About this page...

This page is run by Lundy Bird Observatory (LBO) as a source of news for everyone interested in the birds and wildlife of Lundy, situated 12 miles out in the Bristol Channel, UK. If you have sightings to report, please consider sharing your observations or photographs with the Bird Obs team here. While you're here, check out the companion website The Birds of Lundy for comprehensive updates to the book of the same name (Davis & Jones, 2007). All bird recording and ringing activities on Lundy are coordinated by LBO and general information about visiting the island can be found here.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Colour-ringed Wheatears – Can you help?

As some readers will be aware, Wheatears have been colour-ringed on Lundy for the last couple of years as part of the BTO's Retrapping Adults for Survival (RAS) scheme. This work, led by regular Lundy ringers Tony Taylor and Richard Taylor, has already come up with interesting results, not least a record-breaking estimate of 115 pairs for the island's breeding Wheatear population in 2014.

Photo: © Tony Taylor
The study is continuing in 2015 and visiting birdwatchers are invited to contribute by reporting details of any colour-ringed Wheatears they see. Most colour-ringing has been carried out along the island's south-west coastline, between the Castle and the Battery, but marked birds may be seen elsewhere. Please try to record as much information as possible, including:
  • Date
  • Location
  • Ring combination right leg
  • Ring combination left leg
  • Sex
  • Behaviour (e.g. singing / carrying food / entering nest site)
  • Photos – much appreciated too
Photo: © David Back
For each leg, please remember to state if you are reporting the sequence of rings starting from the top of the leg reading down; or from the bottom of the leg, reading up! The male Wheatear above, photographed in May 2014, would be recorded as: right leg = striped pale-green-and-black, over metal ring; left leg = red over green, reading down from the tops of both legs.

Sightings can be contributed either by writing them in the Lundy Field Society (LFS) logbook kept in the Tavern, or online (see Facebook link below). Results have been published in the LFS Annual Reports for 2013 and 2014 (latter in preparation), distributed free to LFS members.

Further information about the project can be found on this dedicated Facebook page.

Finally, over time (especially given that Wheatears winter south of the Sahara under strong African sun!), some of the colour rings start to fade, e.g. red becomes paler, while some of the banded rings lose definition. If you are unsure of the exact colours, please still report your sighting, giving as much information as possible.

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