Friday, June 17, 2011


The BTO sent a series of recoveries for Fylde Ringing Group, several from Rossall where Seumus and Ian ring plus two from Out Rawcliffe where Will and I spend most of our spring, summer and autumn. Another record involves one of my local Swallows from Hambleton near Poulton-le-Fylde.

The first concerns a second calendar year Lesser Redpoll (L583607) caught and ringed by Will and I at Out Rawcliffe on 27 March 2011. The bird was recaptured at the Calf of Man Bird Observatory on 16 April 2011, 20 days later. The Calf of Man is 130km and in a slight North West direction of Out Rawcliffe, Lancashire.

The winter of 2011 was memorable for the large numbers of Lesser Redpoll in the UK, amounts reflected in our own region of Lancashire in the North West. Equally, there was a noticeable, huge northerly movement of the species in March/April and it could be this bird was caught up in that directional movement during its return to the Isle of Man where Lesser Redpoll is common, Scotland where the species is numerous or possibly to Ireland where Lesser Redpoll is also common.

Lesser Redpoll

Out Rawcliffe to Calf of Man

The second recovery from Out Rawcliffe involves a Sedge Warbler (V971554) ringed by young Craig in the plantation as a fresh juvenile on 11th July 2009. It was later recaptured by French ringers at Treogat, Finistere, France on 10 August 2009, just 30 days later. The distance involved is 673 km and the location of Finistere is almost exactly due south from Out Rawcliffe and on a direct route to the Sahel region of Africa where most British Sedge Warblers spend the winter.

Sedge Warbler

Out Rawcliffe to Finistere, France

It took 21 months to receive details of this Sedge Warbler. In the meantime we know from our IPMR database that after its stay in France the bird made it safely back to Africa and returned to Out Rawcliffe in 2010, staying there between at least 22nd June and 28th July 2010. During this period it was captured by Will and I on four occasions and identified as a breeding male each time. So far in 2011 we have not recaptured V971554 and therefore it is perhaps likely it is dead because Sedge Warblers are very site faithful; following successful migration and wintering in 2010/2011 it would surely have returned once more to Out Rawcliffe.

I also got to hear about one of my Hambleton Swallows X515371, ringed as a nestling from a brood of 6 birds on 5th June 2010. The same bird was found dead in a Longridge, Lancashire garage on 20th May 2011, just 349 days later and 20 miles from Hambleton. Lots of Swallows return to exactly the same place to breed and whilst this bird may have been still on migration it could well have entered a building new to it in search of a place to nest then later found it could not escape. This sad end came despite the bird’s success in making the journey to Southern Africa and back to the UK at the first attempt during 2010/2011.



Birding is Fun! said...

Fascinating! Amazing what we learn from you bird banders (ringers).

grammie g said...

Hey a good thing the little fellows don't have to pay to fly...they would rack up quite a bill very year!!
Pretty cool to think you would catch the same bird over and over of all the birds there are!!
Amazing little creatures... that you write about!!
You have got to bring back that Humming Bird someday...he is my favourite aka in US favorite

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Just great to read all of these facts Phil. These birds could teach us something about GPA Systems...;) It was a sad thing to have read about the Swallow, all that way and then trapped, quite hard, yet so many more make it and that is the grand news. Your work is valued and appreciated, I am sure~

Seasons said...

I gather from your description, that any bird flying by would not escape your notice. Then - pardon my ignorance - is there a global system of banding (ringing) birds so no two tags would match? How do you gather so much information based on bands? It is undoubtedly a work of great dedication, requires system, and you enjoy it because you love what you do. Thanks for the pictures!

eileeninmd said...

It is great that you can follow up on these birds over the years. Great post and photos. I love the cute Redpoll.

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

How so very interesting, and quite educational. Great post.

Happy Camera Critter Day. Here is my LINK Hope to see you stop by for a visit!!

Phil said...

Hi everyone, Thanks for your continued support ABB readers.
Seasons, there are ringing schemes in most countries now all with their own uniquely numbered/lettered rings. you can read more about it in the following pages:

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