Saturday 30 July 2016

End Of The Breeding Season

The new improved system at the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) now means that there is a rapid turn around of controls/recoveries within the UK and Ireland but only if the ringer at the other end has submitted their data.  This has resulted in us receiving the details of the two controlled British Sedge Warblers in less than a week.
The first bird was originally ringed at South Milton Ley Wetland Reserve, Devon, on the south coast of England.  It was caught on the 8th of August 2015 on its first migration south and recovered by us 339 days later.  The straight line distance between the sites is 579 km. 
The second bird was first trapped at Squire's Down, Dorset, again in the south of England.  It too was on its first migration south, trapped on the 21st of August 2015 and caught by us 330 days later.  This bird travelled a similar straight line distance of 551 km.  This is the second Sedge Warbler that we have controlled from Squire's Down following a bird trapped at the University in 2013. 

Sedge Warbler controls

On Wednesday night John, Steve and Dineka were out once again to target Storm Petrels at Rinnagree Point.  Conditions were decent with a bit of cloud cover and light winds although it was much colder than of late.  The first bird was caught just before 23.30 and the final bird at 01.10 before packing up around 01.30.  A total of seven new birds were trapped.

Storm Petrel

This morning I paid the Grangemore Sand Martin colony a quick follow up visit to pick up a few of the youngsters from the second brood.  There was rain in the forecast for around 9.30 and it was a little breezy so I covered only the Sand Martin bank.  There were still 35/40 birds floating about above the colony so I thought a decent catch could be on the cards.  In the end I managed only five new birds (only two juveniles) which were caught as I put up the nets.  The following two net rounds produced nothing but a single Linnet so I packed up and left the site before 9.  On the way out I noticed 4/5 Swallows flying through the barns in the abandoned farm, so I put up a 3 metre net in front of a door way and caught a single bird.  The torrential rain had started by this point but thankfully the net was sheltered inside the barn.   


The first season at the Grangemore Sand Martin colony has been a good one with a total of 91 new birds, 13 retraps and 3 controls.  The proper control was the bird bearing the Portuguese ring plus the two local movements from the Macfin colony.  The Grangemore site as a whole has shown it's potential and although today was the final visit of the year, we will certainly back early next summer targeting the breeding birds. 

Steve had a good evening catch down in his garden in County Tyrone with 28 House Sparrows and 2 Great Tits.  The birds were mist netted around feeders in ideal conditions.  The majority of the House Sparrows caught were juveniles hinting at a good breeding year in the local population. 

House Sparrows

As of today I have processed 448 new birds and 179 retraps/controls of 39 species this year.  The total is quite a bit behind last years which stood at 789 new birds and 236 retraps/controls on the same date.  We did start ringing at the new Sand Martin colony which added 91 more new birds.  The main reasons for the decline is the lack of ringing in my garden in the early winter plus we have been less active at Portstewart Strand.  I don't have the others totals at hand so we will have to wait for the end of year totals! 

On a final note, the blog has now surpassed 9000 views which has been really boosted over the past week from a very strange source.  There have been over 1100 views coming from Russia in the past week with a peak of 389 views on Friday.  The year or so before this has only produced 600+ views from Russia so I'm really not sure why now??  Maybe somebody reading can let me know!

No comments:

Post a Comment