Bird Ringing in Somerset

Ready to Ring

Birding in Somerset is relatively well served by those who monitor the diversity and distribution of birds but, for a large county, holds very few ringers. For those that don’t know, bird ringing involves the fitting of a lightweight, individually-numbered ring around a bird’s leg. Subsequent reports of these ringed birds can tell us a great deal about the survival and movements of wild bird populations within the county. Using this information, together with that from other BTO schemes, we can begin to understand and explain changes in bird populations.

Ringing generates information on the survival, productivity and movements of birds, helping us to understand why populations are changing.

How can you help?

Anyone can help to collect data by looking for ringed birds.  If you find a ringed bird, please report it to the BTO.  They will send you details of when and where it was ringed.

Learn to ring

The skills necessary to become a bird ringer can only be learnt by practice under the close supervision of experienced ringers. Essential skills include the safe and efficient trapping and handling of birds, identification, sexing, ageing, measuring and record keeping. For this reason, ringers undertake a period of training of at least one or two years, during which they are only allowed to ring birds under supervision.

 

As they learn more skills they progress through a series of permits, with independent assessments at each stage. In this way, the BTO Ringing Scheme maintains very high standards of bird welfare and data collection. A BTO ringing permit is a legal requirement to catch birds and is, in many ways, similar to a driving licence although it has to be renewed annually.

If you are interested in training to ring you can look for a trainer near you and have a 'taster session', or attend a ringing course for beginners.

Become a Nest Recorder

Many of our ringers are also nest recorders, find out more information on nesting success by visiting the Nest Record Scheme.

Latest Hot Bird Recoveries

Sometimes birds are re-trapped elsewhere in the county, abroad, or at the same site many years later. And occasionally we ring one of the rarer species.

Species Age Ringed Date Ringed Location Ringed Ringer Date Rec'd  Location Rec'd Age Rec'd Comment

Chaffinch

Siskin

Great Tit

Great Tit

Blue Tit

Pied Flycatcher

Pied Flycatcher

Siskin

Siskin

Dunnock

Chaffinch

Siskin

Siskin

Chiffchaff

Siskin

Dunnock

Siskin

Siskin

Blue Tit

Siskin

Coal Tit

Great Tit

Chaffinch

Adult

2nd year

2nd year

Pulli

Juv

In nest

Pulli

2nd yr

2nd yr

Juv

2nd yr

2nd yr

2nd yr

Juv

Juv

2nd yr

Juv

Juv

Pulli

Juv

Pulli

Juv

Adult

14/06/2016

12/06/2014

19/01/2017

20/06/2013

26/06/2012

07/06/2015

26/05/2011

14/04/2016

24/02/2016

30/11/2012

20/03/2013

06/03/2016

21/02/2016

21/01/4014

04/07/2014

04/05/2012

08/09/2014

30/07/2015

20/05/2015

19/07/2015

26/05/2014

18/08/2012

17/04/2010

Hedmark, Norway

Bratton, Minehead

Bratton, Minehead

Langport Sewage Works

Langport Sewage Works

Barlynch Wood

Dunsford, Devon

Bratton, Minehead

Bratton, Minehead

Langport WTW

Rodhuish, Minehead

Ashridge Farm, Devon

Straight Mile, Romsey

Merryfield Airfield

Bratton, Minehead

Langport WTW

Bratton, Minehead

Bratton, Minehead

Wellington School

Cnoc, Argyll and Bute

Nr Minehead

Langport WTW

Five Bells

Stavanger RG

Denise Wawman

Denise Wawman

Doug Miller

Doug Miller

Denise Wawman

DJ Price

Denise Wawman

Denise Wawman

Doug Miller

Karen Murray

Peter Burston

NR Jones

Roger Dickey

Denise Wawman

Doug Miller

Denise Wawman

Denise Wawman

Anna Jolliffe

Rob Furness

Denise Wawman

Doug Miller

John Webber

22/02/2017

18/02/2017

17/02/2017

10/11/2016

10/11/2016

13/06/2016

26/05/2016

04/05/2016

29/04/2016

28/04/2016

26/04/2016

14/04/2016

12/04/2016

03/04/2016

30/03/2016

08/03/2016

08/03/2016

29/02/2016

15/02/2016

11/03/2016

12/12/2015

12/11/2015

11/11/2015

Langport Sewage Works

Honiton, Devon

West Down, Devon

Langport Sewage Works

Langport Sewage Works

Bovey Valley, Devon

Barlynch Wood

Drummonf, Inverness

Llanfynydd, Carmarthenshire

Langport WTW

Cymer, Neath Port Talbot

Bratton, Minehead

Bratton, Minehead

Alderney, Channel Is

Chestfield, Whitstable

Langport WTW

Greenham, West Berkshire

Black Dog, Crediton

Voxmoor

Bratton, Minehead

Sadborrow, Dorset

Langport WTW

Cameley, Bath and N.E.Som

Adult

Adult

2nd yr

Adult

Adult

2nd yr

5 yrs

2nd yr

2nd yr

Adult

Adult

2nd yr

2nd yr

Adult

Adult

Adult

Adult

2nd yr

2nd yr

2nd yr

2nd yr

3 yrs

Adult

1409 km, 253 days

55 km, 982 days

45 km, 29 days

0 km, 1239 days

0 km, 1598 days

51 km, 372 days

41 km, 1827 days

696 km, 20 days

90 km, 65 days

0 km, 1245 days

62 km, 1133 days

43 km, 39 days

146 km, 51 days

148 km, 652 days

318 km, 635 days

0 km, 1404 days

155 km, 547 days

40 km, 579 days

3 km, 271 days

561 km, 236 days

63 km, 565 days

 

5 yrs, 208 days

Blackcap Juv 02/07/2015 Five Bells John Webber 03/11/2015 Faro, Portugal Juv 1616 km
Goldcrest Juv 15/10/2015 Kessingland, Suffolk NK 28/10/2015 Westhay Moor NNR Juv 337 km
Goldcrest 2nd yr 27/01/2015 Langport WTW Roger Dickey 04/10/2015 Heysham, Lancs 2nd yr 334 km
House Martin Adult 20/06/2013 Langport WTW Doug Miller 08/09/2015 Langport WTW Adult  
Pied Flycatcher Pulli 10/06/2010 Holford Combe Andy Harris 30/05/2013 Dunsford, Devon Adult  
          15/05/2014 Dunsford, Devon Adult  
          11/06/2015 Great Wood, Somerset Adult 5 yrs 1 day later
Blackcap 2nd yr 16/01/2014 Somerton Roger Dickey 26/06/2015 Hostovice, Czech Republic Adult 1319 km
Siskin Juv 07/10/2012 Bratton Denise Wawman 26/06/2015 Berriedale, Highland Adult 774 km
Siskin NK 06/10/2012 Bratton Denise Wawman 23/05/2015 Oxwich Marsh, Swansea Adult Retrapped 3 times

Note: Locations to be general and particularly for Schedule 1 species.

Ringing News

Following a sparse April with many birds sitting tight on nests, the May numbers are picking up including the usual migrants. The flurry of Firecrest captures has ended and replaced with Willow Warblers, Blackcaps, Whitethroats and Chiffchaffs. Greenfinch numbers have certainly picked up this year. Redstarts remain evasive. Sadly, the toll of recovered fledglings and adult birds through cat kills is on the rise. It still appears from the table above that Siskins ringed in any part of the UK end up in Denise Wawman's garden.

 Below: Ringed 16th Feb 2016 at Bratton

Below: Ringed at Carymoor

EURING 

Birds freely cross political boundaries, so international cooperation is essential if they are to be studied. EURING is the organization which ensures this cooperation for all aspects of scientific bird ringing within Europe. EURING was founded in 1963, with the stated aim of organizing and standardizing European scientific bird ringing.

Web address now in use on larger rings

The use of a web address on rings issued throughout Europe is co-ordinated by EURING. In addition to the standard postal address, increasing numbers of rings used on larger species carry the address www.ring.ac. This will take users to a multi-language website where they can enter details of the bird they have found. Finders will be informed about the ringing details of birds that they report in the usual way.

EURING encourages the analysis of ring recovery data

The EURING databank (EDB) holds ring recovery data gathered by bird ringing schemes throughout Europe and is hosted by the British Trust for Ornithology in Thetford. The EDB index, first published on their website in June 2004, and regularly updated, provides a summary of the information that is held in the EDB, including maps of the distributions of ringing and recovery locations. EURING wishes to promote more analysis of these data and welcomes applications to analyze particular data sets. Visit the EDB pages to find out more.

Contact a Ringer in Somerset

All reports of ringed birds should go to the BTO but should you require to contact Somerset ringers (eg ringers from outside the county processing birds within Somerset and wishing to submit data, or checks to ensure there is no one already ringing in an area etc) please contact bird.ringing@somersetbirding.org.uk.

Become a Member of Somerset Ornithological Society.