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Monday, November 14, 2005

Marsh Tit Research

Saturday morning (12 Nov) was bright and I took a walk round the 388ha Roudsea Woods and Mosses National Nature Reserve where I have enlisted as a Voluntary Warden with English Nature. This is now my principal research site where I am engaged in an ongoing study of the survival of Marsh Tits Parus palustris.


Marsh Tit is on the "red data" list of those birds which have undergone a serious decline in recent years, and it appears that Roudsea Wood may be now the best stronghold in the country for this species.
I have uniquely colour-ringed some 180 birds which allows individual field recognition without the need for recapture.
Both English Nature and RSPB have become involved by using this marked population for more extensive studies on habitat utilisation. My preliminary observations suggest a high between-year survival rate of 60-70%. The picture shows a colour-ringed Marsh Tit.

Sunday (13th) dawned to the first ground frost of winter, followed by a cloudless windless morning. At Walney Bird Observatory caught Blackbirds, Song Thrushes and Greenfinches. A skein of 50 Pink-footed Geese flew over high in perfect V-formation. The Hooded Crow was still around, and a Merlin was chasing pipits over the salt marsh.

3 Comments:

Blogger Simon said...

Jim, is it possible for me to refer your blog to the Cumberland Bird Observers club?
I am sure Tony ( and many others) would be very interested in this!.

10:05 pm  
Blogger Maalie said...

No problem Simon.

12:17 pm  
Blogger carwynfowler said...

Nice changes!

9:59 pm  

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