Saturday, 30 October 2010

Gerrin ready!

A visit to the Shakerley feeding station was pencilled in for today, and having not had much time for ringing recently, I was rather looking forward to it. I had planned to be up & out early, but an evening in Manchester last night, soon put a stop to that idea! So I rose from my pit at 11am (shocking hour for a ringer!), moped around on the couch feeling sorry for myself before getting ready and leaving for Shakerley.


Despite the late start, sun shining on the net & a slight breeze whipping around the site, I didn’t do too badly and probably had one of the best days I’ve ever had at Shakerley! 80 birds caught, 63 new & 17 recaps.

SpeciesNew Recap
Blue Tit75
Great Tit119
Long Tailed Tit81
Coal Tit2

You will have probably have heard of the large numbers of Waxwings around at the moment. So I thought I would be prepared for their arrival, should they decide to descend on Atherton like they did in 2004/05 (250-300 on Boxing day!). So I’ve contacted a number of people who have Rowan trees in their gardens & asked permission to catch Waxwings, should they appear! Here’s hoping…..

Monday, 25 October 2010

Recent Controls.

Some information on two birds that we controlled recently.

Canada Goose - 5178436 ringed as an adult female on 01/07/1995 on the Beauly Firth, Scotland. Sighted by myself & Ciaran at Acre Dell Pools, Cheshire on 07/10/10. 500km

This bird has now been re-caught by David Cookson and had a green darvic ring (C14) added.

View 5178436 in a larger map

The second bird is a Teal which we observed at WWT Martin Mere, carrying a nasal saddle. Green D4A had been ringed at Reserve de Duer, in the Gulf of Morbihan, south of Brittany in France.

View FS79763 in a larger map

Thanks to David Cookson & Paul Cropper for information on the Canada Goose. And thanks to Matthieu Guillemain & David Rodrigues for information on the Teal.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Swan Sea Crossing!

Real busy this week, all my time seems to have been spent indoors talking to people about migration & Whooper Swans. I've really enjoyed it though and it will be preparing me for the winter ahead when talking to visitors at the WWT swan feeds. As I write this I've just come in from one of the hides at WWT Martin Mere, where there is a true migration spectacle happening! Just this morning at 08:30am we had 120 Whooper Swans on the Mere & now we've just taken a count of over 400. Birds have been arriving all day and twinned with our reserve record count of 36,000 Pink-footed Geese, it's very busy out on the Mere at the moment!

Anyhow you may think that today's blog title is all about the Whoopers but in fact I'm writing about a Mute Swan!

Our mate over on the Isle of Man - Sean - caught a Mute Swan in Ramsey Harbour today which was carrying ring ZZ7452. This bird was ringed by me on 04/10/2008 in Whitehaven Harbour, Cumbria! 60kms distance to Ramsey.

View ZZ7452 in a larger map

Monday, 18 October 2010

Coots on the move!

Taken by Jonathan Scragg - GR05429 (Below)

I received a batch of colour ring sightings last week from Kenneth Richardson, who regularly sends in sightings of birds on the Leeds & Liverpool canal. On inputting these into IPMR, it was obvious that these were bringing to light some interesting local movements.

GR05401 6F 11/01/2010 Southport Marine Lake
07/03/2010 Old Roan, Aintree, Merseyside - 21km SSE
30/03/2010 Old Roan, Aintree, Merseyside
31/03/2010 Old Roan, Aintree, Merseyside
15/05/2010 Deeside Nature Reserve, Flintshire - 47km S
29/05/2010 Deeside Nature Reserve, Flintshire
13/09/2010 Old Roan, Aintree, Merseyside
02/10/2010 Old Roan, Aintree, Merseyside
09/20/2010 Old Roan, Aintree, Merseyside

GR05429 6F 11/01/2010 Southport Marine Lake
20/04/2010 Great Marton, Blackpool - 17km N
23/04/2010 Great Marton, Blackpool
25/04/2010 Great Marton, Blackpool
10/10/2010 Bank Hall, Kirkdale, Merseyside - 24km S

GR05424 6 11/01/2010 Southport Marine Lake
10/10/2010 Netherley, Merseyside - 19km S
12/10/2010 Stanley Park, Blackpool - 19km N

GR05823 6F 16/01/2010 Southport Marine Lake
04/04/2010 Meresands Wood, Rufford, Lancs - 11km E
16/05/2010 Meresands Wood, Rufford
05/10/2010 Southport Marine Lake

The blog has been a little quiet recently, this is due to me being busy at work at the moment & not finding the time to blog in the evenings. I have been out ringing & last week caught/ringed 76 new birds, recapped 15 and controlled one - a Chaffinch - L333984.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

End of a busy week!

I’ll keep tonight's post short seeing as though we’ve managed to blog nearly every day this week.

Today we went back to Southport Marine Lake to try and catch Mute Swan broods. We were joined by Sam Bayley from the Horsham Ringers as he’s been in the area this weekend. So we met Sam at the Lake were upon arrival he already had the first bird of the day sat in the back of his car! A juvy Mute Swan that he found wandering on the road! Anyhow throughout the morning we managed to catch 12 birds on the Lake.


Sam had to leave around midday to head back south and Me & Ciaran were later joined by Craig who decided to have a lie in due to an evening of madness in Blackpool. We then toured a few ponds around Southport catching five more new birds & controlling one – ZZ4848.

You may have read in an earlier blog that Me & Ciaran attempted to do some sort of ringing, everyday this week. With the weather on our side we managed to accomplish this & we end the week on 192 new birds, 50 recaps & 16 controls.

Blue Tit2911
Great Tit3715
Coal Tit51
Reed Bunting11
G S Woodpecker01
Canada Goose40181
Mute Swan173
Tufted Duck1
Black Headed Gull210

We thought we would end tonight’s blog with a recap on the Black Headed Gull controls from this week.

Lithuania 2

And we can bring an update on some of the above birds on where they were ringed.

  • ES29912 – 4 – Moss Side Farm, Risley – Warrington 09/11/96
  • 05/10/10 – Southport Marine Lake – 41km
  • S7830 – 1 – Je Kabpils, Latvia – 14/06/2009
  • 05/10/10 – Southport Marine Lake - 1850km
  • EW55128 – 1 – WWT Slimbridge, Glos – 24/06/2010
  • 07/10/10 – Westport Lake, Stoke-on-Trent – 149km
  • 3656241 – 4 – Haringen, Friesland – Netherlands – 28/06/08
  • 07/10/10 – Westport Lake, Stoke-on-Trent - 511km
  • 3686085 - 1 - Skarterlan, Friesland - Netherlands - 09/06/10
  • 07/10/10 - Westport Lake, Stoke-on-Trent - 538km
  • EG45011 - 4 - Bowness on Windermere - Cumbria - 23/11/07
  • 06/10/10 - Pine Lake, Carnforth, Lancashire - 26km

Now the last job of the week is to input this weeks data from the notebook into IPMR!


Thanks to all the ringers who have helped me this week. A BIG thank-you to Ciaran for all his help too!

Friday, 8 October 2010

Mute Swan broods.


Quick post tonight.

Me & Ciaran netted the Shakerley feeding station for an hour or two this morning – catching 35 birds.

Species New Recap
Goldfinch 9 0
Chaffinch 6 1
Greenfinch 2 0
Reed Bunting 1 0
Great S Woodpecker 0 1
Great Tit 6 3
Blue Tit 5 1
Total 29 6

We’ve recently had a delivery of new darvic rings made by Interrex in Poland, so this afternoon we met Steve over in Liverpool to give him a hand with a few Mute Swan broods.



10 new birds & one recap tonight.

Any sightings of these colour ringed birds (Blue darvics, three digits) can be sent to info’’@’’

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Coot & more Gulls!

A visit to Redesmere Lake in Cheshire was on the agenda this morning, coupled with a visit to a new site in Staffordshire; Westport Lake.

So 8am found us at Redesmere catching & ringing more Coot. An hour, 7 Coot & 1 Tufted Duck later we decided to call it a morning & move onto Westport Lake.


At Westport the catching was very good – probably as the birds had never been caught before! Today we managed to catch 14 new birds and 1 control. The control was of a Coot ringed at Redesmere Lake in November 2009 – 20km distance.


To add to a successful weeks ring reading of Black Headed Gull rings, we attempted to read four rings on gulls at Westport. However we only managed to read three of them. Two from the Netherlands (3656241 & 3686085) and one darvic ringed bird (White 2N28).


Wednesday, 6 October 2010



A trip up to Windermere was the plan for today, but half way along the M6 we were starting to wonder whether we had made the right choice. Torrential rain and black cloud loomed over the horizon and covered the hills in gloom. However, by the time we reached Bowness-on-Windermere, the sun was shining! Our spirits were lifted further by a female Goosander sat out of the water on the shore at Bowness. So quickly grabbing the bread we attempted to catch the bird but she slipped back into the water and scurried across the water. To our surprise we later found the bird in the next bay and this time she was coming to feed on the bread in true Mallard fashion! It might seem strange behaviour for a bird that normally catches fish, but after a bit of time and patience the bird became the 3rd Goosander to be hand caught at Lake Windermere in two years!




After finishing at Windermere, we decided to head for Pine Lake to count the Coot & more importantly look for colour ringed birds! No cr-ringed Coot were to be found – so we turned our attention to the Black Headed Gulls, a species that we seem to be having more luck with recently! The Gulls seemed very tame today, feeding from our hands & we couldn’t resist catching a bird that was already carrying a ring – EG45011 – which I think was ringed by Robin Sellers at Lake Windermere.

If only we could stay in the car & catch Gulls all the time!



This may look harsh but the gull was not harmed in anyway!


Ring read & released from the window!

We then headed to Preston Docks before dropping Ciaran off. Again we were looking for colour ringed Coot but another ringed Black Headed Gull turned up & well…. we couldn’t leave with out trying to read it! This bird was carrying a Lithuanian ring – HA06.695


Tuesday, 5 October 2010


Having had a nestbox scheme running in Atherton Woods for the last six years, and ringing nearly 1000 pulli since the start of the project: we thought it would be a good idea to set up a feeding station in the woods to see if we could recapture any of these birds. Another reason for setting up the feeding station is so that we can complete some of the nest record cards that we stared but did not finish this year due to being away. So if we re-capture any birds ringed in the boxes this year, we will at least know that the nesting attempt was successful from that brood.

So this morning found us netting the feeding station for the first time; and our decision was justified by 6 recaptures of birds ringed in the nest boxes, along with 34 newly ringed birds: Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch & Robin.

After the woods we headed back for breakfast and caught up on some work, before heading off to Southport Marine Lake - for an afternoon of ring reading. We started off reading Black Headed Gull rings around the Lake, and the bread they were scrapping over attracted the attention of a Canada Goose. We noticed the old style of L clip ring the bird was carrying as it staggered & stumbled on land towards the food: and for good reason! Having successfully read the ring it later transpired that the goose was ringed as an adult at Southport Marine Lake in 1993 by Wes Halton, making the bird over 17 years old!

We also managed to read 4 Black Headed Gull rings - one from Finland (ST277627), another from Latvia (S7830) & two BTO rings (EX05230 & ES29912). Two Coot & one new Black Headed Gull were also ringed.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Cheshire to Yorkshire via Derbyshire?

The week got off to a good start with a colour ringed Coot sighting, sent to us by Steven Denny. The bird - White BTO Pink Yellow was ringed at Redesmere Lake, Cheshire on 08/11/2009 and re-sighted at Trentabank Reservoir, Derbyshire in April 2010, before being sighted by Steven at Wintersett Reservoir in West Yorkshire on 30/09/2010 (65km)


Now onto this weeks ringing! With our diaries clear for the week ahead, Me & Ciaran have decided to do as much ringing as possible - weather permitting! So we kicked off on Monday morning at the Shakerley feeding station, resulting in a catch of 30 birds - 24 new & 6 recaps.