Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Long eared owl roost!

I’m currently out in Bulgaria with WWT colleagues, Scottish cannon netter – Bob Swann and colleagues from the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of birds trying to catch Red-breasted geese to fit with satellite transmitters. More on the collaborative work being carried out on the Red-breasted goose can be found here and hopefully later to come if we’re successful in catching some geese.

Although this post is totally unrelated to bird ringing! Whilst at the BSPB office today Bob decided to go for a walk to try and find some Long eared owls in the local town! 5 minutes later, Bob came back to announce to the group that he’d found some – however it became apparent that there were more than several, probably more likely to be around 40-50 individuals within a small conifer plantation….


I’m just having the best time ever here in Bulgaria, despite it being really cold & lots of snow on the ground – but hey I do like snow, so not complaining at all – we’re having some cracking birding experiences in amongst weighing up opportunities to cannon net geese.

Here are a few photos…….  




Sunday, 20 January 2013

Quick update on the NW BH gull study.

This weekend we’ve been pretty busy catching Black-headed gulls to colour mark for our NW Black-headed gull project – catching by hand and colour marking thirty individuals. 


Throughout this winter we’ve caught and colour ringed 109 adults, with 30 pulli cr-ringed at the Killington Reservoir colony in June 2012. This now brings the total to 271 birds now colour marked.

As much as we’ve been out and about busy catching these birds, we’ve also been busy on the admin side of things as these colour marked birds are keeping us on toes with lots of re-sightings! Some very interesting movements of both resident and wintering migrants have been received. We’re keen for any sightings – so please keep them coming and thanks to all who have reported birds so far!


Kane & Ciaran……

Saturday, 19 January 2013

The Flying Scootsman returns….

Colour ringed Coot GR25480 will always go down in the history of the NW Coot project for being the first and only (up to now) bird to be sighted in Scotland. This bird was ringed at Crompton Lodges in Greater Manchester in December 2010 as an adult male, where he also wintered in 2011, however in February 12 this bird was photographed by Robert Mackay at Straiton in Mid Lothian (260kmN). In December 2012 we re-sighted this bird back at it’s original ringing location of Crompton Lodges and today we managed to catch him to confirm it was GR25480!

001 ‘GR25480 photographed in Scotland during February 2012’

Scootsman ‘GR25480 today at Crompton Lodges’

Does make you wonder where this bird has been in time between being seen in Scotland and returning to Greater Manchester! Norway? Iceland? Sweden? Finland? or Scotland!?

So today Ciaran & I have been out catching (just like the good old days!) and we were rewarded with 10 Coot, 20 Black-headed gulls and a single Tufted duck all hand caught and colour ringed (except the Tufted duck!)