Recoveries January 2016
January 2016 has two recoveries of note (returned to us by the BTO (British Trust of Ornithology) in January rather than recovered in January). Recoveries will become a common theme on this blog and basically concern the recovery of a ring on a bird which has already been rung. So this could be a bird which another ringer has caught in their net, or more often than not one that a member of the public has found dead, injured or just got close enough to observe the ring on the living bird. If you do find a bird with a ring on details of how to report this to the BTO and contribute to bird conservation can be found in the link below.
Recoveries for January concerned two birds a Greenfinch and perhaps more notably a Goldcrest.
The Goldcrest was rung in Filey on the 12th October 2015 and was subsequently recaptured on the 17th October 2015 at Llangorse Lake, Powys, mid-Wales (see map). This constitutes to a trip of 323km (assuming it flew in a straight line) in 5 days. Many of our Goldcrests in Autumn are Scandinavian, central and eastern European birds (from our ringing data) so it is likely this bird made landfall and carried on to winter in the milder south west or further south into Europe.
The second bird, a Greenfinch, was rung in Filey on the 30th August 2015 as a juvenile Female and was unfortunately found freshly dead in Hunmanby, North Yorkshire on the 10th January 2016 133 days after ringing (see Map). This local movement of 6km is fairly typical of our resident greenfinch, especially having had such a mild winter. Unfortunately a lot of recoveries are of dead birds however this still gives us valuable information on how long individuals are living, key periods of mortality and in some cases mortality hotspots. Greenfinch are particularly susceptible to a protozoan parasite called Trichomoniasis which frequently affects birds in urban areas where they gather at artificial feeding stations (creating mortality hotspots). We can also identify if certain sexes or ages are more susceptible to different forms of mortality, as we see with juvenile Greenfinch and Trichomoniasis. More details of this illness and greenfinch can be seen below in Return of the Greenfinch.