Saturday, February 24, 2024

A Spanish Stopover

2023 was such a poor year for ringing birds that our site at Pilling yielded just 2 Common Whitethroats, one in July and one in August. Neither were caught after the initial day of ringing. They both moved on elsewhere. 

Imagine our surprise, a notification from the BTO this week told us that ACV6277 a juvenile we ringed on July 9th was caught in Spain later in the year. If only this particular recovery rate of 50% could be replicated with all ringed birds. 

Common Whitethroat ACV6277
ACV6277 was recaptured by Spanish ringers at San Roque-Darbo, Cangas de Morrazo, Pontevedra on September 1st 2023, some 54 days later. 

Whitethroat ACV6277 - Cockerham to Pontevedra

I looked up the place name of Cangas de Morrazo and discovered it to be a small coastal town in Northern Spain close to the city of Vigo and to the border of Portugal/Spain. It looks a great place for a September break, a traditional Spanish fishing village that is close to a nature reserve - Zonas de Especial Protección para las Aves (ZEPA). A pure guess but there is a good chance that ACV6277 was recaptured in this very place and soon afterwards set off to continue its first ever journey to Africa. 

A summer visitor to the UK from Africa, the Common Whitethroat is small, brown warbler that frequents hedgerow and scrubby areas across Britain & Ireland from April to October. Its winter quarters in Africa occupy the dry Sahel just to the south of the Sahara. This area is subject to prolonged periods of drought which affect Whitethroat overwinter survival. Such conditions led to a crash of 90% in UK Whitethroat numbers in the late-1960s, from which this species is still recovering. 



Whitethroats breed throughout the UK and it can be found from Cornwall to northern Scotland, as well as across Ireland. The Whitethroat has suffered a 63% decrease in its population in the years 1967 -2020, hardly surprising given the way that the UK continues its desire to concrete over the entire landscape. 

No One Cares. Money speaks louder than wildlife.

For example.

A holiday village and eco-park with up to 450 lodges, a hotel, market place, virtual reality wildlife experience and craftworkers’ pods is proposed for land south of Lancaster in a planning application.

Land at Home Farm, Ellel Grange, near Galgate, near the M6, is the proposed site for the scheme by applicants TNPG Sandeman Trust and Ellel Holiday Village Ltd.

But the outline application has prompted hundreds of objections along with some letters of support, according to Lancaster City Council planning reports”.

This really does beggar belief but many have seen for years where we as a nation are heading when wildlife and the countryside is to be destroyed and replaced by virtual wildlife and craftworkers' pods.

You really couldn't make this shit up if you tried.

Linking this week to Eileen's Blog.



eileeninmd said...

Hello, Phil,
Your Common Whitethroat is a lovely bird. It must feel good to hear one of your ringed birds has been recaptured. It sounds like it stopped in a nice location for a break. It is sad to hear the bird's habitat is being developed, a loss for the birds and bird lovers. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a great weekend.

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil :=)

The Common Whitethroat is a bird I encountered in the algarve in 2014 but have never seen one since, It is a beautiful little bird. I know the area where the bird you ringed was recaptured, My late husband and I visited Pontevedra and Vigo many times in the past and always enjoyed our stay.

I'm so sorry to learn about the proposed building project which will if it goes forward mean more loss of habitat for the wildlife. I hope that if there are enough protests it will prevent this happening, but I doubt it.
All the best

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

You do NOT want to get me started on what is happening here in Florida. It just makes me sad all over. I get out in nature a lot and don't see anyone else out there so not many people care about the wild areas. Oh right...don't get me started! I love that the bird was spotted in Spain. How exciting! Enjoy your weekend!

Wally Jones said...

It must be very gratifying to receive word that a bird you held in your hands is alive and well so far from the spot where you placed that ring on its leg. I am humbled by your dedication.

Most folks haven't a clue about such things as a drought in Africa causing a 90% (!) decrease in the population of an entire species. We just care about what matters to us. Pretty birds at feeders. Gulls eating crumbs of bread tossed by beachgoers. Small and bright tropical birds stolen from their habitat to sing sweet songs from a cage in my urban flat.

No worries. Soon we shall all be thankful for the genius which allows us to enjoy virtual birds in a virtual rainforest as we shop in a virtual mall from our computers - all without having to leave home. Next step - how much simpler life would be if the planet's inhabitants were all artificial. Think how peaceful it shall be ...

We saw real Cedar Waxwings yesterday feeding on real berries as they prepare to return to their northern breeding grounds. At least, I think they were real.

The real (?) Gini says "Hello". We both hope the gout has retreated and the sun shows up more often.

Lowcarb team member said...

Sweet photographs of the common whitethroat.

Our landscape is changing and not for the better!!!

All the best Jan

Linda said...

Best wishes to the little bird. I recall some years back seeing a big sign on the fence of a farm saying there an Eco-friendly community was coming. I wondered what would happen to the rabbits and birds that lived there.

Fun60 said...

Hearing about your ringed white throat must have made your heart flutter. Not so the proposed development.

Shiju Sugunan said...

Disheartening to hear about the decline of the Common Whitethroat population. What a lovely bird it is.

Diane said...

Great that you have heard back about your Spanish bird being re-ringed or do they simply just notify you.

So many photos here to go through and the wifi here is extremely slow so I am not getting very far.

Take care Diane

Diane said...

I have not heard from you for a while getting worried is all OK over there. Diane

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