Enthusiasm, keenness, dedication plus considerable knowledge of bird identity are descriptions of our two speakers, both of whom are experienced Devon bird ringers. Jon Avon and Nik Ward gave a most interesting and enjoyable talk on an introduction to bird ringing to an eager group of birders at Mutley Baptist Church, Plymouth on 4th November.
Jon, manager of Stover Country Park, near Newton Abbott explained how data collected from 100 years of ringing has allowed the BTO to piece together the migratory routes of various species. He described how studies on ringing e.g. Constant Effort Site Surveys show whether birds are site faithful and their survival rates, dependent how severe the challenges they face. He has been involved with several ringing studies and published one on siskins at Stover. This summer he was ringing lapwing chicks on Dartmoor and currently garden bird ringing is a major interest and study area for him.
Nik spends many hours at Slapton Bird Observatory, Slapton Ley ringing and training groups. He relayed ‘The Day in The Life of a Ringer’ along with his busy programme during the year, including ringing manx shearwaters on the cliffs of Lundy. He demonstrated the use of a mist net in the hall to capture a mock great northern diver, also the handling of a bird after capture and the equipment used to ‘process’ the bird. Taking measurements, weight, assessment of fat on the bird and age all are required prior to ringing. Use of metal rings means the need to recapture birds or report the tag number after death but these days coloured rings on birds legs in various compilations can give information without recapture. Both need reporting to www.ring.ac.
For Your Diary.
Come and join us for our next exciting meeting, where Roger Finnamore and Greg Curno will talk about peregrines in ‘A Life on the Ledge – A Pilgrim’s Tail’ on 17th February 2014 at 7.30pm in Mutley Baptist Church, Mutley Plain, Plymouth PL4 6LB. Both Roger and Greg are part of the South West Peregrine Group. All are welcome.