Monday, 23 January 2012

Icelandic Turnstone

Craig, Ian, Peter, Will and I met at the Marine Lakes this morning for another session ringing Turnstones. Ian and I had been putting some food down for the past three days to get the birds used to feeding in a certain area and when we arrived this morning they were keen to come in and feed again.

We set the whoosh net up and caught 25 new birds and one with an Icelandic ring on! It will be interesting to find out when and where this bird was ringed. As usual they gave us headaches in terms of ageing them, but I guess it is just a case of getting more experience with them. I have included a few pictures from the morning below.

Feeding Turnstones 

Adult?


Icelandic ring wearing Turnstone - above and below


5 comments:

Mallimak said...

Sounds like a good mornings work with an interesting retrap.

Fleetwood Birder said...

The next job is to register a colour ringing project for them. Dare I say it, but the forecast is looking okay at the moment for Sunday so hopefully we'll be able to do some mist netting with you.

Mallimak said...

The ringing group here has been colour ringing Purple Sandpipers and Sanderling over the last few winters with some interesting sightings, so good luck with your project.

Would be nice to see some decent weather, last year when I came down at the end of Jan there was lots of snow!!

David Norman said...

Just a comment on ageing Turnstones. If our previous (Merseyside Ringing Group) experiences are anything to go by, they are mostly adults! In our last major successes in catching the species, in winter 1990/91, I have records of 191 Turnstones handled, of which just 10 were first-years. They are a long-lived species so low productivity would fit with their population dynamics, although the first-year: adult ratio probably varies quite a bit from year to year.

I think the easiest way of ageing the species is by feather-wear. The adults arrive here and then have a full moult, finishing in October-November, so their outer primaries are now only about three months old, while the first-year birds have the feathers they fledged with, now about six months old. As well as being twice as old, the first-year feathers are weaker, so they wear more, and are more pointed.

You'll just have to catch a lot more so that you get your eye in! Good luck!

Fleetwood Birder said...

Thanks David, this is really helpful. Out of the 26 that we processed yesterday we put 17 down as adults, so I think based on what you are saying we need to be a little more circumspect next time.

Cheers, Seumus