This is foreseen to be an occasional blog relating to bird ringing at Abbotsbury Swannery. The site has operated as a BTO Constant Effort Site since 1995 and has taken part in the BTO Swallow Roost Project. In recent years we have concentrated in the autumn with both Yellow and Pied/White Wagtails. In 2009 we joined the Woodcock Network.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Autumn under way!

Following a morning visit on the 26th  when Luke caught over 50 birds we went down this morning and managed 79. Typically this time of year they were mainly Sedge Warblers and also a good number of Willow Warblers, but not equalling Lukes Willow Warbler total from  the previous day.

Highlight though was practically the first bird extracted of the morning - a French ringed Sedge Warbler. Mauretania would be good - this would match the control there of one of our birds last winter.  Also this morning a Grasshopper Warbler- unusually though- extracted from the top shelf!

Willow Warbler

A few Blackcaps were caught and also a couple of Goldfinchs. Just prior to packing up a delightful Treecreeper jumped into the net


The overnight Pied Wagtail roost was estimated at 60-70 birds - at least this many birds were feeding on the round-up area just after first light. An evening visit is planned if the calm weather continues to catch them and also start Swallow roosting as a small passage was noted during the morning

Grasshopper Warbler

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

A review of Sedge Warbler movements since 1995

Following on from the recent news of two Abbotsbury ringed Sedge Warblers a review of 'to and from' for this species may be appropriate

Birds controlled from Abbotsbury (numbers involved in brackets)
Teifi Marshes, Cardigan, Wales(2)
Worthing, Sussex  (1)
Icklesham, Sussex (8)
Gosforth Park, Newcastle upon Tyne (1)
Spalding, Lincs (1)
Combwich, Bridgewater, Somerset  (1)
Billingham Beck, Cleveland (1)
Golfe du Morbihan, France  (1)
Etang Trunvel/Treogat, France (5)
Loire Atlantique, France (5)
Diawling National Park, Mauretania, West Africa (1)

Birds controlled at Abbotsbury (numbers in brackets)
Strathclye Park, Scotland (1)
Helton Tarn,Witherslack, Cumbria (1)
St Nicholas at Wade, Kent (1)
Christchurch, Hampshire  (2)
Thatcham, Berkshire  (1)
Leighton Moss, Lancs  (2)
Kenfig Pool, Glamorgan, Wales  (1)
Uskmouth, Gwent. Wales  (1)
Strand Lough, Co Down, Northern Ireland (1)
Romsey, Hampshire (1)
Barrow-in Furness, Cumbria  (1)
Caerlaverock, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland  (3)

There have also been many local recoveries/ controls between Abbotsbury and Radipole Lake in Weymouth over the years.

Apart from the few birds in central and eastern England most movements are almost true north - south. From the result early moving Sedge Warblers (first week of August) tend to move east from Abbotsbury , then across the Channel and along the French coast. Later birds (end of August) seem to fly direct to the French coast.

On a  chance visit to Etang Trunvel two years ago I met Bruno Bargain, who runs the bird ringing there. The site is quite remarkable. It plays a big part in the RSPB/Birdlife Aquatic Warbler Project.