Saturday, 28 May 2011

Pallid and Common Swift Ringing - Spain May 2011

Present RG, CG, and KH.
A Spanish Ringer kindly took us to a building site in Algerciras.  Work on this part built block of flats in the middle of the town had come to a halt two or three years earlier.  We were soon catching swifts even before having fully positioned the first net. The birds more often than not were caught on the way out as they could not turn sharp enough to use the net free window in through which they had entered. It was decided to stop catching as soon as we re-trapped a bird caught that day.50 swifts were caught of which 43 were Pallid Swift. Full biometrics were taken and only one bird was found to be aged 5. The primaries of both species were extremely stiff  and unusually course to the touch. The Common Swifts were stronger and more difficult to handle, both species had extremely sharp claws  The experience was one not to be missed.   
Nets Up At Some Windows
Pallid Swift Apus pallidus

Pallid Swift

Pallid Swift Wing

Common Swift Wing

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Successful - Ring Plover Catch - Walney. 19/05/2011

Present JS, AM, CG, RG, MW, KH and members of the Morecambe Bay Ringing Group.
The plan was to utilise the fact that Ring Plovers always roost higher up the beach than other waders.
94 Ring Plovers and 4 Dunlin were caught with one Ring Plover re-trap caught previously a few miles away almost one year to the day. The Dunlin were all of the schinzii race. Full biometrics were taken and the Ring Plovers all were within the range of the British group but due to overlap in the wing size range some could be from Greenland or N.Scand/USSR.  Only one was identified as aged 5 and its biometrics, wing and weight helped confirm it as a juvenile . It had the smallest wing and weighed less than any of the other 94.  

Just After The  Cannons Fired

Jack Does A Quick Stock Take

Male Ring Plover

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Jim Fowler

It is with great sadness that I publish this post. Dr.J.A.Fowler died of a heart attack whilst canoeing last week on Coniston Water. I will publish a list of the birds seen  and some photographs of his recent trip to Australia in the next few days.The following link is a touching tribute to Jim .