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

February 2019 - one of our Pied Wagtails turns up at Heathrow Airport

Only 85 new birds of 17 species this month, of which 26 Blue Tits and 22 Great Tits were the majority.

However, there were several reports of ringed Mute Swans and details of a Cetti’s Warbler, whilst Woolley Firs produced an interesting control - a Chaffinch ringed in Norway; spending its winter in Berkshire.

A public ringing demonstration at Woolley Firs for BBOWT was well received and the trust's buildings provided protection from the strong 30-40mph gusts that crossed the sites.

The ring of a Pied Wagtail was read at Heathrow Airport in March - we had ringed it in July 2015 at Stanwellmoor Gravel Pits.

Monday, 18 February 2019

January 2019 - Norway & Gibraltar recoveries received

204 new birds of 20 species got the year off to a good start for the hardy teams that ventured out.

Unsurprisingly, Blue and Great Tit topped the list with 85 and 30 each, but Goldcrest and Long-tailed Tit tied for third on 14.

Nice species to get on the list were 3 Meadow Pipit, a Fieldfare, Cetti’s Warbler, Blackcap and Lesser Redpoll. Details of a number of recoveries were received from the BTO. Notably, the Redwing from December 2018 ringed in 908km away in Rogaland, Norway in the autumn of 2017 and a Blackcap, ringed by the group at Minet last August and recaptured 1,754km away in Gibraltar last August.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Norwegian Redwing - December 2018

Ringing sessions were hampered by unsettled weather but most sites managed at least one outing although catches were often low.

The total of over 193 new birds of 20 species brought some surprises with Redwing ringed at most sites and their total of 33 put them in second place after Blue Tit on 39.

Other good December species were a Meadow Pipit at Woolley Firs, a Blackcap at Iver Heath and 3 Chiffchaff, at Bedfont and Wraysbury. Finches and buntings were hard to come by with only 7 ringed in the period.

There were controls of Cetti’s Warbler at Stanwellmoor and a Norwegian Redwing which are awaiting ringing details.

Cetti's Warbler & Chiffchaff movements - November 2018

A quiet month with only 138 birds of 16 species ringed, 131 being at Woolley Firs targeting Blue Tits for the BTO post-juvenile moult survey.

Needless to say, Blue Tits were the top species at 64 but there were also 5 Collared Doves at Tythebarns and 5 Redwing and a Mistle Thrush at Woolley Firs. Mistle Thrush is actually our rarest thrush at Group sites, the last being at Tythebarns in April 2015.

A control of a Wraysbury-ringed Cetti’s Warbler in 2018 was the first long-distance movement of a group-ringed bird, recapture at Titchfield Haven, Hampshire; and a Chiffchaff made a rapid journey to the Portsmouth from Wraysbury taking just 5 days in September/October of 2018.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Redwing recovered north of Arctic Circle - October 2018

A rather quiet month with only 258 birds ringed – our lowest October total for 10 years. Bedfont managed two sessions with a third rained off, but added Kingfisher. Elsewhere, top species was Lesser Redpoll at 65 followed by 20 Goldcrest, 17 Meadow Pipit, and 15 Redwing.

There were recoveries of rapid Blackcap controls from both Cambridgeshire (after 9 days) and Derbyshire (after 10 days). But by far the most interesting recovery was a Redwing, ringed by RRG at Black Park CP in November last year and found, this month, near Sodankylä, Finland; 2,300km north-east and well north of the Arctic Circle.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Fair weather for bird ringing - September 2018

Grey Wagtail
Good weather conditions had ringing take place on most weekends and some mid-week
sessions too.

The result was the highest September total, 1206, since 2013 (1397). Blackcap comprised nearly 40%
of the catch at 473, followed by Chiffchaff, nearly 18%, at 216.

Highlights were a Grey Wagtail at Surrey (rarely caught at our sites), 50 House Martins at Wraysbury and 27 Willow Warblers. Other warblers tailed away with few after mid-month, but small numbers of finches spoke of things to come.