The majority of our sightings have come with fantastic photographs attached. A big thank you to all the photographers who have sent us some cracking images. Credit for the photos shown goes to Paul Welsh (WRY, Stockton on Tees, Cleveland), Steve Blain (GNG, Woburn, Bedforshire), Danny Arnold (RGB, Eardiston, Worchestershire) Peter George (WNR, Bingham, Nottinghamshire) and Anthony Griffiths (BWR, Oswestry, Shropshire).
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
Sunday, 5 December 2010
Friday, 3 December 2010
In the last few days we have caught over 60 gulls with another 10 by the young lads in Peterculter. We've been weighing all of the birds and they seem to be stable with about 10% of birds being significantly below weight.
Star birds have been a juv Black headed Gull British control and a Stavanger Common Gull - taking our tally to four for our garden in the two years we have lived here!
The most interesting bird was a common gull we rang yesterday morning in Westhill and was caught less than 2 hours later in Peterculter by Euan and Calum - a distance of 4.2km as the gull flies. This was the lightest bird we have caught in the garden so it was maybe that which made it travel further for food.
Gulls number have decreased in Westhill as birds have probably headed into town looking for food where there's less snow. But we will try again tomorrow with our reduced bread from Tesco!
Ewan and Jenny
Friday, 19 November 2010
OOB photographed at Penicuik, Midlothian by John Hogg
Please keep checking all flocks (and photographs) for colour-ringed birds. Recent sightings have come from Montrose (Harry Bickerstaff); Hogganfield Loch, Glasgow (Jim Duncan) and Manchester (Kane Brides).
Jim Duncan sent a photograph of a colour-ringed bird showing only the metal and white ring which wasn’t enough to identify the individual. He very kindly returned the next day only to get a photograph of a different colour-ringed bird! Tarry Harry at Aboyne colour-ringed 3 in his garden on 7/11/10 before the birds moved. 2 of them turned up in Aberdeen a couple of weeks later while it sounds like Kane Brides and colleagues saw the 3rd one in Manchester!
Thanks very much to Betty Rait and all the other residents of “The Shrine” for allowing us to ring in this rather public site.
Friday, 12 November 2010
One of the downsides of Waxwing invasions is the birds susceptibility to fly into glass. Obviously there are no windows and bus shelters in the forests they come from, and with most Waxwings feeding in urban areas, casualties are high. We've had one colour ringed bird die because of this so far, and to make it worse it was our Swedish control! It was caught and colour ringed at Allenvale Cemetry on the 5th November and hit a house window five days later at Cragiebuckler. Gutting! We await the original ringing details for the bird.
Hopefully as birds start to move more sightings should come flooding in. Keep checking these flocks for rings!
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
The bird was part of a record catch of Greenshank for us, 34 birds in one night. Unusually it was ringed as an adult, the majority of birds caught on passage are juveniles.
We have been colour ringing Greenshank on the Ythan Estuary as part of a project set up by Farlington Ringing Group since 2003. For the past few years we have also caught at Montrose Basin along with Tay Ringing Group, with last year being our highest ever total.
Thanks to Adrian Aebischer for the re-sighting
Sunday, 7 November 2010
Thanks to John for the re-sighting and photo
Friday, 5 November 2010
We caught our first control today - a juvenile with a Swedish ring, the third for the UK!!
Hopefully we'll get lots more Waxwings this weekend and in the coming weeks, unless all the berries have been eaten by then!
Thanks to Thomas, Bogo and Derek for the photos
Saturday, 30 October 2010
Friday, 15 October 2010
Several of “our” shag chicks now fledged and doing fine.
We did finally manage to ring a trapped shag from the fish box cage because Raymond remembered rings (Jane chose the comb!), but alas he didn’t have rings for the juvy cormorant (ggrrr)!
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
We've also ringed some less common species, such as Lesser Whitethroats and a Reed Warbler. Despite these species abundance further south, these birds are relatively scarce in the north-east. With regards to rarer migrants, A Blyths Reed Warbler was ringed at the end of September and today a Pallas’s Warbler.
Thursday, 30 September 2010
After weeks of practicing on small nails in the garden we headed off on Sunday with dogs in tow, with a spade and big rucksack to carry back all of the 100's of rings we expected to find.
Well it didn't quite turn out that way... D2's don't cause a reaction in the metal detector unless you have almost a whole string of them together! So we found nothing with our metal detector (but had great fun playing airport security!) and had to look for rings the old fashioned way. We found 12 of this year's chicks long dead with rings on, including 6 that were colour ringed also.
We had fun on our walk but learnt an important lesson for ornithological conservation - don't use a metal detector for finding D2s! Thanks to Ian for sourcing the metal detector.
Raymond, Jenny, Ewan, Clunie, Freya, Bramble, Sula, Moya and Tyr
Monday, 20 September 2010
Last week E (aka Ewan the eagle) was spotted by Nick Littlewood at Blackdog which is also Ewan's regular migrant ringing site! Thanks to Nick for such great pictures - it looks as though the bird has since headed further up the coast towards Strathbeg. Ironically Ewan the eagle is a girl so maybe we need to think of a new name!
Ewan and Jenny