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Meadow Pipit Migration

Tuesday, September 10th 2019

Many bird species have begun their long migration journeys south from their summer breeding grounds here in North Yorkshire. Each year the bird ringers monitor the movement of Meadow Pipits at a site out on the training area. The first ringing session of the year in this location proved to be a productive one with 106 new birds being ringed. Most of the birds caught were juvenile Meadow Pipits who migrate to the Mediterranean and sometimes beyond. 

The weather conditions were perfect; dry and still. This young Whitethroat was a highlight of the morning. These beautiful birds also migrate and winter in Africa, south of the Sahara.

Other species ringed included Reed Buntings (twelve were ringed in total during the morning). The males are distinguishable by the white collar and already have a darker head than the females. Unlike the Meadow Pipits these are present all year round.


Goldfinches, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs were caught in small numbers along with a single Great Tit. This juvenile male Sparrowhawk also turned up (most likely looking for an easy meal in the mist net)!


These small birds of prey mainly eat small birds although males can catch birds up to thrush size and females, being bigger, can catch birds up to pigeon size. Some Sparrowhawks catch bats too.


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