Thursday, 30 September 2010

Metal detecting ringing

So how do you ruin a nice Sunday walk? No not golf - you take a metal detector with you to look for rings! We decided that we would have a go with a metal detector in the Sandwich tern colony at Forvie to look for rings on chicks that hadn't fledged.

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

Sea eagles in Aberdeen

Back in August we went down to Fife to help with the radio-tagging of the White-tailed eagles before there were released as part of the RSPB's reintroduction project. It was lots of hard work but good fun, as you can see below with a picture of Ewan with his new best friend!

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