Friday, 18 October 2019

September - high catches kick-off the month but weather stops the migration survey

A rather frustrating month with only Bedfont, Wraysbury and Tythebarns in operation and the weather being uncooperative after 22nd.

The sessions that were held were very productive with Wraysbury processing over 200 on each of two sessions and Bedfont 40-50, so the total of 737 would have been much higher with better weather.

Blackcap was top species at 397 (54% of the total) with Chiffchaff at 112 and Blue Tit trailing at 52. Noteworthy were 6 Lesser Whitethroat, 7 Whitethroat and 7 Willow Warblers; the only Sedge Warbler ringed, was at Bedfont.

Friday, 13 September 2019

August - Highest numbers since 2015

August gave a magnificent total of 1,513 new birds of 32 species; the highest since 1,590 in 2015.

The top four species now (and in 2015) were 628 Blackcap (417), 208 Whitethroat (241), 150 Chiffchaff (123) and 123 Garden Warbler (179).

Among the less-frequent warblers were 21 Willow Warbler (33), 18 Lesser Whitethroat (22) and 4 Sedge Warbler (22). This follows the national trend for Willow Warblers where numbers are falling in the south of England; whereas the fall in Sedge Warbler, while may be impacted by habitat degradation, requires further study to understand.

Highlights this month were 4 Tree Pipit (Stanwellmoor and Wraysbury) and a Redstart at Wraysbury.

Recoveries included a Common Tern we colour-ringed at Bedfont Lakes in July 2016, sighted, this month, at 138km northwards at Rutland Water.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

July - Nightingale returns to Wraysbury

Nightingale (Chris & Denise Lamsdell)
The July total of 855 is the highest since 2011 and 33 species gave a good spread, including our first Nightingale for 4 years (Wraysbury) and a welcome 18 Common Tern pulli.

Blackcap was top species with 267 with Whitethroat some way behind at 105 and Blue Tit on 85. But among the 546 new warblers there was only one Lesser Whitethroat (Bedfont) and one Willow Warbler (Wraysbury).

Other less-frequently ringed species this month were a Sand Martin (Stanwellmoor), 15 Swallow, a Jackdaw, 19 Starling and 7 House Sparrow.

June - Red Kite visit RRG

Typical – we wait sixteen months for a new species for the group list then two come along together!

Three Red Kites were attracted to the Iver Heath garden, together with a Lesser Black-backed Gull.
Red Kite (Chris & Denise Lamsdell)

Statistically, LBBG was already on the list on the basis of some holiday ringing in Cornwall over 40 years ago, but this is the first within the Runnymede area. Also unusual were four Lapwing pulli at Langley Vale, and altogether the July total was 378 new birds of 32 species.

Juveniles swelled the catches with Blackcap the most numerous at 89, Whitethroat at 41 and Chiffchaff at 30.

Monday, 10 June 2019

May - Little Ringed Plover returns

A productive month with the total of 331 new birds of 27 species; well up to expectations.

The number of pulli ringed, at 112, were lower than usual making the number of free-flying birds ringed is actually the highest since 2016.

Little Ringed Plover made a welcome return to the list (the last ones ringed by the group was in 2010) and Blue Tit (81) and Great Tit (43) led the species – but most were boxlings.

Otherwise, Long-tailed Tit was top at 35 followed by Robin on 31 and Whitethroat on 29th.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

April - we welcome our returning migrants

Returning migrants gave a welcome boost to the April total of 155 new birds of 21 species. 

Almost half were Blackcap (76), a long way ahead of Chiffchaff at 11. The only Lesser Whitethroat was at Tythebarns, Whitethroat (4) and Willow Warbler (3) at Wraysbury, and Garden Warbler (3) at Bedfont and Wraysbury.

Some early-season finches featured Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Linnet.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

March 2019 - Chaffinch flies 890km from Norway to Berkshire

The wet and windy first half to the month meant fewer ringing sessions were held and only 67 new birds were ringed but with a similar number of retraps.

Blackcap and Chiffchaff featured well and two Linnet were good at Wraysbury.

Top species was again Blue Tit on 13. DemOn gave rapid results for three controls:


  • a Water Pipit colour-ringed in January 2018 on Stanwellmoor was seen on Staines Moor in March this year.
  • a Chiffchaff ringed in Northumberland in 2016 was recorded at Wraysbury, 431km away, in March this year
  • last month's Chaffinch at Woolley Firs was ringed in Norway, 890km away, last October