Monday, 2 February 2015

The value of ringing re-traps


A ringing session took place at Brixworth Water Treatment Works today which resulted in a relatively modest catch of birds. This included six new Pied Wagtails, four Meadow Pipits and a re-trap Grey Wagtail.

Other birds noted on-site included 1-2 Chiffchaff, up to 3/4 Grey Wagtails, 2 Snipe and a Golden Plover flew over.

The ringed Grey Wagtail was first ringed there as a juvenile male on 26th August 2013 and a re-trap Long-tailed Tit was first ringed here at Hanging Houghton on 5th November 2011. 

Most Meadow Pipits that we notice moving through the county in the autumn seem to linger for a few days and then move on. An adult re-trapped today was first ringed at the same place in October 2014 and re-trapped again in December 2014. Clearly this bird is wintering successfully in and around the treatment works!

We have been fortunate to catch and ring good numbers of Pied Wagtails at this site during the winter months and await with interest any recoveries from these efforts. It is generally accepted that the southern half of the UK provides wintering quarters for Pied Wagtails that breed in northern England and Scotland.  The turn-over of birds is clearly significant to the degree that we have yet to re-trap a single individual.

Eleanor enjoyed a spectacle in the garden this afternoon when two Red Kites were attracted to some food put out for the local Jackdaws. A second helping including raw chicken ensured that one of the kites actually landed in our small enclosed garden, the first time we have actually seen one 'on the deck'!


Neil M

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