Thursday, 14 January 2010

Nightingales in December?

Ian Dillon from the RSPB has just sent me the Paxton Bird Ringing Report for 2009 which we will put on the site soon. However, I thought you might be interested in his latest attempt to ring nightingales... in December! Of course he didn't try this at Paxton, but at Kogyae in central Ghana.

Ian writes:

"Ghana was great- wacky birds, animals, plants and insects. Not as many European migrants as I'd hoped but we did catch some - 45 birds of 9 species - but sadly none that had been ringed in Europe, never mind at Paxton. We did catch 3 nightingales and I've attached a photo which shows nightingale habitat in the background - dense almost impenetrable, way above head height grass with sparse tree cover."

Ian says that a second team has just left the UK (provided the airport was open). It will be very interesting to hear about their findings in due course as many of these areas will now have been burnt out, through semi-controlled local burning to prevent large scale wild fires but also to force wildlife out into the open for shooting. We expect large changes in the bird communities in these sites as a result so it will be interesting whether they still encounter nightingales there or where they have moved to.