Sunday, 25 November 2012

Returning home and recent recoveries.

This week I returned home from my 7 Month long Scandinavian adventure! In short, it was awesome. Handling well over 10'000 birds of more than 100 species is pretty special!

The last week at Gedser was hit and miss, not so many birds ringed but we did get some quality ones. The highlight being another dose of Waxwings, a Black Redstart and on the last night 2 Long-eared Owls. We also caught an "Eastern type" Chiffchaff; in my book a pale Abietinus. Not brown enough for fulvescens/tristis.

"Eastern type" Chiffchaff - pale abietinus?   

Black Redstart 1cy - Phoenicurus ochruros

Long-eared Owls (Male and Female) - Asio otus

 Returning home late Monday night it was a lot of seeing the family and catching up to be done. Tuesday however I was out with my bins and managed to locate an old friend, JHZ2. I also managed to grab and ring 2 juvenile Herring Gulls.

Herring Gull 1cy - Larus argentatus argenteus

JHZ2 was originally marked in Breiavatnat, Stavanger in Norway 25th March 2011, he stayed there until the end of March before disappearing. He was next seen on a local saline lake near to me; Fairhaven lake 12th November 2011 (792 Km from original ringing site) where he was seen on and off until 22nd Feb 2012. He returned to his original marking place by 28th March where he presumably stayed to breed nearby and was seen until Late June. I recorded him for the first time back at Fairhaven Lake 20th November 2012.

Black-headed Gull "JHZ2" - Chroicocephalus ridibundus
 The above photo was taken last February, just before he returned to Norway; hence the moulting into breeding plumage.

Map of Black-headed Gull JHZ2's Movements

I  also received a batch of Blue Tit recoveries from Gedser where I had controlled some Swedish ringed birds back in October. It turns out all 7 of them were from Falsterbo and had each travelled 106Km in times ranging between 12 and 24 days; mean being 17.14 days. All were 1st year birds and 6 of the 7 were sexed as females, (might sound obvious, but )the last was sexed as a male; sometimes birds are left unsexed. These birds were sexed based on plumage and measurements combined and if there was any uncertainty I would have left them unsexed.

Blue Tit movements between Falsterbo, Sweden and Gedser bird obs, Denmark.
All of these Blue Tit were recovered on October 19th or before and this correlates nicely with the peak passage of Blue Tits over Falsterbo October 2nd, if the birds were on average to take 17 days. Interestingly not all of these birds moved at the same speed as of the three birds ringed on 25th September at Falsterbo, two birds were the fastest recoveries; 12 and 13 days and the last was the slowest (24 days).

As you can see above, it's really easy to get out and read rings on some birds. If you do happen to notice any birds with rings on whilst out and about please report them to and remember to always check any dead birds for rings. 

Chiffchaff picture - Troels Eske Ortvad

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