Friday, March 4, 2011


A few interesting recoveries of ringed birds came through; information on what happened to one of the four Kestrel chicks Will and I ringed at Out Rawcliffe in June last year, a further capture of a Goldfinch Will ringed in his garden in April 2010, and thirdly, interesting Chaffinch data.

Kestrel chick June 2010

Out Rawcliffe to Hathersage

We ringed four Kestrel chicks from a tree cavity nest on 20 June 2010, and one of these birds was found dead near Hathersage, Derbyshire on 17 December 2010. The first thing that springs to mind is that mid-December was a period of very cold, icy and snowy weather when perhaps an inexperienced bird might struggle to find food. Of course Kestrels with their habit of feeding and hovering along road and motorway verges are also likely to become road casualties. We have no further details of how and where Kestrel EK91584 was found other than it was freshly dead but I think my money would be on winter starvation.


The second recovery continued recent results from our Goldfinch ringing that shows movements of our local Goldfinches to and from the south of England. In the latest case, Goldfinch X515556 that Will ringed in his garden on April 25th 2010 was recaptured by another ringer in the south west of England in Broad Oak, Devon on 28 December 2010, clearly a case of a Goldfinch moving south during the winter. Of course unlike the Kestrel, the Goldfinch remains in circulation and as a species caught in good number may provide further information.

Garstang to Devon


A third recovery more interesting from a longevity perspective was a Chaffinch first ringed near Lancaster on December 2nd 2004 by a local ringer. The bird was recaptured in Will’s garden on 15 December 2010, some 2204 days, just over 6 years later. The distance between the two ringing sites is 28 km only, showing that this particular bird is probably very much a resident of the local area and doesn’t venture far even in the winter.


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