19 February 2012

It'll be all Twite

After a lazy start to the morning following my aurora escapades during the early hours I got a phone call from my trainer to say that he was going to go out Twite ringing at lunchtime at our usual spot on East Mainland. I say usual in a loose sense as this would be the first visit this winter and my first visit to the site to ring since winter 2009/2010.

As I arrived on site my trainer has just released the whoosh net on the first batch of the day. I quickly joined him and started extracting the Twite from the net.

We were soon joined by another member of the ringing group and we set about ringing the catch. In additon to the metal ring we have been colour-ringing the birds to increase the chances of re-sightings.

Colour ringing of Twite has been part of a co-ordinated effort with members of the Highland and Grampian Ringing Groups throughout Northern Scotland to try and provide a better understanding of the movement of these birds. 

While two of us concentrated on the metal ring and the biometrics of the birds, my trainer looked after the colour ringing. We were also joined by another trainee from the group who helped out with the colour ringing as well as the other processing activities.

We made two more catches and by the end of the session had processed 120 Twite around half a dozen of which were retraps. Of these, one had been colour ringed here in Orkney a couple of years ago and two others which were also colour ringed and may possibly have been ringed on Fair Isle. We need to wait for confirmation on that.

Female Twite
Male Twite

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