Saturday 25 April 2020

2019 Report

The 2019 SNRG report is now published and available. If you would like a copy, please email the address at the top of the 'Reports' page - see tab at the top.

Sunday 19 April 2020

Twite data

Some of you will be aware of the Twite project, co-ordinated by Jamie Dunning, that I have been involved in for the last few years. The project site in Derbyshire is watched intently by two local chaps, Peter and George, who keep a spreadsheet of all their Twite colour-ring sightings.
From this spreadsheet we have recently entered and submitted about 1000 sightings, from 2015 – 2019, via DemOn. And this is just a small percentage of all their sightings!
The use of colour-rings has been invaluable in reinforcing, and even adding to, the information we have on Twite and hopefully assisting to develop a long term plan to protect the decreasing population.
Entering this data encouraged me to try a bit more data interpretation, please see below.
Mick P 


Saturday 18 April 2020

Covid-19 update

Please note that the BTO has asked all volunteers to refrain from undertaking any survey work or ringing beyond the boundaries of their homes. This includes nest-recording and monitoring of nestboxes and remains the case until at least 7 May 2020 when the next Government review is currently scheduled.

Monday 13 April 2020

Sibthorpe - Sunday 12 April

Like everything else at the moment, our bird ringing is severely curtailed, and rightly so. This means in practice only ringing and nest recording in your own garden. The BTO’s stance on this is here, and closely follows Government guidance.

Right now, the group's focus would normally be on monitoring breeding Cormorants, Grey Herons and Tawny Owls, but not this year... Like many ringers with more time on their hands, I have refocused on ringing in my garden. My normal fare is tits, finches, Dunnocks, Starlings and sparrows, but interesting migrants do drop in from time to time. These might include Redpoll, Siskin and Chiffchaff.

As Sunday was calm and overcast, I decided to mist net from dawn. My first visit to check the nets produced two unringed Dunnocks which was unusual as they are rather sedentary and I must have ringed most of this winter's population, but then an odd robin-shaped bird caught my eye and after an initial WTF moment I soon had a female Black Redstart in my hand! They are early spring migrants and Birdguides currently shows reports of a handful across the country and I’m told one was ringed in a Coddington garden a few years back. However, only 39 were ringed in Britain and Ireland in 2018, so what are the odds of one turning up in my garden mist net?

Jim Lennon

 female Black Redstart, Sibthorpe (J. Lennon)

Sunday 5 April 2020

Exploring data

In these unusual times when we're restricted to garden ringing, it's a good opportunity to look at our data and try some interpretation.

I am by no means an expert but have had a couple of previous attempts with the Bullfinches and Willow Warblers I catch at Goosedale Fisheries (which can be found in the 2014 and 2016 group reports) so I thought I would update these for the blog.

Unfortunately, the annual survival estimates were so poor I don't want to include them. The numbers of new birds ringed is both encouraging and disappointing at the same time (see graph) and it's important to poimt out that these figures can't be viewed as definite population trends over such a short period and in such a random study.

I thought I would also look at the sex ratio of the new Bullfinches caught. You can see variation over the 5 years but interestingly after the study period the totals are almost the same. The unsexed birds were juvenile birds still in their juvenile plumage.

This type of analysis is not going to re-write science, but it does add another dimension to understanding 'our' birds and how they are doing.

Give it a go!

Mick P