2015 Ringing week

Short-eared Owl (Lucy Murgatroyd)

Short-eared Owl (Lucy Murgatroyd)

East Yorkshire Ringing Group in collaboration with FBOG have been running the annual Ringing Week since 1986, making this the 29th year. The week alternates around the middle two weeks of October and this year it was planned from 17th–24th. Despite losing two days to poor weather, the week was a great success as far as ringing, training and networking is concerned as we had seven visiting ringers of varying skills and qualifications and numerous interested members of the public, birders and two pre-arranged groups. The feedback from these folk was very positive and the EYRG team are looking forward to arranging our next and 30th ringing week in 2016. The dates should be October 8th – 15th – but keep an eye on the website.

Siskin (Lucy Murgatroyd)

Siskin (Lucy Murgatroyd)

I’ve had the pleasure of being ringer-in-charge and organising the last 29 ringing weeks, and in the early years it was almost a one man job! However, now I have a good team and would like to thank Lucy, Dan and Craig and the Derwent Valley team for clearing the ringing lanes, and Chris for his expert ‘quartermaster’ role and storage and transport of equipment. The trainers and ringers helped to demonstrate ringing to visitors, which also took some of the responsibility off me for the week.

During the week up to 16 nets were opened when weather and wind allowed and we trapped and processed 473 birds, of which 418 were newly ringed. Strangely enough, the top species this year was Long-tailed Tit with 110 ringed, followed by 78 Greenfinches (nice to see the numbers starting to rebuild after the appalling trichomonosis years) and 76 Goldcrests hanging on from the previous weeks’ fall along the east coast. Star bird this year was not a rarity but a superb Short-eared Owl, which was found in the net – a ringing first for Filey and, thanks to Ian, a first for me! No foreign-ringed birds were controlled, but we did have a British Goldcrest control (ringing site not yet known – watch this space).

Mrs Murgatroyd Snr releasing Long-tailed Tits!

Mrs Murgatroyd Snr releasing Long-tailed Tits!

It’s not all about ringing, and we record visible migration over the site every year: eight Whooper Swans and various birds of prey kept us alert, and other taxa are recorded such as the numerous Speckled Wood and Comma butterflies and two fascinating Peppered Moth caterpillars imitating the twigs of the Dog Wood that they were feeding on.

Making plans so far ahead can of course easily be scuppered by the weather, and we lost the middle (Wednesday 21st) and end (Saturday 24th) to poor weather forecasts. It’s frustrating when the forecast can be wrong and the weather isn’t as bad as predicted, but on both days the team had made alternative arrangements, so apologies to those who wanted to see some ringing.

Looking forward to 2016 already!

Peter J Dunn FBOG/EYRG Ringing Officer