Thursday, 31 October 2019

Black-headed Gulls - old and new.

A few days ago (26/10/19) I went to feed the Black-headed Gulls at Orrell Water Park to check for ringed birds and one of the first to come to the bread had a metal ring on the right leg. I quickly identified it as the German ringed bird from the Hiddensee scheme that has wintered at the park each year since 2012. It has been recorded on over 90 occasions and is usually present from October to late February or early March. It appeared to be the only ringed gull present and I had almost run out of bread when a colour-ringed bird joined the 40 or so gulls present. It had a yellow colour-ring inscribed with the code T3WA on the right leg and a metal ring on the left. I hadn't seen this this particular individual before and had no idea where it had been ringed.

On getting home I checked the cr-birding website (link here) and quickly found that T3WA was a Polish ringed bird. I submitted details of the sighting on the Polish ringing scheme website and received details of where it was ringed the next day. It had been ringed on 17/06/2019 in central Poland at Skoki Duze, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, which is 1472km east of Orrell Water Park.

I didn't have my camera with me that first day but I have photographed both birds since.

DEH IA141745 photographed 27/10/2019
DEH IA141745 photographed 27/10/2019

T3WA photographed 30/10/2019

T3WA photographed 30/10/2019

Map to be added in due course.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Yellow-browed Warbler

I have not had time for blogging over the past few months but I have not totally given up on the idea of reviving it, yet. I hope to post some monthly summaries by way of a catch up sooner or later but in the meantime here is an image of a Yellow-browed Warbler that was ringed at Billinge yesterday (08/10/2019).

Yellow-browed Warbler 08/10/2019 © P J Alker
It is the 6th to be caught since ringing started at the site in 2014 and follows one that first year, another in 2015 and 3 in 2016. One was heard and seen briefly in 2017 but there were no records last year, although coverage in 2017 was less than in previous years. Yellow-browed Warblers may not be the rarity or scarcity they once were but they haven't lost any of their appeal or magic because of that.

It was a relatively quiet morning in all other respects with a totals of just 20 new birds and 1 retrap, although a first-year male Sparrowhawk did liven things up a bit and was the first to be ringed this autumn. 

Ringing totals (retraps in brackets) were: Sparrowhawk 1, Blue Tit 3, Coal Tit 2, Great Tit (1), Goldcrest 1, Long-tailed Tit 1, Yellow-browed Warbler 1, Blackbird 2, Redwing 5, Song Thrush 3, Bullfinch 1.