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bird NOTES.

Byline: WITH JULIAN HUGHES

The latest report from the British Trust for Ornithology highlights the contribution made by ringers to our knowledge of birds. Last year, ringers - almost all volunteers - attached an individually-numbered alloy band to the legs of almost a million birds.

Among the longevity records broken in 2013 was the oldest ever Buzzard, found dead in Cumbria over 28 years after it was ringed in its nest just a few miles away. The average lifespan of a Buzzard is 12 years; this one was learning to fly as Bob Geldof climbed on to the stage at Live Aid.

Other birds living beyond the average include a 32-year-old Herring Gull in Glamorgan, and an 11-year-old Great Spotted Woodpecker in Norfolk.

Ringing also shows how birds move: a Pied Flycatcher that hatched near Lake Vyrnwy in summer 2012, was found breeding in the Lake District in 2013.Aside from ringers re-catching ringed birds, information also comes from the public, who report ring numbers on dead birds they find.

Thanks to digital photography, birds can be reported while they're still alive: the BTO was able to show that a Black-necked Grebe breeding in northern England was ringed last autumn in southwest Spain, showing where our scarce breeding Grebes spend the winter.

Last week's White-winged Black Tern put on a good show at NWWT's Cemlyn reserve, Anglesey, for a couple of days, before relocating to Seaforth, near Liverpool. With only a couple of Welsh records since 2000, this Russian breeding species has become a real rarity, and it was great to see one in fine breeding plumage.

Other highlights include a Garganey at Malltraeth Cob, three Quails singing near Denbigh Moor's Llyn Alwen, and seven Storm-petrels ringed on Bardsey, their largest catch for six years. A smart Mediterranean Gull was in the high-tide roost at RSPB Conwy on Monday, where a brood of 9 Shelduck chicks were a nice surprise.

Go birding Today, 11am: Wildlife story-telling for the under-5s; free, RSPB Conwy.

Fri, 9pm: Nightjar walk, Cors Bodgynydd, followed by moth-trapping. Meet at SH 773 588.

Sat, 10.30am-4pm: Fine art exhibition of bird prints, RSPB Conwy; 11am: free guided walk, RSPB Conwy.

Sun, 11am: Guided walk, Lake Vyrnwy. Tel: 01691 870278 to book.

Wed, 7pm: Free Summer Evening Stroll, RSPB Conwy.

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 26, 2014
Words:385
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