Monday, 25 February 2013

Waxwing update

At the end of last year, in a rare and exciting opportunity, we managed to catch exactly 100 Waxwings in Mid-Wales and, thanks to Raymond Duncan of Grampian Ringing Group, we were able to individually colour-ring almost all of them. So far we have been informed of 11 long-distance re-sightings of these birds from various locations in England and Wales as widely separated as Cardiff, Lewes in  East Sussex and Northumberland. Most of the sightings have been accompanied by excellent digital photos confirming the colour-rings present so we can be 100% sure of the accuracy of these resightings. We would like to thank all the birdwatcher and photographers who have taken the time to report their sightings and helped us to show the onward movements of the Newtown "flock".  It is amazing that these highly gregarious birds obviously do not move around as a cohesive group but must continually disband and rejoin other flocks as they disperse.

Some shots of the movers!

North Seaton, Northumberland on 15th December 2012 by Hector Galley

Seaforth Station, Sefton, Merseyside on 16th December by Steve Young

Lewes, East Sussex on 30th December 2012 by Ron Bewley

Acomb, York 14th and 15th Feb 2013  by Chris Gomersall

Hopefully all the above birds are still alive and well and already residing in new locations waiting to be rediscovered.

In a recent batch of recoveries from BTO headquarters we learnt the fate of two additional birds that weren't so lucky. One was found trapped in Harris fencing in Stafford and the other was killed by a cat in Bray, Co. Wicklow. A sad end to an amazing movement and a bloody good illustration of why, if you like birds, you should think twice about owning a cat!

All movements reported to date of Waxwings ringed at Newtown College, Powys in Nov - Dec 2012

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