Colour Ringed House Sparrows

Discussion in 'Chatter' started by MisterT, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. MisterT

    MisterT Always Birding

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    We have been colour ringing House Sparrows in Askernish since November 2010 as part of a national survey known as Retrap of Adult for Survival (RAS) which is organised by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). Because our birds are colour ringed, it is possible to follow them year round which means that we can gain additional information over and above that collected for RAS.

    One such thread is dispersal. We have to date received reports of our colour ringed birds from other parts of the islands as far apart as South Glendale on South Uist and Balranald on North Uist. This additional information is now beginning to give us an insight into the movements of sparrows here in the Outer Hebrides plus enabling the BTO to model the survival patterns of our birds throughout the year.

    As our first juveniles begin to disperse, this is our annual appeal that should anyone see one of our colour ringed birds, we would welcome a report. The details can be posted here, emailed to askernish.sparrows@gmail.com or by using the "contact us" tab here on this website. The colour rings are easily visible being white with a black alpha numerical code ranging from AXX to PXX

    J40 at orasay.jpg J56 at orasay.jpg
    J40 and J56, both reported from Orasay, South Uist
     
  2. MisterT

    MisterT Always Birding

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    Today (23rd June) brought two reports of sightings from South Uist. A adult female (ring not read) was seen in Lochboisdale (6km) feeding young and a juvenile male (N39) was seen in South Glendale (11km), this being a favoured destination. N39 was ringed as a juvenile on 6th June. Many thanks to Kathy Stevenson and John Kemp for reporting these sightings

    N39Glendale2017.jpg
    N39 enjoying John Kemp's garden in South Glendale
     
  3. MisterT

    MisterT Always Birding

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    The female House Sparrow seen feeding young at Lochboisdale recently has been confirmed as L46. This bird was ringed as a juvenile on 20th June 2016 and recorded more than every other day here at Askernish until 1st November 2016. This is the first sighting of this bird since that date. Our thanks to Kathy Stevenson for this report

    Note:-
    5th July - N36, a juvenile ringed on 9th June 2017 and only seen once again on 29th June has joined L46 at Lochboisdale today
     
  4. MisterT

    MisterT Always Birding

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    Another sighting received today (9-July-17), that of L54 at Kilbride camp site, South Uist on 5th July. This bird was ringed as a juvenile in Askernish in June 2016, stayed until late July after which it was re-sighted in South Glendale October. It stayed there until in December and had not been seen since, until today. It looks more like a female Blackcap with some staining in it's head, perhaps it had been pollen feeding like the recent Rose-coloured Starling on Barra.
    Many thanks to Ray Morris, Jan Pritch and David Hughes for getting this to me.

    L54 KilbrideJuly2017.JPG

    The following is the full history:-

    Recapture History – House Sparrow (L54)

    N 3J 26/06/16 Askernish, South Uist, South Uist
    O 3J Sighted 28/06/16 Askernish, South Uist (2 days)
    O 3J Sighted 29/06/16 Askernish, South Uist (3 days)
    O 3J Sighted 01/07/16 Askernish, South Uist (5 days)
    O 3J Sighted 02/07/16 Askernish, South Uist (6 days)
    O 3J Sighted 05/07/16 Askernish, South Uist (9 days)
    O 3J Sighted 07/07/16 Askernish, South Uist (11 days)
    O 3J Sighted 08/07/16 Askernish, South Uist (12 days)
    O 3J Sighted 10/07/16 Askernish, South Uist (14 days)
    O 3J Sighted 11/07/16 Askernish, South Uist (15 days)
    O 3J Sighted 13/07/16 Askernish, South Uist (17 days)
    O 3J Sighted 14/07/16 Askernish, South Uist (18 days)
    O 3J Sighted 16/07/16 Askernish, South Uist (20 days)
    O 3J Sighted 17/07/16 Askernish, South Uist (21 days)
    O 3J Sighted 18/07/16 Askernish, South Uist (22 days)
    O 3J Sighted 21/07/16 Askernish, , South Uist (25 days)
    O 3J Sighted 24/07/16 Askernish, South Uist (28 days)
    S 2F Sighted 08/10/16 South Glendale, South Uist (11 km, SE, 104 days)
    S 2F Sighted 12/10/16 South Glendale, South Uist (11 km, SE, 108 days)
    S 2F Sighted 13/10/16 South Glendale, South Uist (11 km, SE, 109 days)
    S 2F Sighted 05/12/16 South Glendale, South Uist (11 km, SE, 172 days)
    S 2F Sighted 05/07/17 East Kilbride, South Uist (7km, SE, 398 days)

    Type:-
    N = New, date ringed
    O = Observation within 5Km of place ringed (in this case, Askernish)
    S = Sighting, more than 5km
    3J = Juvenile
    2F= Unaged Female
     
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  5. MisterT

    MisterT Always Birding

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    @BrianR reports that both L25 and L98 are still resident in his garden in Carinish, North Uist. These birds were first reported by Brian in November 2016 when they were first year birds. Although only 37 Km from Askernish, South Uist where they were originally ringed, this is a long distance movement for what is considered to be a sedentary species.

    HOUSP-L25CarinishNorthUist2016.jpg L98-BriansGarden.JPG
    L25 & L98 enjoying life at Carinish
     
  6. MisterT

    MisterT Always Birding

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    While checking the resident flock of House Sparrows at North Smerclete, in amongst them was O18! This bird was ringed as a juvenile, still being fed by its parents on 2nd August 2017, and has already moved 10 Km.
     
  7. MisterT

    MisterT Always Birding

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    Returning to North Smerclete today to scan the resident House Sparrows there, I found another colour ringed bird today, J32, an adult male. This bird is very interesting in as much that it is the first adult bird to be seen in TWO locations as it is generally thought that once past their first breeding season, they then remain sedentry. The following are all sightings of this bird.

    Recapture History - House Sparrow (J32)

    Ringed - juvenile 27-06-14 Askernish, South Uist
    Sighted - juvenile 04-07-14 Askernish, South Uist 7 days
    Sighted - adult male 14-03-16 South Glendale, South Uist 11 km, 1 yr 261 days
    Sighted - adult male 24-08-17 Smerclete, South Uist 10 km 3 yrs 58 days
     
  8. MisterT

    MisterT Always Birding

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    News today of two more colour ringed House Sparrows turning up around the islands. O14, a juvenile ringed earlier this year has moved south to Lochboisdale South Uist and joined L36 and N46 (see post #3 above).

    Recapture History - House Sparrow (O14)

    Ringed – juvenile 30/07/17 Askernish, South Uist
    Sighted – juvenile 18/09/17 Askernish, South Uist (50 days)
    Sighted – adult male 30/10/17 Boisdale, South Uist (7 km, ESE, 92 days)

    Meanwhile N53, another juvenile ringed earlier this year, has moved 23 Km north to Carnan, South Uist. The recapture history below shows just how quickly they become independent and move on.

    Recapture History - House Sparrow (N53)

    Ringed – juvenile 15/06/17 Askernish, South Uist
    Sighted – juvenile 16/06/17 Askernish, South Uist (1 day)
    Sighted – juvenile 17/06/17 Askernish, South Uist (2 days)
    Sighted – juvenile 18/06/17 Askernish, South Uist (3 days)
    Sighted – juvenile 19/06/17 Askernish, South Uist (4 days)
    Sighted – juvenile 20/06/17 Askernish, South Uist (5 days)
    Sighted – juvenile 21/06/17 Askernish, South Uist (6 days)
    Sighted – adult male 08/11/17 Carnan, South Uist (23 km, NNE, 146 days)
     
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  9. MisterT

    MisterT Always Birding

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    I am normally asking others to look out for my ringed House Sparrows but here at Askernish, I trapped one that had been ringed elsewhere. After a few enquiries, I found that it had been ringed by Mark Oksien earlier this year on 18th September at Garrygall, Barra (See map). Not only has this bird moved 26Km, this is the first time we have recorded a House Sparrow crossing water to other islands.

    We have long hoped for and anticipated this happening, but we expected that it would be one of our colour ringed birds turning up in Barra, not the other way round.

    As Bruce Taylor commented we think with the way Calmac has operated of late, we can rule out ship assistance!
     
  10. MisterT

    MisterT Always Birding

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    During the latter part of October and into November, Bill had noticed that there were 3 unringed House Sparrows (2 female 1 male) amongst our regular flock here at Askernish, South Uist. While Bill was away I had access to his garden, which gave me the opportunity to mount a concerted effort to try and trap and colour ring them.

    As is always the case with House Sparrows, it was not as easy as it sounds but over a 16 day period, I managed to trap and ring not 3, but 13 new House Sparrows including a control (a bird that had been ringed previously in Barra - see post above).

    Having caught so many, you would be right in thinking that there would be no more unringed birds, but there are now 6 (4 male 2 female).

    The fact that there have been so many new birds in the space of 2 weeks would suggest that the movement of House Sparrows (probably juveniles) is far more extensive than we had originally thought, especially as non of the newly ringed birds (O55 – O67) have been seen since the day that they were ringed.
     
  11. MisterT

    MisterT Always Birding

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    After finding our first House Sparrow to cross water to reach another island, imagine how the news of yet another bird to do the same was recieved.

    Having recently ringed 13 new birds here at Askernish, none of which were seen again (see previous post), which indicated that birds were moving in unusual numbers. Now another bird (O54) has made the reverse journey, turning up in Bruce Taylors garden in Brevig, Barra.(see map)

    O54 was indeed the first of the 13 new birds to be ringed on 7th November. Dare we dream of one turning up in Harris/Lewis or the mainland

    O54 Barra Bruce Taylor Nov 17 tiddled.jpg
    O54 enjoying the menu at Brevig, Barra courtesy of Bruce Taylor
     
  12. MisterT

    MisterT Always Birding

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    News of the "Barra Sparra" is spreading! It now features on the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) Demog Blog which can be read here
     
  13. MisterT

    MisterT Always Birding

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    News from John Kemp about a number of sparrows seen in his garden at South Glendale throughout this year, this being a distance of 11 Km

    2 birds that were ringed as juveniles in 2016 were there in the early part of the year:-
    L55 - present January 'till March
    L87 - present January

    Birds that were ringed as juveniles this year (2017) that were seen are:-
    N39 - June 'till September, & then November
    N69 - June 'till September
    N74 - July, August, October & November
    N80 - August 'till November
    O09 - October & November
    O18 - October & November
    O31 - November.

    South Glendale is a site where colour ringed sparrows are seen annually indicating that this post juvenile dispersal is a regular occurrence here on the islands.

    O18 is interesting as it has been seen in between the time it left Askernish and arriving at South Glendale (see previous post #6) having been spotted in North Smerclete, near to Glendale on19th August (see map)

    Recapture History - House Sparrow (O18)

    Ringed - juvenile 02-08-17 Askernish, South Uist
    Sighted - juvenile 19-08-17 Smerclete, South Uist 10 km 17 days
    Sighted - adult male 29-10-17 South Glendale, South Uist 11 km, 88 days

    It is worthy of note that the distances quoted in the above recapture history relate to "as the crow flies" from Askernish and not the actual distance the bird travelled
     

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