Sunday, August 8th 2021
The Swaledale Ringing Group have had an extremely busy year so far. Over 100 large nest boxes were checked and monitored earlier in the year and many Kestrels, Tawny Owls and Barn Owls were ringed as a result. In addition over 500 nest records have been recorded for small nest boxes. These were home to Blue Tits, Great Tits, Pied Flycatchers, Redstart and Marsh Tits plus a few bees, wasps and even mice! Open nests have also been studied such as this Swallow nest which has produced two broods of 3 chicks.
The tenth CES (Constant Effort Scheme) visit was carried out today meaning a 5am start for the team who were rewarded with this stunning rainbow over the Field Centre!
As usual for Foxglove the species of the day was Bullfinch with 18 new ones being ringed. The weather wasn't as bad as was forecast and although the session ended early this was due to high winds rather than rain.
The group have broken a couple of records this year (compared to previous years) with the ringing of over 400 Black-headed Gulls and an amazing 38 Buzzard chicks. This all involves a huge amount of effort in finding the nests, observing the birds and then actually reaching them in the tree tops! Huge thanks to Martin Robson who found over 18 nests this year and to Sean Stockdale from Yorkshire Tree Specialists who climbed to the nests and lowered the chicks down to be ringed. He also waited patiently in the canopy before carefully returning them to their nests.
The Buzzard chicks varied in age from young ones still covered in down…
...to ones over 40 days old with most of their flight feathers…
...and everything in between!
Out on the training area hundreds of waders have been ringed (Curlew, Lapwing, Oystercatcher and Golden Plover) and we are continuing to work alongside and train gamekeepers to ring waders on their patch too.
Other exciting opportunities have included ringing raptors such as Merlin chicks.
Finally, we have been involved with the monitoring of Hen Harriers in the North of England too.
Thank you to everyone who has involved us in their projects, each experience is a huge privilege and to all of the ringers who have spent hours of their time helping out with all of the above!
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