Saturday 11 February 2017

Post 100!

The BTO sent through some good news to say that one of our Sand Martins was controlled in France on its first migration south.  The bird was originally ringed at our Grangemore Sand Martin colony on the 18th of June 2016 and wound up at Tour aux Moutons, Donges, Loire-Atlantique, France 52 days later, travelling a minimum distance of 932 kilometres. 

Sand Martin control to Donges, France

I promised to give details of one of our Oystercatchers that turned up in Dublin ages ago and I have finally got around to processing it.  It was ringed as a recently fledged bird by Ken back in June 2004 at Croaghan Islet, Mulroy Bay, Donegal which was a former gull/tern breeding colony before it was decimated by American Mink.  We are unable to say where it has spent the past 12 and a half years of its life but it was still going strong at South Lagoon, Bull Island, Dublin on the 29th November 2016.  The minimum distance travelled is 228 kilometres although it is highly likely that it passed along the coast on its way to Dublin.  The oldest Oystercatcher recorded in the UK was over 40 years old, so some way to go for this bird to be a record breaker.

 Oystercatcher movement to Dublin

It had been over a month since our last visit to Castlerock, when John, David, Dineka and I dragged ourselves out last Sunday.  It was a cold start sitting at 3 below, with a very hard frost, which had even turned the normally soft estuarine sand to a hard cake.  It heated up a bit in the clear sunny skies but perhaps not the best for mist nets.  There are still thousands of berries remaining on the bushes to keep the birds interested but it looks like they are starting to drop now.  The flock of c40 Fieldfare were still scattered through the bushes with plenty of Bullfinches for company.
The Fieldfares are still giving us the run around and we failed to catch any but we did catch a few Blackbirds and Bullfinches.

Castlerock Golf Club 05/02/2017  
                                New      Retrap
Blackbird                  3              1          

Bullfinch                   2              1
Dunnock                   1

Goldcrest                                  1
Robin                        1               1 
Song Thrush            1          
Wren                                         1 

Total                          8              5            

Bullfinches             DS

There have been a further two ringing training sessions in Antrim with Copeland Bird Observatory.  The catches have been rather low with not many birds visiting the feeders throughout the winter.  We did get a bit of excitement on the first visit when a flock of Waxwings had appeared in the car park but unfortunately they had been chased off by a pair of Mistle Thrushes by the time we arrived. 
The Observatory opens up again next month so all focus will be back on the island.

I have spotted and received details of 16 colour-ringed geese over the past few weeks and will update on those in a later post.

No comments:

Post a Comment