We had a handful of recoveries recently from the BTO and two stood out as particularly interesting. Not long distant movements but helping to paint the picture of where birds from local populations move to.
Over the past few years we have had an exchange of birds with ringers in the Isle of Man and these in the main have concerned Carduelis finches, namely Goldfinch, Lesser Redpoll and Linnet. We were recently notified about Goldfinch L141677 that we ringed at Rossall School, Fleetwood, Lancashire on 4th October 2010 and this bird was recaptured by members of the Manx Ringing Group on 10th April 2013. Please see Google Earth image below.
It seems likely that when we ringed this bird on 4th October 2010 it was probably heading south and west to winter quarters and this may have been the Isle of Man. When the Manx ringers caught the bird on 10th April 2013 it was probably heading back to breeding grounds on mainland UK. Interesting stuff!
The second bird concerns Tree Sparrow TS97113 that was ringed as a chick by Paul from one of his boxes near Staining, Lancashire on 20th June 2012 and captured by members of Southwest Lancs Ringing Group at a winter feeding station 19 km to the southeast at New Longton, Lancashire on 16th January and 9th February 2013. See Google Earth image below.
Having fledged from the Staining area this bird was obviously spending the winter further southeast at a farmland bird feeding station near New Longton. It is important to have data like this to help in Tree Sparrow conservation as it gives information on how far birds move to winter and where to locate winter feeding stations or encourage farmers to take up agri-environment schemes to create winter feeding areas on their farms.