BTO Cymru

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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Norweigian Hawfinch

A startling fact alluded to by Jerry Lewis during his talk at the WOS/BTO conference on woodland birds, was that there were more records for Barred Warblers ringed in the UK than Hawfinches. Jerry perfected a technique for catching Hawfinches in the Forest of Dean and challenged more ringers to study this difficult woodland species. David Smith has been studying Hawfinch in the Dolgellau area for a number of years, and this spring he and Tony Cross teamed up to try and further their knowledge of the birds locally. Incredibly a total of 128 birds were caught and ringed between March and May 2011, far more than the local population was expected to be. On 6th April an adult male was caught bearing a Norwegian ring!!.

photo Tony Cross

It had originally been ringed as an adult male at Mandal, Norway on the 15th April 2010, so had travelled a distance of 925 km in a time span of 356 days. Amazingly this is not the first Norwegian-ringed bird caught in Wales, Jerry Lewis also controlled a bird from Norway in 2010,which might suggest that Scandinavian birds are regular winter visitors.

Tony has been individually colour-ringing the birds and already reports are being received of ringed birds with chicks in gardens. There would appear to be a lot more to be learnt about the elusive Hawfinch in Wales.

View hawfinches in a larger map

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