Ringing

Flamborough Bird Observatory has been accredited as one of twenty bird observatories in Britain and Ireland by the Bird Observatories Council.

To maintain its accredited status, the Observatory is obliged to maintain a programme of bird ringing within its recording area as an integral part of its work. All bird ringing is conducted by highly trained licensed ringers within the national British ringing scheme coordinated by the British Trust for Ornithology. This work provides data for guiding conservation policies of such bodies as Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, Scottish Natural Heritage and their counterparts in Ireland.

When the BTO Ringing Scheme was established over 100 years ago, the primary focus was the study of bird movements. While ringing data can still be used to study migration and dispersal, today they are primarily used in the study of population change. ‘Population modelling’ may sound like a complex process, but the basic principle is relatively straightforward – bird numbers are determined by the number of fledglings produced and the subsequent survival of both those youngsters and their parents.

Flamborough Bird Observatory has ringing records dating back to 1976, showing that over 50,000 birds have been ringed here. We have a team of 14 licensed ringers and trainees and we have numerous sites in which to ring, which encompass all the headland habitats. Although the Observatory is not a fully manned ringing station, where possible visiting licensed ringers can be hosted at one of our headland sites. The Observatory will use its best endeavours to provide training for visiting ringers and trainee ringers, subject always to the availability of suitably qualified ringing permit holders.

If you wish to join the team as a ringer or experience ringing on the headland as a guest then email the ringer-in-charge, Jim Morgan at jimmygpz@hotmail.com, in the first instance.

All the Observatory’s daily ringing totals are entered onto Trektellen. These daily logs are accessible below:

  1. Flamborough
  2. Bempton Cliffs

All-time ringing highlights are detailed here.

The annual Ringing Summary for 2019 can be found here.

Examining feather moult
  • Ageing Pied Flycatchers
Ringing demonstration at South Landing
22/11/20

22/11/20

This morning we had the recently rare occurrence of 3 sites being ringed at simultaneously at Flamborough. One ringer was at their private site on the Headland, 2 ringers were at Holmes Gut and 2 at South Landing (all under current BTO guidance). It was a cold and slow start with some birds trickling through,…
19/11/20

19/11/20

With limited ringing opportunities due to the unsettled weather, we took a lockdown friendly walk around South Dykes. As the wind dropped and the afternoon sun came out we saw plenty of birds including flocks of mixed titmice, a handful of foraging Goldcrest and at least 60 Chaffinch feeding along the field margins with a…
04/11/2020

04/11/2020

A last session before lockdown saw us out on a sunny and crisp morning, with skeins of Pink-footed geese flying overhead. We had a very steady morning and caught 10 new birds alongside 8 retraps.  We were lucky enough to catch 2 beautiful Grey Wagtails, whilst we often see Grey Wagtails on the beaches at South…