Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Bye Bye Blog

In 2006 I started this Blog to give an insight in to why we ring birds  and to show people what i got up to while doing it. After 7 years it is now time for me to sign off, i am obviously still ringing and always will do and if you want to follow me on Twitter then please do. Thank you for all the interest over the years.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wrecked Shags

Over the last few weeks with the horrible weather we have had quite a number of wrecked Shags   washing up on the beaches. Two ring numbers have been reported to us both were ringed on the Calf of Man. One as a chick back in 2001 and one as an adult back in 2008. 

Twite and Cormorant to Ireland

Kev sent me a nice email from a Mr Joseph Delvin saying he had seen a Twite at Giles Quay, Co. Louth, Ireland on 17/01/2014 wearing our Colour rings.

This bird was ringed last winter between September 2012 and April 2013

And is our first record of a Twite to Ireland. Joseph tells me they do have breeding Twite there, so  some of our winter flock may come from there as well.

Twite white blue red photo Mr Joseph Delvin

Also Joseph has seen one of our Cormorants colour ring Z3D at Ballagan Point Co. Louth this bird was ringed as a chick at the Maughold colony back in 2011.

Cormorant Colony

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Year End

Well another year ends and i think that will be it for 2013 the wind gets up again tomorrow. 
2013 was again another good year for Manx ringing group

 4034 birds were caught with a total of 75 Species
3545 new birds were ringed,
487 of these were Pulli {chicks}
489 were recaptures

 Not as many as 2012 but i think that was down to trying some new stuff and concentrating on some target species where more time was put in for less numbers.

One of the highlights of the year was the success of our Tern Colonies, in the last 3 year since i have been living here the Terns both Little and Arctic have suffered from bad weather, disturbance and predation. This year the weather was great there was plenty of sand eels and the Warden spent loads of her own time to control dog walkers and tourists from to much disturbance. The result a record year with 44 breeding pairs of Little Tern.

Little Tern
12 New adults were ringed and 16 chicks, there were 4 controls

1 was born in Foulney Island, Burrow-in-Furness and is 3 years old and was caught breeding at our colony last year as well.

2 were from the colony at kilcoole, Wicklow, Ireland. and again are 3 years old.

The last control was from Brora in the Highlands of Scotland, and was ringed as a chick there 13 years ago.

16 new adult Arctic Terns and 18 chicks were ringed with 2 controls these were both ringed by Aron Sapsford as chicks at the Point of Ayre one in 1999 making it 14 years old and one in 2001 making it 12 years old.

Arctic Tern

A new site at Regaby was found to be holding a small Tree Sparrow Population and so far 27 birds have been ringed and boxes put up. The land owners have done a great job in feeding and managing the land for these great little birds

Tree Sparrow

The Whoosh site at the Point of Ayre has proved it worth again with over 700 Linnets ringed
169 Meadow pipits and 27 Twite


A concerted effort was put in to catching Wheatear on their spring migration this year all birds bar one were caught in spring traps with 118 being ringed.


The colour ringing project on large Gulls goes on but chick numbers were down on last year due to what we think was predation by Polecats and Long Tails {Manx for Rat}  out of 28 Lbb Gull nest only 3 chicks were seen and ringed and only 17 Herring Gull chicks ringed. 11 GBB Gull chicks were ringed as well.

Herring Gull chicks

Kane and Gillian helping out in my Garden

The new Common Gull colour ring project got underway and we ringed
1 Adult Common Gull with 5 chicks.
The timing of the ringing was a tad late as most of the chicks had fledged, must try harder in 2014.

Common Gull colour ringed

The Cormorant Colour ringed project was a challenge this year the site at Maughold had changed and most of the nests were deemed inaccessible, the new site at the Point of Ayre is getting bigger with 24 nests this year 28 chicks were colour ringed here and 9 at Maughold.
Kev, Kane and Gillian

Nyger feeders were placed at 3 sites around the island to try and improve our Siskin numbers. And they worked with 290 New Siskins being ringed.


The Rock Pipit colour ringing project carries on and some good data is being collected about site fidelity and longevity of these hardy little Pipits.
60 new birds colour ringed in 2013

Rock Pipit

Manx Buzzards
This year saw Buzzard added to the Manx ringing group list with 3 Chicks ringed.

Kay, Gary and Chris getting to grips with some Buzzard chicks

The Chough colour ring project saw another 30 Pulli colour ringed and quite a few re sightings from previous years

adult Chough ringed on Calf of Man

Loads of great Memories from 2013, some of the best would be ringing Tern chicks and Black Guillemots with my old mate Andy who came to stay again. Kane and Gillian spent a weekend ringing Terns, Cormorants, Gulls, Kestrels, Hen Harrier and Spotted Flycatcher. And 5 days i spent on the Calf of Man bird Obs with my mate Kev ringing Storm Petrel, Manx Shearwater and numerous Pipits and Willow Warbler.

Kev with Fulmar

A big thank you to everyone who gave us permission to ring on their land and helped us in anyway,
here's to a great 2014.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Back to East Jurby

Great to get out to the East Jurby Site last week where 112 new birds were ringed

54 House Sparrow
13 Goldfinch
12 Greenfinch
5 Chaffinch
10 Great Tit
 8 Blue Tit
1 Coal Tit
2 Starling
2 Blackbird
3 Dunnock
2 Robin

3 Song Thrush ringed in my garden last week.
Only 2 trips to the whoosh site in 8 days wind and rain hampering things, 12 Linnets  5 Goldfinch and 4 new Twite colour ringed.

A trip out to The Dhoon on Sunday was nice with another 28 birds being ringed.
Siskin, Goldfinch, Lesser Redpoll, Blackbird and a nice Sparrowhawk.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Last few weeks have seen Twite return to the island with up to 28 Birds seen in one flock.
So far 20 new birds colour ringed with a Machrihanish Control and 3 birds seen with 2012 rings on and 1 seen with 2011 rings on.

I received a email from Edward Maguire the warden up in Machrihanish showing  
his Twite movements from 2010 to 2013. 
Great to see the Scottish island birds going down to the east coast of England 
This is where the Twite i use to ring in the Pennines winter.

Another Black Redstart ringed at Ramsey harbour making 3 ringed in a week and another one seen

Great to get out with Kev and grab 4 Mute Swans in Ramsey Harbour, even better to grab two cygnets from the gravel pits clutch which i watched hatch back in June this year. Their parents are both ringed and they brought all 4 young to the harbour for the winter 2 weeks ago. The female was ringed by a great mate of mine Kane Brides at Whitehaven back in 2008 and has bred on the gravel pits for the last 2 years. Nice to build up a family history of these birds

Another 49 Linnets ringed since last post also two more trips to the Regaby site with 74 new birds ringed.
4 more Treesparrows and good numbers of Chaffinch (25) and Greenfinch (13)
also a trip to Dhoon where more Goldfinch and Siskin were ringed.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

A nice little turn up

Sunday afternoon i received a text saying there was a Black Redstart at the Point of Ayre Lighthouse, I shot up there and took some shots and watched this bird for some 3 hours it was very flighty moving from roof tops to Garden and then back to wall tops.I noticed it kept going back to one place every 20 minutes or so, as it was getting dark I packed up and went home. Monday morning I got up there for 08:30 placed the spring trap where i thought it would go and within 10 Min's it was ringed and on its way.

A male Black Redstart ages as a 3 {this years young}
Today i popped down to Ramsey Harbour and the first thing i saw were two Colour ringed Rock Pipits, i got the camera out and took some shots. There were a few Rock Pipits un ringed so i set my Spring Traps and waited.
Rock Pipit ringed at Ramsey on 16/02/2011 seen today in Ramsey

Rock Pipit ringed at Port Mooar on July 30 2012 seen at Ramsey today

I got back to my car and watched the traps, 2 minutes later a bird flew towards one of them and sat on top of it. Another Black Redstart and no ring on it so it couldn't be the one from the Point of Ayre, which is only 7 miles away up the coast.

Another 3 Male Black Redstart ringed at Ramsey Harbour
Other Black Redstart ringing Records in Ramsey Harbour

1 ringed 23/11/2011
1 ringed 12/01/2012
1 ringed 29/01/2012
1 ringed 06/11/2013

Since my last post 82 new Linnets have been ringed another new Twite and 4 more Rock Pipits colour ringed.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Tree Sparrows and Twite

A nice visit to the Regaby site on Thursday morning no wind and Sunshine, now that is a rarity of late.
As i type gale force winds howl outside.

17 birds caught at Regaby

3 new Tree Sparrows
4 new Goldfinch  1 retrap
1 new Greenfinch
1 new Blue Tit
2 new Chaffinch
1 retrap Robin
1 new Wren
2 Great Tits 1 new 1 retrap
1 House Sparrow

22 Tree Sparrows now ringed at this new site since March this year
Tree Sparrow

As i have mentioned gale force winds and rain have hampered most ringing activity over the last 3 weeks, seed has been placed at the whoosh site and birds are now starting to use it again even though it has been very windy it is still mild maybe when the temperature starts to drop more birds will be using it.

41 Birds ringed here this week

35 Linnets
1 retrap caught here in October 2011 and 1 in August 2012, 574 new Linnets Ringed at this site this year,  2785 since August 2010.

4 Goldfinch  473 ringed at this site

2 Twite
Always good to see the return of our wintering Twite to the Island. 6 seen on Friday hopefully numbers will rise to the normal 60+ we get most winters.

In the last 4 winters i have spent on the island a few female Merlin come to stay, with me feeding at the Point of Ayre and many finches about it would seem reasonable to assume these marvelous birds of prey would take advantage of this. On Friday i paid a visit to the site and as i pulled up a Merlin sat on one of the fence post i got out of the car and walk up to this bird and got with in 6ft of it. I obviously didn't want it about while i was trying to catch finches so i clap my hands and waved my arms and she still didn't move, when she did she flew 2 posts down either very hungry or just not bothered i was there.