Monday, February 1, 2016

In Recovery Mode

“Welcome to Manchester” crackled the pilot over the intercom without a hint of irony. “The temperature outside is ten degrees and it is raining quite hard. Be careful as you step onto the air-bridge as it is wet and slippery”. 

After two weeks in the endless sunshine of Lanzarote we arrived home with a soggy reminder of why we felt the need for a change from the UK winter of 2015/16. Speeding though the darkness of Sunday evening the roadside pastures glistened wet and deep. Nothing much had changed. 

After a day or two of domestic catch up and readjustment I’ll be ready for a spot of birding, but in the meantime came news of a couple of recaptures/recoveries. 

While I was busy sunning in Spain, and despite the poor weather here, Andy braved a couple of ringing sessions at Oakenclough. It was the ringing site which provided an interesting Goldcrest movement of last autumn and when the migration of Goldcrests was particularly noticeable. During August, September and October of 2015 we caught 73 Goldcrests at the site. 

We ringed HDN315 a juvenile male on 9th September whereupon it was recaptured 41 days later on 20th October by other ringers at Rollesby, Gt Yarmouth, close to the Notfolk coastline. This is a distance of 319kms. Autumn movements of British Goldcrests show a distinct northwest to southeast axis, the likely origins of the birds being the extensive conifer forests of Scotland and Northern England and the southerly destination of the birds generally unknown. Small numbers of Goldcrests are proven to have crossed to the near continent where they winter. Perhaps our Goldcrest was on its way to France or Belgium to escape the British winter? 

Goldcrest - Oakenclough to Norfolk


During the summer of 2015 we made four visits to a Sand Martin colony at Cockerham where we ringed 169 Sand Martins and one or two other bits and pieces. 

Sand Martin number Z470329,a male in breeding condition on 30 June 2015 was subsequently recaptured by French ringers on 30th July, exactly a month later at Roseliere, Chenac-Saint-Seurin-d'Uzet, Charente-Maritime, France. 

Sand Martin

 Sand Martin - Cockerham to Roseliere, Chenac-Saint-Seurin-d'Uzet,

This is a distance of 949 km and at 172deg, almost exactly due south from Cockerham. Sand Martins are some of our earliest arriving migrants during March and April and are often gone from the UK by August, especially so during 2015 when a poor breeding season meant that this Sand Martin colony dispersed early with little noticeable breeding success. By late July our Sand Martin Z470329 had further to travel before reaching its wintering quarters of North Africa. 

There should be more local news soon and maybe some birds and views from Lanzarote. In the meantime Another Bird Blog may have to take a little sundowner this evening to help the recovery along by pretending that summer is heading this way. 

Lanzarote - January 2016

Yellow-legged Gull - Lanzarote

Log in soon. Linking today to Stewart's World Bird Wednesday.


eileeninmd said...

Hello PHil, it is great to hear about the recaptured birds and their travels. Your vacation spot looks fabulous. Love the gull shot. Welcome home! Happy February, enjoy your new week!

David Gascoigne said...

It's only fair that you should be home, since we arrived back on Saturday night - right around midnight when we walked through the door. As you can well imagine, February in Ontario is hardly like February in Costa Rica. It was good to be home, nonetheless, and the temperature is very mild. I just went to my local delicatessen to reprovision the fridge and soon we will have a simple lunch - no more three course meals for a while!

Linda said...

I am always so happy to see your bird photos, Phil! Thank you so much for sharing. Take care. :)

Chris Rohrer said...

I feel for you. I know how much the sun means. I was in that dreary two weeks of gray and craved the Arizona sunshine again. You'll just have to plan another trip:)

Fun60 said...

Found it interesting to learn about the distances some of these tiny birds cover.


While you were lazing away in the abundant sunshine, Bud and I spotted a beautiful Krider's Hawk [which I posted photos of this weekend at I'd Rather B Birdin']....another cold front is moving down our way from Colorado and soon the last of our sunshine/summer like weather will be in the past.

Interesting, isn't it, to find so many you've ringed at such a distance?!!! I'm so envious of this.

carol l mckenna said...

Lovely macro bird photos and rest up the birds are waiting!

Happy Week to you ~ ^_^

Nora said...

I love the bird photos and info. cheers.

Stuart Price said...

You should retire there Phil!

Silver Parrot said...

Fascinating information on the ringing, recaptures and migration!

Russell Jenkins said...

It's very interesting about the Goldcrests, Phil. I saw my first couple ever in Japan just last winter. They are tiny. Enjoy being home.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Good to be home ??? Maybe not, but you'll get used to it again ... And all th great birding and ringing will help. Loved reading about the sand martens, remembered your earlier post on them. And the goldcrest share real charmers.

Marie C said...

Cold & wet for your return! YUK! But looks like you got some great bird shots and a successful banding.

Mary Cromer said...

Welcome home Phil and it has to be very tough leaving all of the warmth and sunny skies behind, but then again, some of us have been keeping up the norm on the very coldness of Winter here and I do not have anything to complain about though, for we have had a very mild Winter compared to so many others. Nice that Andy had some recaptures to attend to...very nice. Happy weekend~

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