Thursday, July 1, 2021

Martin More

Tuesday morning 29 June. Catching and ringing the Sand Martins was the easy bit. 

Later that day and back home with a cup of coffee at hand I had the wearisome job of entering each of 59 Sand Martins onto the BTO DemOn database via the day’s field sheet. Thanks Andy! 

Tuesday 29 June

There’s no bashing the keyboard with abandon, no unthinking tabbing along, because each entry is different where accurate transposition is vital with a program designed to catch out the lazy or forgetful inputter with a “do not pass” error message. 

Every wing length and every weight is unlike the previous entry where both males and females require a qualifying item of “why” or "are you sure". Thankfully the 3Js are a faster keyboard proposition without the encumbrance of underage sex to slow their progress through the system.  Recaptures and their random emergence (foot of the field sheet) don’t fit the automatic sequencing of ring numbers expected by DemOn so each must be entered on an individual basis; with fingers crossed that the number and details match previous entries! Otherwise, input is put on hold while earlier details are checked. 

And at your peril, don’t forget to split the entries into time slots that match the time of catch and weighing.  And yes, over the page there are another 25 entries and another 30 minutes or more at the keyboard. Whoever said that ringing is not work? 

Sharp eyed readers will note a large proportion of 3Js - CLICK THE PIC. In fact the juveniles outnumbered the adults by a narrow margin of 30 to 29. All of the 13 recaptures were from earlier this year and 2020. 

It appears that after a cold, slow start to the season our Sand Martins are making the most of the continued warm, sunny and settled weather of June to make up for lost time.  And we still catch new adults, fifteen in all.

Sand Martin - juvenile

Further to my previous posting of 29 June about the Spotted Flycatcher, AKE3299, here’s more information from Paul Wheatley, AKA Leeds Birder on Twitter and his piece of remarkable detective work. 

Reading a ring in the field

Great stuff, and an example to birders and ringers everywhere.

Linking this weekend to Eileen's Blogspot and Anni in Texas.


Wally Jones said...

It's good to hear the Sand Martins are apparently making up for lost time as the weather has cooperated. Hope that continues.

Ahhh, fond memories of the "old days" of data collection (of the non-birding variety). On the office wall: "Just like going to the bathroom. The job isn't finished until the paperwork is done!"

Brilliant job by Leeds Birder to retrieve that ring number.

You are correct. A wonderful lesson in cooperation. Please teach it at every opportunity.

Summer thunderstorms are here with a vengeance.

Take good care, Phil.

Rhodesia said...

Glad the Sand Matins are around. There sounds like there is a lot of admin work to ringing! Keep safe Diane

The Padre said...

Fantastic New Banner Photo There - Happy July Brother Man


Angie said...

Phil - all that key-bashing - sounds like a nice "problem" to have!

Shiju Sugunan said...

Hope apps like Evernote will come up with a solution to ease your kind of data entry.

eileeninmd said...


Great new header and I love the sweet Sand Martin. There are a lot of details to be kept for your ringing work. I am glad to see the juveniles are doing well. Keep up the good work.
Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a happy weekend!

Rain said...

Hi Phil :) Oh the detailed work...not my strong point! At least not with data! :) The Sand Martin is a cute little bird! Hope you're having nice weather. It's chilly and only 11C today, insane for July 3rd!!!!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a pretty Sand Martin. Hope you are able to get out some this weekend. You do so much good work. Take care!

Linda said...

I admire your ability and patience.

Anni said...

Still, ringing is such a needed job of work!! I commend your determination & skills. Your know-how is vital to the birds and our education and conservation.

I'm happy to be here and thank you for sharing your blog with us today at IRBB! (Ps...your header? A Quail?)

Mike Attwood said...

Fascinating Phil, Something that I wish I had taken up years ago, but I am way past it now.It is still interesting to read others reports.

Lowcarb team member said...

Certainly a lot of work and keeping details go into the ringing, I applaud and thank you.

All the best Jan

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