13 September 2013

2012 Cornish online ringing report released

The BTO has just released the 2012 Online Ringing Report, which makes fascinating reading. The various reports don't just show national figures, but also break them down by county, so there's plenty in here for Cornish birders.

The Cornish ringing totals for the year (here) show 7,161 birds ringed which is well down on the last few years, symptomatic of the poor breeding season. The top five species ringed in the county (with 2012 totals for comparison) were:
  • Swallow - 748 (445)
  • Blue Tit - 712 (1,455)
  • Chiffchaff - 681 (1,054)
  • Willow Warbler - 516 (377)
  • Chaffinch - 508 (666)
Notable in the totals were the only Hoopoe and Iberian Chiffchaff to be ringed in the UK in 2012 and also Spotted Crake (one of only three ringed nationally), Wood Sandpiper (four ringed of just eight nationally) and Aquatic Warbler (two of only seven ringed nationally).

Perhaps of more interest though are the recoveries that these, and other, ringed birds generate (here). Considering the relatively low ringing total for the county (not enough ringers!), most of the most interesting recoveries are of birds ringed elsewhere and seen or found here. But amongst the 1,803 recoveries involving the county, the highlights included colour ring sightings of:
  • Great White Egret from France (seen at Amble Marshes)
  • Ringed Plover from Norway (actually the fourth to be seen in the county)
  • The first Lesser Black-backed Gulls from Germany and The Netherlands
recaptures of:
  • Green Sandpiper in The Netherlands (ringed at Nanjizal)
  • Firecrest originally ringed in Sussex
  • Swallow originally ringed in Belgium (just one day earlier!)
The one-day, 787km movement of a young Swallow from Belgium to Gunwalloe
  • The first ever Chiffchaffs in the county originally ringed in Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands (and the third from France)

and the unfortunate dead birds:
  • German Jack Snipe and German Snipe (shot at St Austell and Zennor respectively)
  • Russian and French Woodcock also shot
  • Collared Dove ringed in Dorset and found dead 195km distant near Truro
  • Dutch-ringed Yellow-browed Warbler found in Truro in 2008 (only the second foreign-ringed Yellow-browed Warbler to be found in the UK, following a quick movement of a Norwegian-ringed bird to Fair Isle in 1990)

Most of these recoveries of ringed birds came from birders and members of public, so if you've been lucky enough to find a ringed bird or see a colour-ringed bird, report it online via www.ring.ac or contact us direct and we'll pass it on.

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