handful caught but an influx of Coal Tits and the installation of a small feeding station has boosted the numbers caught.  Song Thrush numbers have certainly increased with 9 ringed in the past four sessions.  Some new Stonechats have also moved in/through with another three new birds, including one adult.  Hirundines have been totally absent for the past three weeks and the only warbler species to appear in September were Blackcaps.  A Chiffchaff was caught this morning and is the first since the spring.  The large water birds have started to return with Whooper Swans and Greylags making appearance and a couple of Pink-footed Geese which I didn't see.  Teal numbers reached over 1000 birds one morning according to one of the local hunters.

Ringing Totals 19/09/2015
                                        New        Retrap                           
Blackcap                           1  
Blue Tit                              1              
Dunnock                            1               1                
Lesser Redpoll                  1
Meadow Pipit                   20
Reed Bunting                    2 
Robin                                 4                3
Stonechat                          1                                                               
Song Thrush                     1                                                                 
Wren                                  2               
Total                                 34               4
Ringing Totals 26/09/2015
                                        New        Retrap           
Blackbird                          1                 
Blackcap                           2               1
Bullfinch                           1
Blut Tit                              1              
Coal Tit                             1
Dunnock                            1               1            
Goldfinch                          2      
Great Tit                            1
Lesser Redpoll                 2
Meadow Pipit                   13
Robin                                 1               1                                                               
Song Thrush                     3
Stonechat                          2                                                                 
Wren                                                   2               
Total                                31               5
Ringing Totals 01/10/2015
                                        New        Retrap                        
Blackcap                           1                1  
Bullfinch                           1
Blue Tit                             2
Chiffchaff                         1              
Coal Tit                             2
Dunnock                                            2       
Goldcrest                          1     
Goldfinch                          1      
Meadow Pipit                   1
Robin                                1                                                                               
Song Thrush                    1                                                                  
Total                                12               3

Great Tit

We have received word back from the BTO about two Strom Petrels and a recovered Sandwich Tern.

The Sandwich Tern had its BTO metal ring read in the field (not an easy task) by an observer at Dawlish Warren NR, Devon, England on the 29th of August 2015.  The bird had originally been ringed as a nestling at Inch on the 29th of May 2013.  This equates to a distance of 1187km over a period of 1187 days.  This is the sixth recorded movement of our Sandwich Terns to England. 

The controlled Storm Petrel was one of the two controls caught on the 6th of August.  The bird had originally been ringed at the Calf of Man Bird Observatory on the Isle of Man, 13 days before, having moved a distance of 174km.  This is our fourth stormie exchange with the observatory with 2 birds going each way.
The recovered bird was caught at Faraid Head, Highland, Scotland on the 1st of July 2015, making it the second of our birds to be caught there.  It was originally ringed by us 719 days before on the 12th of July 2013 and it had moved a distance of 397km. 


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