19 August 2016

Injured Peregrines, Portland Stormies and a super-fat Sedge Warbler

We recently received details of some of our ringed birds that had been found elsewhere, both recaptured alive and found dead.

The saddest was the finding of two injured Peregrines, both ringed as chicks in the same nest near Botallack in May. One was found grounded with a broken metacarpal near Helston on 15th August and a second was found the next day near St Just, with a broken humerus and ulna. Both are now receiving veterinary care and we hope they'll recover enough to be released again.

Another interesting set of movements involved three Storm Petrels, all moving between Hot Point, Lizard and Portland Bird Observatory in Dorset (just over 200km). Over the summer we caught two birds originally ringed at Portland Bill (2699028 and 2699030) and have just heard that a bird we ringed on 5th July was recaught there on 19th July. These are the first movements of Stormies between us and Portland, so to have three in a summer is rather coincidental!

Last but not least was a more expected recapture of one of our Reed Warblers on the Isles of Scilly. D791823 was ringed at Marazion Marsh on 8th August 2015 and recaught at Porthellick, St Mary's on 10th June 2016.

Movements of the Peregrines (red), Storm Petrels (blue) and Reed Warbler (green)
On the ringing front, we've been battling the wind and Cornish mizzle to fit in some mist-netting sessions, but have only really managed a couple of Swallow roost catches (totalling 144 birds (and one Sand Martin)) and a couple of mornings in the reedbed, ringing 70 warblers and Reed Buntings. You know migration is well underway though when you catch a Sedge Warbler completely covered in fat. The bird below (excuse the rubbish photo) felt like a tube of butter, being completely covered in stored fat. Considering the fat-free weight of a Sedge Warble can be as little as 9.5g, this bird weighed in at 19.8g!

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