Promoting observation, free range exploration, sense of place and citizen science, through the field notes of a naturalist.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Inform BTO

Its only rarely you get the opportunity to view the legs and feet of gulls and wildfowl. This recent cold snap has done the trick by hosting those usually submerged 'pins' from the icy depths to a position where they can be checked for Ratner style jewellery. At Bryn Bach Park yesterday there were several hundred assorted gulls along with a smaller number of coot, mallard and mute swan all standing on the frozen lake. The two ringed mute swan blogged on 5 December were joined by three other ringed birds of consecutive numbers. Now present are numbers ZY4632-33-34-35-36. Also noted was the above coot with ring number GC60061.

For gulls more than wildfowl ringers will certainly get more 'bang for their buck' if they use Darvic or colour rings in conjunction with the standard metal rings. With optical advances these days reading and photographing birds with rings is easier than ever but often still requires the bird to be viewed from several angles to read a full number. Ringers would get back more data if colours and larger numbers were available to view in the field, after all plotting the movements of birds is what ringing is all about and anything that enhances this must be worth it. By example the two ringed herring gull at Dunlop Semtex Pond recently were too distance to read a small number on a discoloured  metal ring but with a colour ring things may have been different.


  1. Hi Steve,

    All the ringed wildfowl you've mentioned on the your blog are mine. All birds were ringed at Bryn bach. The two swans reported earlier were ringed on the 16/11/2010 and the other between Xmas and new year. The coot was also ringed around this time. Colour ringing would be a good idea, but due to me not being local anymore its not worth setting one up for a site which i might only ring at a couple of times a year. In Dorset we colour ring both Coot and Mute Swan.

    Would be good over time to see if these swans stick around, according to locals one of the pair at the lake died in the autumn leaving just one full adult bird.



  2. Luke

    Good to hear from you. I had a feeling it was someone local due to the newness of the rings. I did mention to Jerry Lewis who suggested it maybe a mid Wales ringer.

    Love the blog. Keep up the good work.


  3. I clocked the swans there a while ago so couldn't resist the chance to ring a few swans whilst on 'holiday' to wales. Don't when the last Mute Swans were ringed in the county. BTO website only show county totals back to 2006 and theres not records of swans being ringed during those years. Will be nice to see if any breed at Bryn bach this year. Apparently one of the adults (probably the cob) died back in the autumn according to locals. Out of the five, theres only 1 full adult, one a cygnet and the others were sub adult.

  4. I remember ringing mute swan back in the 1980's at Llandegfedd Reservoir. My overriding memory was underestimating the strength of the birds.


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