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Complete beginner - seabirds? (1 Viewer)

Kaia

Member
Hi all,

I don't mind admitting, I'm a complete and utter know-nothing where ringing is concerned ;) We all have to start somewhere, and I know this is something I'm extremely keen on getting involved in. I have VERY basic visual/acoustic ID skills for some of the more common birds - I'm learning :) Got looooots of books on order!

I've been to a ringing demo in the past, and it just made me want to learn and learn and learn about birds, and get involved in the ringing. I work in research and I'm doing a masters degree in Conservation Biology so I'm very keen on ringing from a conservation / research perspective.

To be honest, although I've become very interested in birds in general, I'm REALLY interested in seabirds and waterbirds. I've always loved the sea but this interest was probably sparked after a trip to Puffin Island, Anglesey - honestly, it was amazing. All sorts of seabirds zooming overhead, fish in mouths - it was spectacular - an aerial highway! To sound incredibly corny, it just filled me with a sense of life, and joy. They were amazing to watch, I was utterly was mesmirised. Seabirds have such a sense of mystery about them... is that just me? Also for some reason I'm now obsessed with puffins.

Now don't get me wrong, although I'm really interested in seabirds that doesn't mean I'm not interested in passerines - because I am, very much so - all birds in fact. But for some reason, seabirds just spark that little extra something that makes me tick. Maybe it's because I love being by the sea. Who knows!

So... to cut to the end of my waffle: I'm really interested in learning more about, and getting involved in ringing - with a particular interest in seabird ringing.

I recently emailed a ringing trainer sort of near me, who goes out on an island nr. Liverpool, but apparently they don't tend to catch seabirds - more passerines / waders. There is a ringing group called SCAN nr. Puffin Island, which is a bit more of a drive for me to get to, but they ring seabirds.

My question is this:

Is it better to start on passerines nr. Liverpool, and work my way up to seabirds - and if so, why? Or could I just approach SCAN and ask them if I can go along as a beginner, and see if I can start right away on seabirds (if they'd have me of course!)

I know it will take time and a lot of effort to learn about, and become proficient at, ringing. Trust me, I'm willing to put the time in. I don't know why, but I just KNOW this is something I want to do.

Soooooooo. This ends my introduction-ish post :) Hello, glad to be here, hoping to learn from you all - and if you could lob in your point of view about the above question I'd be grateful ;) Any advice would be much appreciated.

Kate
 

chris butterworth

aka The Person Named Above
If you can get involved with both groups it's all the better for you as you'll get a lot more exoerience than the majority of ringers. If the island your talking about is Hilbre they do specialise in passerines but do try to catch a good number of waders, and they are very friendly. Good luck with your Masters and your licence.

Chris
 

Kaia

Member
If you can get involved with both groups it's all the better for you as you'll get a lot more exoerience than the majority of ringers. If the island your talking about is Hilbre they do specialise in passerines but do try to catch a good number of waders, and they are very friendly. Good luck with your Masters and your licence.

Chris

Hi Chris,

It is Hilbre, you're right - and the trainer was really helpful. One thing that I've quickly found about the birding community is that people do seem genuinely willing to help each other out, which is a definite plus. Some hobbies (including horse riding, one of my favourites) can, I'm sorry to say, be very cliquey. So far, birders don't seem to me to be that way (but correct me if I'm wrong!)

I've been recommended a couple of books to use for swotting up! Including what is apparently the 'ringers bible' (ID guide to European passerines) by Svensson. I'll definitely be buying that as soon as payday allows!

Thanks very much for the good wishes and luck. My MSc deadline is imminent so I should probably get off this forum and go and do some work ;)

All the best,

Kate
 

Cheshire Birder

Well-known member
Hi Chris,

It is Hilbre, you're right - and the trainer was really helpful. One thing that I've quickly found about the birding community is that people do seem genuinely willing to help each other out, which is a definite plus. Some hobbies (including horse riding, one of my favourites) can, I'm sorry to say, be very cliquey. So far, birders don't seem to me to be that way (but correct me if I'm wrong!)

I've been recommended a couple of books to use for swotting up! Including what is apparently the 'ringers bible' (ID guide to European passerines) by Svensson. I'll definitely be buying that as soon as payday allows!

Thanks very much for the good wishes and luck. My MSc deadline is imminent so I should probably get off this forum and go and do some work ;)

All the best,

Kate

Hilbre is an excellent place to learn passerines. I've been on the island over the high tide with ringers and they all know there stuff. Its also good for seabirds. We'll soon have the Leach's Petrel season upon us!

CB
 

Kaia

Member
Hilbre is an excellent place to learn passerines. I've been on the island over the high tide with ringers and they all know there stuff. Its also good for seabirds. We'll soon have the Leach's Petrel season upon us!

CB

Ooh thanks for the info! Really looking forward to going along :)
 

Kaia

Member
Keep an eye on http://www.deeestuary.co.uk/ as most / all Hilbre and North Wirral 'good stuff' gets put up on there. If there is a period of strong northerly winds in September be prepared to drop everything if you want to see Leaches on Hilbre. :t:

Chris

Thanks for that :) Wow really? Would love to see one of those! So the website is the place to check - especially in September... Will bookmark it, thanks :)
 

Gunner92

Well-known member
Hi,

I know this doesn´t really answer your question, but I thought maybe it´s an helpful input as well.
Last year I spent one month helping out at the IfV (Institut für Vogelforschung HELGOLAND) which was a great time. Never had had a bird in my hand before and learned much on the island.
Though they focus on passerines, they ring a lot of gulls in some weeks of the year as well (which is - in my opinion - actually even far more fun than ringing any other type of birds). But, I think, from June to mid July is something that is called "Lummensprung" in German, which means the exit of young guillemots out of there nests in the cliffs. They jump out of their nests, still unable to fly and therefor free falling 60m down and "landing" on the ground, the ringers are waiting for them on the ground - absolutely amazing impressions.

Maybe that´s not really what you are looking for, but as said before,just wanted to offer some help maybe.



cheers



PS: you are absolutely right - I came to the same conclusion with nature photographers and birders. Photographers tend to be hardheaded, while most ringers and birders are nice and helpful people - many of them seem a bit weird at first, but turn out as really friendly people.
 

John Morgan

Well-known member
Any advice would be much appreciated.

Kate

Most seabird ringers have to travel to their chosen sites for some action, so they tend to go for a week or more and camp. The BTO will know most of the people who do this, and may be able to supply contacts. I know of one person from a group that rings Storm Petrels in N. Scotland, and I will send his email to you as a PM

If you have time, please annote grammar mistakes in my language.

"...please annotate grammatical errors ..." Well, you did ask ;)
 

Kaia

Member
Hi,

I know this doesn´t really answer your question, but I thought maybe it´s an helpful input as well.
Last year I spent one month helping out at the IfV (Institut für Vogelforschung HELGOLAND) which was a great time. Never had had a bird in my hand before and learned much on the island.
Though they focus on passerines, they ring a lot of gulls in some weeks of the year as well (which is - in my opinion - actually even far more fun than ringing any other type of birds). But, I think, from June to mid July is something that is called "Lummensprung" in German, which means the exit of young guillemots out of there nests in the cliffs. They jump out of their nests, still unable to fly and therefor free falling 60m down and "landing" on the ground, the ringers are waiting for them on the ground - absolutely amazing impressions.

Maybe that´s not really what you are looking for, but as said before,just wanted to offer some help maybe.



cheers



PS: you are absolutely right - I came to the same conclusion with nature photographers and birders. Photographers tend to be hardheaded, while most ringers and birders are nice and helpful people - many of them seem a bit weird at first, but turn out as really friendly people.

Hi, thanks for this - and sorry for the late reply, my internet went down for a while and I've only just got it back!

That sounds amazing and really exciting - do they let people go out there and just help out and learn? Would LOVE to get involved. Looking at the website (English version!) it seems a lot of what they do is research based - would love to do a project out there once my MSc is finished (hand in not far away now, eek).

Haha, I get what you mean about some ringers/birders seeming a bit off at first - I have met some who take some getting used to! But on the whole I've found everyone is really helpful, which is a breath of fresh air :)

Thanks very much for the info :D
 

Kaia

Member
Most seabird ringers have to travel to their chosen sites for some action, so they tend to go for a week or more and camp. The BTO will know most of the people who do this, and may be able to supply contacts. I know of one person from a group that rings Storm Petrels in N. Scotland, and I will send his email to you as a PM



"...please annotate grammatical errors ..." Well, you did ask ;)

Hi John, thanks again for this - just messaged you back :)
 

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