Tuesday 20 August 2019

Knot a bad catch...

Over the last 4 nights, Tony and myself (with help from Silvia, Ben, Paul Roughley and Paul Ashworth) have gone to one of our regular wader ringing sites on the west coast to trap and colour-ring, migrating Dunlin as they are pushed up the beach during the high tides. Although the tides weren't as high as we'd have like, and the added disturbance from the full moon, we actually managed to trap a good number of birds. A total of 302 new Dunlin were ringed. We also added colour-rings to a Portuguese and a Norwegian ringed bird, plus a bird that we caught back in 2015 (this was before we started colour-ringing them). We also caught a Spanish-ringed Dunlin that already had it's own set of colour-rings.

(the Portuguese-ringed Dunlin with it's new colour rings)
Given the current number of re-sightings of our colour-ringed Dunlin, I'm hopeful that we will soon have some reports of these birds as they continue to head south for the winter.

As well as the Dunlin, there were a few other species using the area as a migration stop-off point. Other birds trapped and ringed were 1 Skylark, 1 Common Sandpiper, 8 Sanderling, 26 Turnstone, 17 Ringed Plover and 14 Knot.


(One of the Knots that was trapped and ringed - all were Juveniles)

Thursday 1 August 2019

Nobody expects the Spanish in Clocaenog!

Occasionally, after trying for Nightjars in the morning we leave the nets up a while to catch a few passerines just to keep our hands in on the smaller stuff. A few days ago in North Wales we did just that and caught a few Phylloscs and Silvia warblers. The last bird out of the net though was a bit special. In nearly 40 years of ringing I've never handled a foreign-ringed Willow Warbler (out of over 2,000 handled) so it was more than a bit unexpected to catch a Spanish-ringed one in such a random way!

A great pair of waders

Travelling over to Nightjars the other evening we decided to call in on one of our river shingle ringing sites just to see if there were any Little Ringed Plover chicks or Common Sandpipers to ring. After checking a few blank shingle banks we arrived at one where an adult Little Ringed Plover was alarm-calling loudly. Jumping out of the car to see exactly where the noise was coming from I flushed a large brown bird which Ed immediately id'd as a Stone Curlew. Pretty off the usual range and turns out this is the first record for the vice-county. 

Didn't ring the Stone Curlew (there was little point trying as its movements were a bit random to say the least) but we did eventually locate and ring the two LRP chicks that were the reason for the alarm-calling.