Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Twite metapopulation

Heysham Obs
A small catch of 15 Twite this morning provided further evidence of midwinter mixing and matching between the various flocks scattered down the coast between here and at least the Wyre. There were 6 unringed birds and only 2 out of 8 retraps had been previously retrapped.

Also most interestingly, the Walberswick (Suffolk)-ringed individual, trapped here on 5/11/08, was retrapped this morning. Does this start to firm-up the origin as a west Scottish bird which moved to Suffolk in its first ('waif and stray'?) winter (ringed 23/12/2006) or could it still be a (south) Pennine bird which unexpectedly followed the 'usual pattern' in its first winter, but not in this winter as an adult? Or could it be from somewhere else, such as the north Pennines? Where was it in winter 2007/8?

No other birds of interest seen!

Observer/ringer: Alan Draper

2 (presumably just the adults recorded) European White-fronted Geese just north of Bull Beck on the Lune floodplain. Short-eared Owl just inland of Cockerham Sands caravan park, Common Sandpiper Conder area.