Monday, 26 September 2016

Tern to the Mersey Beat!

We have just received our first record of one of our colour ringed terns from outside the county. U08 was rung at Watermead Country Park on 23/06/2014. It was seen by Steve Lister at Cropston reservoir on 31/07/2016.
On 07/09/2016 it was at Ainsdale Beach, Merseyside with approximately 500 Common Terns and some Arctics. A massive thank you to Peter Knight of Leeds who regularly watches this site and records colour rings.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Watermead/Uganda Link Demo.

 An enjoyable day was spent on the 11th September supporting Dale and Charles with their Watermead CP / Uganda link.
 My old Africa map just helped to put some scale to the epic journeys that some of our African migrants make.
 Thanks to Jim Graham for putting together the display to highlight our conservation work with some of these summer visitors.
 Just like a mini Bird Fair.
 A Giraffe was a surprise sighting!
 Thanks to Joy and Mick for putting up the Gazebo.
Thanks also to Chris and Carol for their help on the day.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Limeys at Cropston.

Thanks to the efforts of Jim Graham and Steve Lister we have so far recorded five returning adults that were colour ringed in 2014. These are U01, U08, U23, U26 and U36. Steve also managed to read two metal rings of birds we rung in 2013, before we started colour ringing.
We have also recorded eight of this years juveniles, which are codes U70, U71, U73, U74, U80,U82, U84, and U86.
It would be great to receive records from other sites, so please check for Lime colour rings on any Common Terns.
Observations to Andy Smith at

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Limeys Return.

 Jim Graham alerted me to the Common Terns that are now regularly feeding at Cropston Reservoir.
 The terns rest on the railings and this allows the colour rings to be read.
 It was great to hear that Jim had seen two of the terns that we colour ringed in 2014. He reported seeing U01, amazingly the first Comte that we colour ringed at WCP on 11/06/2014, and U36 rung on the 23/06/2014.

 Today I managed to record another returning adult, U23
 and also three of this years juveniles, U73, U74 and U80.

 There was also this adult, with 2 plain yellow rings on the left leg. I am awaiting information on what scheme this bird belongs to.
We would welcome any information on our Limeys from Cropston or any locations. Email the details to

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Belgium Visitor!

 Amongst the 12 Reed Warblers caught at WCP was this Belgium rung bird.
 It is just possible to pick out BRU and SSELS on this rather worn and misshapen ring. It will be interesting to find out if this individual has bred previously in Belgium, or was rung on passage.

Common Terns Colour ringed.

 The rafts at WCP have again been successful, with 19 young terns rung last week.
 Each bird received a metal ring on the right leg and a lime green colour ring on the left leg.
 The codes for this years graduates are in black and  run from U67 to U86. ( U83 broke)
 Hopefully, some of these individuals will return to breed at WCP in  two years time.
Again, thanks to Dale Osborne for all his support.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Leaving the best until last !!

Had another excellent ringing session this morning in one of our reedbed sites.

The weather looked doubtful with the forecast on Friday night changing with the hour. But we decided it was worth the risk. Nets were open at first light and we managed a couple of net rounds before a heavy downpour. We had to close up for an hour until the rain passed - at usually the most productive time of the morning.

We still managed to catch plenty of birds, especially reed warblers. The great majority were males with the females, presumably, still of eggs or keeping young warm after the storm. 

Taking down the nets after a 7 hour stint produced a great end to the day. An adult male kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), while not uncommon it is always nice to catch such a handsome bird.

Kingfisher (A atthis) © Nigel Judson
Elsewhere, some members of the group have been busy nest recording. We have a long term study of a tree sparrow (Passer montanus) colony, where I have been ringing nearly 20 years. The first brood has already fledged and the second clutches of eggs are now being laid. The poor spring weather has meant that the first egg date estimates for the first brood are calculated at around 10 days later than the mean, so hopefully they will make up time. Three broods is not uncommon at this long established colony.
 Tree Sparrow (P. montanus) pullus © Nigel Judson