Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Ringers Report - August 2015

A monthly roundup of ringing highlights from young birders, whether it be birds ringed, rings read or controlled in the field or ringing recoveries reported from elsewhere. Bird movements are amazing!

Josie Hewitt, 17 - Hampshire
My August ringing highlight was my first ever ringing session on my patch in north east Hampshire where I caught a surprising total of 59 birds of 13 species in just two nets. This included a lovely juvenile Pied Flycatcher which was most unexpected and a Lesser Whitethroat, also a fairly unusual visitor! I also visited 3 bird observatories - Skokholm, Portland and Bardsey where I had a lovely time and saw some cracking species in the hand including Storm Petrel, Manx Shearwater, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Dunlin. 
IMG_4151.JPG                                               IMG_4129.JPG

Jonnie Fisk, 19 - Pasvik Valley, Finnmark, Arctic Norway 
The Pasvik ringing project is a joint venture between Biotope, ringing groups in Staffordshire and Worcestershire and Stavanger Museum.
A ringing scheme has been in place in Varanger for the last few years. Previously, all ringing was done at the coastal site of Nesseby, this year it was moved to the Pasik taiga forest, on the border river with Russia, a minor flyway for migrants. We caught a nice range of migrant species, Willow Warblers making up the bulk - there was massive variation between these acredula types. The project also caught several taiga forest specialities including loenbergi Williw Tits, Siberian Tits, Siberian Jay, Little Bunting and one livid Hawk Owl. Padding the nets out were some good Scandi stuff: Brambling, Arctic and Mealy 'polls, thunbergi Yellow Wagtails, Bluethroat and Redwing. 
Waiting between net rounds on the river was a opportunity to view Arctic migration, with Crane every day, whinneying Whimbrel flocks, fishing Osprey, Rough-legged Buzzards, White-tailed Eagles and moose commuting to and from Russia. Over the two weeks upwards of a hundred birds we ringed per day and hopefully they'll give some interesting recoveries, painting a better picture of the routes these Arctic breeders take.
acredula "Northern" Willow Warbler on the right

Sophie Barrel - Skokholm Bird Observatory, Wales
The NGB team at Skokholm island were lucky enough to be involved in some ringing with the Teifi Ringing Group and the wardens. Although the week wasn’t great for bird numbers, we still got a mix of Meadow Pipits, Rock Pipits, Reed Warblers, Whitethroats, Reed Buntings, Robins, Swallows and Goldcrests. In addition, one morning we got a bang on the door early morning where we were shown a Lesser Whitethroat that had been caught, which was particularly rare to get on the island.
Of course, the main personal reason for the visit was to get close and personal to seabirds that cover the island. Manx Shearwaters were a ringing lifer for myself and other ringers on the trip. Storm Petrels were also a treat to ring, although only 6 were caught on the last night. Overall it was a great trip and I hope to get involved in more ringing with bird observatories in the future. 

Dan Rouse, 18 - Bardsey Bird Observatory, Wales
Whilst the six other NGB members were on Skokholm, 8 of us were on Bardsey Isalnd. There was four of us who were ringers (plus Bardsey Ben) and we had the pleasure of ringing in a variety of ways including mist netting, Heligoland traps and ringing pulli. Highlights of the trip was my first Spotted Flycatcher and ringing on the beach with Ben resulting in a Dunlin for Josie, Redshank for myself and plenty of Rock Pipits which we got to colour ring. Other highlights included Storm Petrels, which smell amazing! The countless Manx Shearwater pulli took some work to get them out of the burrows in order to ring.

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