Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Linacre WeBS Count - December 2018

Luke and I were down at Linacre on Monday morning to carry out this month's (belated) WeBS walk.
We arrived on site just as it was getting light (8am), and counted the following birds: Mallard (84), Tufted Duck (23), Mandarin (9), Coot (2), Moorhen (14), Grey Wagtail (2), Black-headed Gull (c.40).

Whilst there, we decided to see if there were any ringed gulls, and, as luck would have it, we managed to see and photograph 1 metal-ringed Black-headed Gull.

Finnish-ringed Black-headed Gull?

I fed the birds, whilst Luke got some photos, and, he managed to see the entire number. It looks very likely that the bird was ringed in Finland, so, as soon as we hear back, I'll update the blog.

Walking back to the car park, Luke spotted a Chiffchaff flitting about in trees by the middle reservoir. It isn't our first December record, but it's always good to see one at this time of the year. I wonder where it's from????????

UPDATE: The Finnish Black-headed Gull was ringed on 5th July 2006, as a chick, 1848km away in Lohtaja, Finland, 12 years, 5 months and 19 days since ringing. Fantastic result!!!

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Linacre Ringing - an update

I've been out ringing with Sorby Breck Ringing Group a couple of times recently. Both sessions were quite quiet with the following birds ringed:

18th November 2018 13 birds: Wren 1/0, Robin 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 3/1, Coal Tit 1/0, Blue Tit 1/1, Great Tit 4/0.

16th December 2018 25 birds: Dunnock 1/0, Robin 0/1, Blue Tit 1/8, Great Tit 8/5, Jay 1/0.

The highlight was, obviously, today's Jay, a first year bird, and the first ringed at Linacre this year.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Even Longer Distance Greenfinch

I recently wrote a post about a Blue Tit that had travelled 19km. Well, yesterday I got an email from the Data Manager of Sorby Breck Ringing Group, to let me know that a Greenfinch I had ringed in my garden on 9th June 2018 had recently been retrapped by ringers from North Lancashire Ringing Group at Heysham Harbour, Lancashire, 127km away!

Not only is this the first control of a Greenfinch ringed by me, but the distance is also pretty impressive. It'd be great to see this bird back in the garden again next June. Fingers crossed.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Danish Black-headed Gull

Yesterday, Luke and I were at Poolsbrook CP for a few hours. Whilst there, we managed to spot a metal ringed Black-headed Gull from Denmark (3rd of the winter!).

Danish BH Gull

I heard back today, and the bird had been ringed on the small island of Sprogø, 830km away, as a chick on 2nd June 2017. Nice!!

Whilst there, we also had 2 ringed Greylag Geese. The 2 ring numbers were sequential, and the birds looked like an adult and a juvenile birds, so they were most likely ringed together. I'll update the blog as soon as we hear back from the BTO. A very tame Pink-footed Goose was also present, and associating with the Greylags.

Greylags and Pink-footed Goose

UPDATE: Both Greylag Geese were ringed at Poolsbrook on 5th September 2016, so they haven't gone very far. 98 was born in 2018 and 99 was ringed as "at least 1 year old".

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Long Distance Blue Tit

This year I ringed 69 Blue Tit pulli (birds still in the nest) at Linacre Reservoirs and another private site in Coal Aston. In an average  year I'd expect to get a few retraps, usually within a few kilometres of the nestboxes the birds were ringed in. Imagine, then, my joy when I received an email from our data manager, with details about one of this year's birds that had been caught 19km away from its nestbox in Coal Aston.

The bird in question was the last bird ringed from a brood of 10 on 26th May. As you can see in the picture below, the nest is made up of approximately 90% horse hair, and was very warm indeed!

Blue Tits

The bird was re caught by another ringer of our group (Sorby Breck Ringing Group) on 17th November (175 days after ringing) on Bradfield Moor, which is 19km NW of the ringing site. Great record.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Norwegian and Swedish Black-headed Gulls

I was back in Alvaston Park, Derby again today, looking at..... yes, you've guessed it.. Black-headed Gulls. There were still about 100 birds present on the small lake (along with at least 3 Common Gulls), but I didn't manage to see any of the 4 ringed birds I'd had at the start of November. Instead, I found 2 new ringed gulls!!

The first one I saw was another Swedish bird. Annoyingly, I only saw it for a few seconds, and only managed to get the first 4 digits of its ring number, 6439.

Swedish gull

The second bird, a Norwegian bird, with a lovely Darvic ring J3KY, was a little more confiding.

Norwegian gull, J3KY

I'm registered with the Norwegian Colour Ringing Scheme, because I reported another bird here back in December 2017 (see here), so I entered the details of this bird, and found out straight away that it had been ringed, as a pullus (chick), 1071kn away, on an island near Oslo on 15th June 2012! It has been re sighted 9  times in the intervening years, but always in Norway, and always in the summer months. Today's sighting was the first foreign sighting, and the first winter sighting.

This bird is the 12th ringed Black-headed Gull I've seen in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire since August 2018. Nationalities so far are British ringed (3), Swedish ringed (3), Danish ringed (2), Norwegian ringed (1), Finnish ringed (1), Lithuanian ringed (1) and Polish ringed (1).