Monday, 17 December 2012

The Welsh-French-Senegalese Connection

We’ve recently heard of some controls; some of ours going elsewhere and those of others coming to us….
Back in June 2010 6232921, a Sedge Warbler, was caught in Dunes du Mont St Frieux, Dannes, Pas-de-Calais, France. 284 days later, in May 2012 we caught 6232921 at a sunny Cardiff Bay. Meanwhile the Welsh-French connection was reversed; we first ringed Reed Warbler X612793 at the bay at the beginning of August 2011. By the beginning of September, 34 days later in fact, the plucky traveller was caught at Braud et Saint Louis, Gironde, France.
As you may recall, Vaf and Facey headed to Senegal back in January, while they were there they caught Sedge Warbler 6693961, who had originally been ringed on migration in Marais de Cap, Montmartin-en-Graignes, Manche, France 159 days earlier. They also caught DYT538, a Chiffchaff also ringed on migration in September 2011 but this time in Blighty, well Icklesham, East Sussex to be precise. This means that in 2012 Vaf and Facey have dealt with SEDWAs on all three stages of their life cycle; wintering, breeding and migration. Neat eh?!
Actually this is not  6693961 but is an actual Sedge Warbler, actually ringed in
Senegal. By Vaf actually.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Realing from Recoveries

News of recoveries arrived recently, which is always a pleasure. However, we recommend you have a box of tissues to hand as death and destruction is very much the theme:

We’ve not ringed many starlings at the Cardiff Riding School so we were excited to see a recovery slip for LB09232. Sadly this adult female ringed in 2010 had smacked in to a window. Now, the last “window collision” starling recovery of a Cardiff ringed starling we had was from Lithuania. LB09232 however was obviously too fond of Brains Dark and a Clark’s Pie as she smacked into a window within the city limits, albeit 2km away from the Riding School, on 14 May 2012.
Two Fforest Farm ringed Great Spotted Woodpeckers also met their end in Cardiff gardens. One was taken some 3km away (in Radyr for the local readership) by a sparrowhawk on 26 April 2012; 1551 days after it was ringed in 2008. The second was found worse for wear within 1km of the reserve on 27 May 2012, 233 days after ringing. It sadly died the same day.
Ringing gulls on Flat Holm is an experience. Actually ringing gulls generally is an experience. One of the herring gulls chicks we ringed on the cliffs of Flat Holm in 2011 was found dead, but not fresh, in Dorset on 19 July 2012; 382 days and 89 km from when/where we ringed it.
Mallard GR03883 was ringed at Cosmeston Lakes as a health first year male in September 2011 with a life looked full of promise – until he was shot 5km away in the Barry area.
Our Cosmeston Mute Swans haven’t fared much better:
Z21136  was ringed as a second year in January 2009. On 15 October 2012 it was found 19km away in Newport as little worse for ware –The slip read “In care at Swan Sanctuary”. This is the first recovery of one of our swans from the ‘Port.  ZY5212 was among of 37 swans that died in the Cardiff area due to a disease; it was found dead on 29 June 2012 Cardiff Bay 251 days and 4 km from where we had ringed it.
W28928 originally ringed on 10 June 2010  was found on 13 July 2011 at East Moors Cardiff  (398 days, 7 km) having had a “Misadventure”. The bird crash landed and was sadly put to sleep on 5 August 2011. W28914 didn’t fair much better; 665 days  after being ringed in 2010, it met its end on 14 January 2012, 31 km away Portishead Marina, North Somerset. It was put to sleep after being attacked by a dog. W28948 also had a run in with a dog on 26 September 2012 (598 days Distance, 10 km). Luckily it survived to tell the tale. Hopefully this dog owner has learnt their lesson and will keep their dog under control (on the lead!) while near wildfowl.
W28515 was victim of the overhead wires on 23 January 2010 (yes bit of a while getting to us) in Chepstow. Having flown 44km form its place of ringing, it was put to sleep on 18 February 2010. W28949 met the same end and was found dead under the wires it hit 30 May 2012, 28 km away in  Rackley, Compton Bishop, Somerset. Shame as markers on power lines reduces this sort of thing. W28528 was found dead in 113km away in Powys, Mid Wales on 09 July 2012. Cause of death unknown. This was our first Mid Wales recovery –Diolch chaps!
We’d like to say thank you to the people who took the time to report the rings of the birds they found; it’s very much appreciated.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

25 and counting! Slowly..

Keep it under your hat but the Blackbird Project may be heading into a productive patch; the last two outings to a newly established feeding station have resulted in TWO whole new BLABI's for the project. The last of these was the project's 25th Bird! Welcome aboard FH!

Who'd have thought back in April of this year that it would take
this long to catch and colour  ring 25 Blackbirds? Not us!
Hahahaha! Hahahahaha... Hah.... Ha. Ha...