Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

UK Poor System

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Friday 15th June 2018, 13:11   #1
Gander
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Fife or middle of North Sea
Posts: 1,333
UK Poor System

I have noticed a definite difference between reporting ringed birds that I find to UK ringing schemes and Scandinavian schemes. Basically, the response I get from UK schemes is pretty poor. It either takes forever or there is no response at all.

In comparison, the ringed gulls I find that are from Norway/Denmark can be reported online, and I'll have a full history in minutes.

If getting feed back is important to UK ringers then they should really get their act together. I have previously gone out of my way to photograph and report tagged birds in my local area, but am feeling less and less inclined to do so.

As an example, please see attached BHG photo (2EBD). Scheme and ringer tracked down using CR-Birding. E-mail sent. No response.

Photo of GBBG (X.058) also attached. I have not been able to track down ringer for this bird. Both birds photographed on 13th of March in Fife.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN1069.jpg
Views:	38
Size:	412.5 KB
ID:	666043  Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN1105.jpg
Views:	106
Size:	328.9 KB
ID:	666044  
Gander is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 15th June 2018, 13:59   #2
BimmyB
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: UK
Posts: 93
You're not alone with this, I'm still waiting on a UK ringed Ringed Plover - four years and counting and a similar time span on a UK ringed Oystercatcher. Yet a Danish ringed Great Black-backed Gull I reported I received a full history within three days and a Dutch ringed Spoonbill a similarly quick response. What can be done though? they all do it voluntarily, but they all expect us to report our sightings.
BimmyB is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 15th June 2018, 15:25   #3
Farnboro John
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 12,682
Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmyB View Post
You're not alone with this, I'm still waiting on a UK ringed Ringed Plover - four years and counting and a similar time span on a UK ringed Oystercatcher. Yet a Danish ringed Great Black-backed Gull I reported I received a full history within three days and a Dutch ringed Spoonbill a similarly quick response. What can be done though? they all do it voluntarily, but they all expect us to report our sightings.
But isn't the ringing system BTO controlled? Why isn't there a central clearing house for the information?

It certainly does sound like a poor system and not just poor operation.

John
Farnboro John is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 15th June 2018, 16:02   #4
BimmyB
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: UK
Posts: 93
It is BTO controlled, but as I understood it, when you submit a sighting to them, they identify the ringing scheme/ringer and pass the sighting on to them, it's then down to the ringer to contact you to give you feedback on life history etc. unless I've missed the point somewhere along the lines. It is frustrating to report something in the name of helping science, then never hear any outcome. I wonder how many people subsequently think 'I won't bother again'?

Sometimes though, you do get a quick response from a British ringer, so they're not all as bad as the examples above.
BimmyB is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 16th June 2018, 09:50   #5
Farnboro John
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 12,682
Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmyB View Post
It is BTO controlled, but as I understood it, when you submit a sighting to them, they identify the ringing scheme/ringer and pass the sighting on to them, it's then down to the ringer to contact you to give you feedback on life history etc. unless I've missed the point somewhere along the lines. It is frustrating to report something in the name of helping science, then never hear any outcome. I wonder how many people subsequently think 'I won't bother again'?

Sometimes though, you do get a quick response from a British ringer, so they're not all as bad as the examples above.
Yes, I got a quick answer from a neck ringed Greylag a couple of winters ago. However:

- BTO has the ring data, including the tie-up between numbered colour rings and BTO rings, so they are actually in a position to answer queries without external assistance

- by sending data on the observer to a third party instead of answering the question and just sending the data on the bird to the third party they are making more work for themselves and more for the ringer (and in future may well be close to the wind regarding the GDPR). It's inefficient in addition to being, to my mind, disrespectful to the observer and likely to decrease future observations. The word stupid springs to mind.

John
Farnboro John is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 16th June 2018, 10:25   #6
Gander
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Fife or middle of North Sea
Posts: 1,333
I would have thought that a centralised database that both observers and reporters can access would be hugely beneficial, not only to the observers, but also to the ringers.

The Norwegian system that I have used is simple. You log on to the website, enter the sighting details, and you immediately get all of the bird's details - where it was ringed, at what age and where and when it has been observed since. You can add photos or see previous photos. You even get an alert each time one of the birds you have entered details for is seen again.

How can the UK (BTO) be so far off the pace?
Gander is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 16th June 2018, 11:16   #7
Steve Lister
World Birder, ex-County Recorder, Garden Moth-er

 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Loughborough, Leicestershire
Posts: 4,038
The systems for colour rings and metal rings are generally different.

Colour rings are mainly reported to ringers/groups direct by the observers, though they can be reported via the BTO/EURING, which tends to be a very slow process. If/when you get a reply depends on the ringer or group contact: most are good at responding, a few are slow and some don't seem to bother at all. There are some excellent online reporting schemes such as the Norwegian 'ringmerking' that provide instant and very detailed responses.

Metal rings are reported to national, sometimes regional, ringing authorities such as the BTO in the UK and replies are normally received. The quality of the info provided varies though, and I am very disappointed with what the BTO send out, just the ringing site and date, age/sex when ringed and who the ringer was - nothing at all about subsequent sightings and the life history that they build up. I have complained to them about this in the past but they seem unwilling to improve the situation.

And that GBBG - I saw a very similar ring, just the last number different, and managed to trace it no problem using the cr-birding.org website. It was ringed on the Isle of May. The BHG I am very surprised you have not had a reply as it looks like a North Thames Gull Group bird and their secretary is one of the best at replying.

Steve
Steve Lister is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 16th June 2018, 11:27   #8
Farnboro John
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 12,682
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gander View Post
How can the UK (BTO) be so far off the pace?
I suspect its an old mindset that needs to adapt but hasn't. They accept data from the public without feeling that they really need to give something back: the data is, if you like, deserved tribute to them for their scientific efforts that benefit all mankind. Balance is already there - what need for response?

You see it in all fields of human endeavour, but public expectations are much higher than they used to be. Old, inward-looking organisations need to wake up and smell the coffee in order to live, thrive and survive.

Yes, they pass some limited stuff to Springwatch (e.g. the Cuckoo stuff): but public engagement requires a lot more than that and for an organisation that depends on individual effort, engaging effectively with the individual is absolutely essential.

John
Farnboro John is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 16th June 2018, 11:45   #9
Gander
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Fife or middle of North Sea
Posts: 1,333
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Lister View Post
And that GBBG - I saw a very similar ring, just the last number different, and managed to trace it no problem using the cr-birding.org website. It was ringed on the Isle of May. The BHG I am very surprised you have not had a reply as it looks like a North Thames Gull Group bird and their secretary is one of the best at replying.
In the case of the BHG, I tried to make contact with the ringer as per http://www.cr-birding.org/sites/defa...26.04.18_6.pdf

If you have a better contact, I'll resubmit the sighting.

The GBBG I suspected was I of M, as I have seen similar tag, however, I can't find anyone using a single . as opposed to a : after the X. Last IoM bird I reported took months to get a response to.
Gander is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 16th June 2018, 14:43   #10
Cyrpus
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Iver, Bucks. UK
Posts: 22
The problem is at present none of the colour ringing data is on a database, unlike the some schemes, but not all are, try getting Gull data from Denmark from the one guy that deals with requests and it can be quick or very slow. In the US their Government run scheme has the colour ringing data in it and providing it is correct, you get ringing details by email within 24 hours, or go to bandedbirds.org you report your sighting and there is a section providing it is a coded flag that gives you the history straight off with a map. The problem in the UK is funding, and a European report database would be good, but we decided we do not want to be part of Europe. There is an app that records colour sightings, but it is only useful if the original ringing data is on the database and the person that has set that up charges an annual fee, which not many people are going to stump up, as it is expensive if the number of birds to go into the database is high in number.
2EDB are you trying to contact Callum? [email protected]
X.058 was easily to track down via http://www.cr-birding.org/node/4078 and you need to email [email protected]

So yes the UK system is not great as it is not automated, and it would need funding from somewhere...
Cyrpus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 16th June 2018, 14:49   #11
Cyrpus
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Iver, Bucks. UK
Posts: 22
if a GBBG not Herring try [email protected]
Cyrpus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 16th June 2018, 19:46   #12
Steve Lister
World Birder, ex-County Recorder, Garden Moth-er

 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Loughborough, Leicestershire
Posts: 4,038
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Lister View Post
The BHG I am very surprised you have not had a reply as it looks like a North Thames Gull Group bird and their secretary is one of the best at replying.

Steve
Sorry, I got this one wrong - Yellow 2Exx is not part of the NTGG ring sequence as pointed out above.

Steve
Steve Lister is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 16th June 2018, 21:00   #13
Allen S. Moore
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Isle of Man
Posts: 2,390
Any comments from the BTO to this question?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farnboro John View Post
But isn't the ringing system BTO controlled? Why isn't there a central clearing house for the information?

It certainly does sound like a poor system and not just poor operation.

John
I agree with you, John. The BTO co-ordinate ringing and, presumably, have the IT capacity to deal with reports. Local ringers sometimes run out of time and energy, which includes notifying ringing colleagues and the BTO that they are winding down their ringing effort and paperwork. I guess that the time factor accounts for details of records not being returned to a person reporting the ringed bird in reasonable time.

I am not a member of the BTO (can't join everything!), but wasn't it said that fewer records of ringed birds are being submitted by members of the public than in days gone by? I notice in the ringing report which is published with the Manx Bird Report, which I edit, that the BTO differentiates between reports of ringed birds reported by ringers and non-ringers. I suppose that the latter includes members of the public who finds ringed birds along the tide line and whose cat brings in a ringed bird, as well as birders who are not also ringers but who make a lot of effort to report colour-ringed birds.

Perhaps someone from the BTO could comment here whether there is a problem and what is being done about it. Otherwise, it might seem a bit harsh for birds to be ringed and yet the collecting of data from the ringed birds is not as efficient as it should be.

BTW, I have also been impressed by the prompt replies from people co-ordinating colour-ringing in Scandinavia (Norway and Denmark, mostly gulls).

Allen

Last edited by Allen S. Moore : Saturday 16th June 2018 at 21:01. Reason: prompt replies from Scandinavia
Allen S. Moore is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Saturday 16th June 2018, 21:44   #14
Richard Scott
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: South Yorkshire
Posts: 340
I’ve given up sending in details of colour-ringed birds for the reasons already mentioned. Mind you I did receive details of an Avocet, unfortunately 2 birds were given the same ring combination!
Richard Scott is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 17th June 2018, 10:17   #15
Cyrpus
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Iver, Bucks. UK
Posts: 22
Hi Richard - I saw the same bird, probably, a bird ringed in Norfolk, but when in the field using colour ring combinations can be extremely hard work, with a box full of colour bands. and though errors, are extremely rare, it can happen. Of all the ones I have seen this is the only occassion I have known this happen, where the same combinations were used twice. Unfortuanate as it is.
Cyrpus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 17th June 2018, 10:27   #16
Cyrpus
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Iver, Bucks. UK
Posts: 22
Norway gulls colour ringing data is online, Denmark is not, and the experiance can be mixed, it took me 4 months and five emails to get a Danish Gull details, because he was just snowed under at the time. Things should be changing, with the new BTO ringing database coming into use slowly at present, we are told that it will take, at least alpha numeric ring codes direct, the same as it will take a metal ring, but the public side is not available yet, whilst it is being rolled out through the ringing and nest recording scheme users first to iron out any bugs. A UK online system (which it was not prior to the new database role out) should make thigns easier for all.
Cyrpus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 17th June 2018, 10:28   #17
Cyrpus
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Iver, Bucks. UK
Posts: 22
I assume everyone knows that if you want to find out who is running a specific colour ringing scheme you look it up at http://www.cr-birding.org/ European colour-ring Birding
Cyrpus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 17th June 2018, 10:33   #18
BimmyB
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: UK
Posts: 93
I've had the opposite to the Avocets above, whereby a ringer has said the combination didn't exist in any of the schemes. Tthe ringer suggested one of the colour rings may have faded (from green to white) hence my confusion with recognising the correct colour. A check with the new suggested colour combination also failed to find a match with any of the schemes.

With Avocets too, I had a quick reply from a French scheme once, but they couldn't give me full details of the bird I saw because it had a ring below the knee that I didn't see/report - not often that you see below the knee of a wader that spends most of its time in the water is it?! and makes me question the wisdom of doing that!

I also heard of someone ringing shorebirds in Dorset a few years back who wasn't submitting any data to the BTO, just a rumour, but from a reliable ringer source, I wonder if this accounts for some ring reports never getting a response. I also wonder how 'within the law' it is.
BimmyB is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 17th June 2018, 13:21   #19
Nutcracker
Northumbrian

 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 16,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmyB View Post
I also heard of someone ringing shorebirds in Dorset a few years back who wasn't submitting any data to the BTO, just a rumour, but from a reliable ringer source, I wonder if this accounts for some ring reports never getting a response. I also wonder how 'within the law' it is.
Pretty sure it'd be illegal, and if nothing else, where would he get the rings? BTO certainly wouldn't give him any with that behaviour.
Edit: and of course pointless, too, as he'd not get any recovery info.

Last edited by Nutcracker : Sunday 17th June 2018 at 13:25.
Nutcracker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 17th June 2018, 13:38   #20
Gordon
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Scotland
Posts: 770
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Scott View Post
I’ve given up sending in details of colour-ringed birds for the reasons already mentioned. Mind you I did receive details of an Avocet, unfortunately 2 birds were given the same ring combination!
Is it not the case that the ring combination is the same for ALL birds in the same scheme - the numbers are different?
Gordon is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 17th June 2018, 20:18   #21
Richard Scott
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: South Yorkshire
Posts: 340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
Is it not the case that the ring combination is the same for ALL birds in the same scheme - the numbers are different?
I don't think so. Here's the reply I received -
"Many thanks for your sightings of colour-ringed Avocet (Yellow over Blue left / Yellow over Red right) at Potteric Carr on 01/05/2017. Unfortunately we cannot say for certain where this bird was ringed because two Avocets have been fitted with the same colour-ring combination. Firstly we ringed one as a chick at Orfordness, Suffolk in 2014 and then in error an Avocet chick was fitted with the same colour-combination at Rutland Water in 2015."
Richard Scott is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 18th June 2018, 09:41   #22
Gander
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Fife or middle of North Sea
Posts: 1,333
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyrpus View Post
2EDB are you trying to contact Callum? [email protected]
X.058 was easily to track down via http://www.cr-birding.org/node/4078 and you need to email klein[email protected]
Yes, that was the contact for the BHG. I have resubmitted my report this morning, so we'll see what happens.

The second bird is a GBBG, not a Herring Gull.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyrpus View Post
if a GBBG not Herring try [email protected]
Report submitted. Took months last time for IoM bird, so not holding my breath.
Gander is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 18th June 2018, 23:41   #23
Allen S. Moore
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Isle of Man
Posts: 2,390
IoM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gander View Post
Yes, that was the contact for the BHG. I have resubmitted my report this morning, so we'll see what happens.

The second bird is a GBBG, not a Herring Gull.

Report submitted. Took months last time for IoM bird, so not holding my breath.
The Manx Ringing Group now has a different secretary, so replies will be much more prompt now.
Allen S. Moore is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 19th June 2018, 21:22   #24
ambduck5
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: U.K.
Posts: 12
Unhappy

I couldn't agree more with comments regarding the standard of reply from 'foreign' ringers/schemes compared with many, by no means all, British ringers and the BTO. I report c.200 colour-ringed birds every year of which at least two thirds are 'foreign'. Schemes involved range the length and breadth of Europe from Czech Republic to Ireland and Norway to Portugal. Almost without exception I receive detailed replies within three or four days and in many cases within twenty four hours. I cannot think of a single European scheme where I have not received a reply. Conversely, some British ringers are dilatory in their reply, to say the least. In some cases I do not even receive an acknowledgement despite persistent hectoring of the scheme co-ordinator. I have contacted the BTO on several occasions concerning this problem which often involves their own employees but receive little other than placatory statements. I don't seem to be able to discover who or what is responsible for overseeing the licensing of colour-ringing in the UK. If it is the BTO, why are they not at least suspending ringing permits of those who cannot be bothered to respond to information?
I could expound further on ringing practices in the UK, such as nefarious targeting of rare species for a ringing 'tick' and of unidentified birds for DNA purposes, but I will leave that for another day.
ambduck5 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 20th June 2018, 09:39   #25
Allen S. Moore
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Isle of Man
Posts: 2,390
Quote:
Originally Posted by ambduck5 View Post
I don't seem to be able to discover who or what is responsible for overseeing the licensing of colour-ringing in the UK.
Someone called Jez Blackburn had the BTO responsibility for colour-ringing about 10-15 years ago. Is it still him?
Allen S. Moore is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
new system capdegat Fuji 11 Tuesday 22nd May 2018 18:43
Birdguides new system TWM Computers, Birding Software And The Internet 142 Tuesday 13th March 2018 12:13
PS Elements 9 to new system. STS Computers, Birding Software And The Internet 1 Monday 11th February 2013 20:11
Poor light- poor image kim Photo Critique 5 Sunday 9th March 2008 19:56
Sometimes the system works :) KC Foggin Conservation 5 Tuesday 25th May 2004 12:52

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.21635890 seconds with 38 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 12:23.