Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Information from ringing


Some wild bird ringing took place at Pitsford Reservoir today, the venue again being the Old Scaldwell Road Feeding Station. Some 32 birds were caught of 12 species which included Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Tree Sparrow, Goldcrest and Willow Tit. A re-trap Blue Tit was 6 years and 10 months old, very old for this species.

Some Great Tits are beginning to show signs of an avian disease causing swellings around their head and often affecting their eyes. In previous years some birds of this species have suffered quite horrific growths and lesions so we will continue to monitor this latest development.

Local ringers are reporting catching small numbers of continental Chaffinches currently, the males at least of which are subtly distinct. They tend to be marginally larger than our birds and in the hand routinely have long wing lengths. The breast/belly is often a pale and bright pink, rather than the brick-red pink of more local birds, or a combination of the two. These birds are often 6-7 grams heavier than local birds and examination in the hand provides useful clues with the high amount of fat amassed around the breast. This serves as on-board flight fuel as they prepare to migrate back from where they originated.

An all-time high of at least ten Reed Buntings feeding in our garden this afternoon was very pleasing and made up for the lack of interesting gulls in the gull roost at Pitsford Res this evening - a third winter Yellow-legged Gull being about the best.


Neil M

Chaffinch and Great Tit

Courtesy of Robin Gossage


Courtesy of John Finlayson

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