Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Demo Time

On Tuesday I joined Andy at Marton Mere Nature Reserve Blackpool to help out with a demonstration of bird ringing. A start time 7 a.m meant a bit of a lie-in. 

Demo Time 

Events like this present a great opportunity for non-ringers to see birds in close-up instead of through a pair of binoculars.  It’s an opportunity to learn a little about how bird ringers’ age and sex birds by using techniques involving the taking of biometric measurements, studying feather wear and moult or by simple but sometimes subtle differences in appearance.  

The morning dawned bright with a few cursory showers but not enough to deter the 12 or so people who initially turned up. A good number of those volunteer at the reserve and give freely of their time and energy to make the nature reserve a better place for visitors and birds alike. 

Maybe the 7am start did not encourage many more to join in but the smaller group allowed everyone to get a close look and for us to answer their many probing questions.. 

Reserve Warden Rick at centre stage 

Ready to go.

After a couple of hours we’d caught 4 Whitethroat, 4 Reed Warbler, 2 Cetti’s Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler and 1 Blackcap, not a tremendous total but enough birds to allow close examination and explanation for the appreciative visitors. 

Andy holding court

The two Cetti’s Warblers, both adults, a male and a female, proved to be object lessons in how our UK summer warblers moult. The two had quite recently finished breeding and one in particular was in the advanced stages of complete moult of wings, body and tail. Not the prettiest of Cetti's to be sure.

Cetti's Warbler 

Cetti's Warbler

No wonder then that adult warblers hide away during the height of summer when their lack of fully working plumage makes it harder to avoid predators. Cetti's Warblers are secretive at the best of times so our visitors enjoyed seeing the pair we caught as it is a species they mostly hear but rarely if ever see well in the field.

Sedge Warbler 

juvenile Blackcap 


Reed Warbler 

A good morning was had by all. And there's more soon from Another Bird Blog - ringing, birding and photos.

Linking today to Eileen's Blog.


David M. Gascoigne, said...

Public education is wonderful. We do it all the time and feel we have won several coverts to the conservation and bird protection cause. In the process we have also affected the lives of children, I believe. Keep it up, Phil. Do more of it.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I would love to be among those attending such a demo .

eileeninmd said...


I have never attended a ringing demo, maybe some day. Love the closeups and birds. Enjoy your day!

Stuart Price said...

Nice selection of warblers there Phil............

Rhodesia said...

Interesting for others to learn, and hopefully pass on what they have learnt. I used to do rining in the old Rhodesian days with a vet, but have not seen anyone ringing since. Have a good day Diane

Wally Jones said...

Kudos to you, Phil, and all those who take the time to provide such a valuable service to the public. Even when not engaged in a "public" event, you serve as an example to all who know you and THAT is a positive thing!

I've attended several ringing demonstrations and am always amazed at how much detail one can see with a bird in the hand. Just holding a bird gives one a completely different perspective on our avocation and a renewed respect for Nature.

Caught up on your last few blogs and happy to see your reports. Congratulations on spotting that covey of Grey Partridge! Hopefully, there are many more secreted away.

It's a new month and already time to begin looking for fall migrants! Time and birds fly when a birder is having fun.

All the best.

italiafinlandia said...

Very interesting. Nice to know.
Good that people are interested!

Betty Crow said...

I would love to be one of the spectators. What a wonderful opportunity. Enjoyed seeing the warblers.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Phil! Wonderful event. I wish I could have been there too. Love the pretty warblers. Great captures. Happy birding. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

Angie said...

I must try to find a session like this in Montana - I would be very interested in a 'birds'-eye' view of how ringing is done - LOL!

A Colorful World said...

How wonderful that you are sharing this important skill!

Lowcarb team member said...

It's so important to share skills like this to fellow like minded folk.
Great post.

All the best Jan

Related Posts with Thumbnails