Thursday, 30 September 2010

Scandinavian Surprise!!


A quick visit to Shakerley this morning yielded 10 new birds, including a very smart male Brambling - a new bird for the site!


Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Just another ringed Canada Goose?

There are quite a number of ringed Canada Geese knocking around at Crompton Lodges in Bolton at the moment. Although most of these will have been ringed at Crompton by me & Steve over the years, tonight I decided to try & photograph a number of rings. It was a nice surprise when I got home and uploaded the photos to find 5253298 - which was ringed at Southport Marine Lake in December 2008. 45km distance.

Updates on the Black Headed Gulls.

We can now bring an update on all three of the ringed Black Headed Gulls, that Me & Ciaran read at Pennington Flash on Tuesday.

White TH34 was ringed as an adult on 02/05/2010 at Swinoujscie Harbour (Poland) by Marcin Sowa of the Kolring Team.
To see a photo of TH34 in the hand, just after being ringed see Marcin's post here.
1105km is the distance from the ringing site to Pennington Flash.
Many thanks to Marcin for information on this bird. Please send one of your neck collar'd Coots next time ;-)

The bird from Lithuania - HA06.762 - was ringed as a chick on 13/06/2008 at Kalviai Klaipeda - 1555km to Pennington Flash.

And the bird from Finland - ST263065 - was ringed as a fledgling on 06/07/2010 in Helsinki - 1814km to Pennington Flash.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Around the world & back to Shak!


Three weeks ago we got the feeding station up and running at Shakerley with high hopes for another good year of netting. Having monitored the station over the last week or so & refilled the feeders almost daily, we decided that today was the right time to have the first go of the season.

Arriving at 7am the feeding station net was up first & then we decided to have a speculative attempt at catching Meadow Pipits on the surrounding farmland. Within minutes of the Meadow Pipit call being on the first bird appeared in the nets but unfortunately was to be the last! A Kestrel & a Magpie managed to successfully evade capture, both birds bouncing out of the net!


Luckily it was the feeding station net that produced the goods, capturing 49 new & 2 recaps.

Blue Tit14
Great Tit8 / 2
Coal Tit 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker1
Reed Bunting1
Meadow Pipit 1



We then decided to head down to Pennington Flash for a bacon butty & a spot of ring reading! A trio of Black Headed Gull controls from three separate countries were read today – A darvic ringed bird from Poland (White TH34) and two metal rings, one from Lithuania (HA06.762) & another from Finland (ST263065). We’ll post some information on these birds when we hear back from the ringing scheme.


Saturday, 25 September 2010

Update on Recent Controls.

Many thanks to Tom Dougall for making contact with me, regarding the Meadow Pipit that we controlled on Smithills Moor last week. Tom had ringed this bird as a juvenile on 26/09/2009 at Leadburn near Edinburgh. 314km to Smithills Moor (see below map)

View Mipit in a larger map

We had another control this week in the form of a Black Headed Gull that had it's ring read at Three Sisters CP in Wigan. EW74366 was ringed as a chick on 12/06/2010 at Attenborough Nature Reserve in Nottingham (97km). The nice thing about this recovery is that ringers from South Notts RG blogged about this ringing trip which allows us to see photos from the day this bird was ringed!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Iceland comes to Manchester!

Having been to Iceland 5 times staying with Sverrir Thorstensen & Þorey Ketilsdóttir – enjoying their wonderful hospitality; it’s been a privilege to return the favour & have them stay with us here in sunny Manchester.


After hearing about our Coot catching antics, Sverrir was eager to see us in action. But unfortunately the little buggers were playing hard to get at & we failed at catching the Icelandics a Bleshæna!

So we had to make do with a few passerines, Canada Geese & Mute Swan (a stark contrast from catching Whoopers in boats!)



Apart from bird ringing they visited WWT Martin Mere where they were greeted by more Icelandics in form of 10,000 newly arrived Pink-footed Geese. Days out & walks in the Peak & Lake district and a day down the pit – in a local coal pit museum!

We’d like to say thank-you to both Sverrir & Thorey for visiting us and we look forward to seeing them again soon.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Mipit Control & Taking Stock.


With the Swallow roost now dwindling down to just a handful of birds, it's time for us to move on and take up effort in catching & ringing another species. Luckily as the Swallow move on, the next 'seasonal ringing species' Meadow Pipit are also heading South. So over the next 2 weeks, we hope to be out luring, catching & ringing this species at a number of locations. We decided to kick off the 2010 Mipit season yesterday (Saturday 18th) up on Smithills Moor near Bolton. A nice morning resulting in 40 birds being caught - 39 new & 1 control (X704275).

Apart from the Mipits - 15 Coot, 15 Canada Goose, 1 Tufted Duck, 4 Goldfinch, 1 Reed Bunting & 1 Wren have also been ringed this week.

As we now move into Autumn, we thought it would be good to take stock on progress so far & update our groups totals for 2010.




Grey Heron40
Mute Swan112435
Whooper Swan02
Greylag Goose10
Canada Goose5210
Red C Pochard10
Tufted Duck613
Black-headed Gull5098
Lesser BB Gull10
Herring Gull40
Stock Dove20
Wood Pigeon120
Collard Dove40
Barn Owl91
Tawny Owl40
Long Eared Owl30
Great S Woodpecker30
Sand Martin393
Meadow Pipit391
Song Thrush290
Mistle Thrush10
Grasshopper Warbler20
Sedge Warbler102
Reed Warbler8114
Willow Warbler220
Long Tailed Tit3515
Willow Tit05
Coal Tit42
Blue Tit30540
Great Tit12925
House Sparrow52
Tree Sparrow1052
L Redpoll42
Reed Bunting470
60 Species30081160

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Mingling with the crowds at Windermere.

Quick post tonight as I'm tired & need my bed!

Out today with Craigster & Cia up at Lake Windermere catching gulls/wildfowl in front of hundreds of tourists! Fantastic day for promoting bird ringing, it was nice to get away from the ringing for a short while & talk to people from countries all over the world! People from Japan, Canada, South Africa & Australia - came over for a chat & a closer look at the birds!

36 new birds

Black Headed Gull - 5
Lesser Black Backed Gull - 1
Canada Goose - 14
Mute Swan -7
Saving the best species till last
COOT - 9
After leaving Craig & Ciaran - I headed down to Worlsey to meet Steve at the Swallow roost - 34 new Swallow & 3 Sand Martin ringed. Bringing the annual Swallow total to 608 (568 full grown & 40 pulli).

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Back to the roost!

Out again this evening at Worsley with Steve, Jenny, Ciaran, Craig & Chris. Arriving early tonight allowed us to put the nets up in a slightly different position, which helped us to maximise the efficiency of the catch. The flock began to gather and grew steadily to around the 200 mark and, encouraged by the tape began to gradually descend into the reeds to roost. 84 Swallow (2 controls), 2 Sand Martin and a bonus in the form of a Yellowhammer: a first for the site: found their way into the nets.


To summarise, we have now caught over 500 Swallows this year, including 3 controls from other sites – L252193, X931799, X938393

Thanks to everyone for their help, hopefully we can have another go on Friday weather permitting.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Ringing Round-up

A quick update on the ringing this week.

Along with Steve we've had two more attempts at the Swallow roost at the Worsley reed bed. 55 & 70 new birds caught along with 5 Sand Martin, 1 Willow Warbler & 1 Reed Warbler. With 125 new birds this week, this now pushes our annual Swallow total to over 400. Hopefully we'll be having another go next week - however the weather for the week ahead is not looking too good!

I've had two outings to catch Coot - One with Peter Alker at Pennington Flash County Park in Leigh & the other with Ciaran at Redesmere Lake in Macclesfield - catching 15 birds this week. With these totals, this now brings us up to 200 new Coot ringed this year! It would be nice to double this total & now that our large batch of G rings have arrived - there's no stopping us!