The Flamborough Bird Observatory (FBO) ringing group comprises the historical recording area east of the Dykes on Flamborough Headland together with operations at Bempton, mainly at Bempton Cliffs RSPB Reserve. The purpose of the ringing group is to gather data on wild birds, especially migrants, which are found in the FBO area. The secondary purpose is to assist in the training of people in the techniques of trapping, handling and ringing wild birds.
FBO also run a Constant Effort Site (CES) at Thornwick Bay between the months of May and August. The CES scheme, administered by the British Trust for Ornithology, uses catches from standardised mist-netting to monitor key aspects of the demography of 24 common breeding songbirds. Using 12 standard visits at 10 day intervals throughout the breeding season, targeting the capture and re-capture of individual birds over successive breeding seasons. There are 100-150 such CES sites operative in the U.K., which essentially help to monitor bird populations through time, in order to aid effective conservation.
We completed 10 out of the 12 sessions, and a total of 408 birds were caught with 221 of these newly ringed and 187 re-traps (which provide valuable information on the longevity and site fidelity of adult birds).
267 adult birds were caught alongside 141 juveniles, comprising 22 species
For comparison in 2021 we completed 9 sessions and caught 352 birds of 27 species of which 169 were new and 183 re-traps. (240 adults/112 juveniles)
Additional bird ringing to the east of the dykes was carried out at South Landing, Thornwick Bay, Ocean View Farm and in two Flamborough village gardens.
A more modest total of new birds ringed when compared to the last two years – 3084 birds of 58 species. No new additions to the species list were made in 2022. Highlights were Cetti’s Warbler, caught in October at Thornwick Bay and South Landing, the third and fourth ringed for the observatory after a brace in 2019. Also of note was a Pallas’s Warbler caught at South Landing (our first for 6 years) and 342 Redwing that easily surpassed our previous best total for this species and more surprisingly exceeded our Blackbird total for this year.
A breakdown of birds ringed by month is given in the table below:
As can be seen from the above table, October was the dominant month accounting for 30% of all birds ringed, which is enhanced by the concentrated effort during Migration Week which sees intense activity with more ringers present on the headland. Migweek – from the 8th to the 16th October was again a success, nets were successfully erected on all 9 days, garnering a total of 550 new birds ringed. It yet again proved to be a great interface with the public, particularly the youngsters, many of whom enjoyed such close experience with migrant species in the hand.
Bird ringing to the west of the Dykes was carried out at Bempton and Buckton.
A total of 728 new birds were caught and ringed on 33 days between 18 April – 14th November. The majority of the ringing took place during good UK passage of juvenile birds in late August and on just a few days that were suitable for migrant arrivals in September and October. Totals included 94 Redwing, 92 Goldcrest, 54 Robin, 24 Sedge Warbler, 7 Garden Warbler, 4 Yellow-browed Warbler, 2 Grasshopper Warbler, and single Ring Ouzel, Icterine, Pallas’s and Radde’s Warblers. The Radde’s Warbler being found in a net with a Yellow-browed Warbler!
Pullus ringed included two brood of Kestrel and one brood of Barn Owls.
Ringing was undertaken by Mark Thomas, Ed Green and Ian Marshall. Thanks again to Buckton Hall Farm and Angus Wielkopolski for site access.
Flamborough Bird Observatory would like to thank the landowners on whose property the ringers set their nets; The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Bourne Leisure at Thornwick Bay Camp, Flamborough Head Golf Club and The East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the RSPB Bempton Cliffs. We would also like to thank individuals who gave donations during the ringing and migration week and at other times during the year. This is much appreciated and helps especially in replacing nets damaged by deer.
Flamborough Headland Ringing Totals for 2022
|Species||East of Dykes||Bempton||Buckton||Grand Total|
|Great Black-backed Gull||1||1|
|Great Spotted Woodpecker||1||1||2|
All movements in excess of 10km are shown below. In addition there were several local movements of birds between Flamborough, Bempton and Buckton. there were 19 reports of Flamborough and Bempton ringed birds moving to other localities together with 8 findings of birds which had been ringed previously elsewhere. 3 foreign reports of Buckton-ringed birds were also notable.
Selected 2022 ringing recoveries involving the Flamborough Headland
TW83820 3 12/10/2020 Flamborough Head
Xf 27/03/2022 Asbach, Neuwied, Koblenz, Germany 50040’N 7025’E 639 km SE 531 days
The majority of British born Dunnock will move less than a kilometre from their birth place. However, birds from northern and western Europe can migrate, sometimes substantial distances. This constitutes only the second foreign interchange since the formation of the Bird Observatory, since a Swedish ringed Dunnock was trapped at Flamborough in October 2010.
LN16155 3F 22/11/2020 Flamborough Head
Xf 09/02/2022 Bielside, West Barns, East Lothian 261 km NW 444 days
LN16342 3F 29/11/2020 Flamborough Head
R 16/05/2021 Lemland, Ahvenanmaa, Finland 59049’N 19055’E 1366km ENE 168days
A typical autumn ringed continental Blackbird, back to its southern Finland breeding grounds in May
LL66842 4M 30/12/2020 Harrington Airfield, Northamptonshire
R 25/06/2022 Flamborough Head 198 km NNE 542 days
S702913 3J 06/07/2018 Flamborough Head
R 08/05/2022 Flamborough Head 1402 days
No movement involved here, but this bird has returned for its 4th breeding season since being first ringed as a juvenile bird.
NBL739 3 12/09/2021 Flamborough Head
R 16/07/2022 Woolston Eyes Sewage works, Warrington 180km WSW 307 days
R330102 4 19/04/2021 Lagskar Bird Observatory, Lemland, Ahvenanmaa, Finland 59049’N 19055’E
R 16/04/2022 Flamborough Head 1367 km WSW 362 days
NBL289 3 14/09/2021 Flamborough Head
Xf 04/10/2022 Mouguerre, Pyrenees-Atlantiques, France 43027’N 1025’W 1189 km 385days
R330102 came from the same place in Finland as the Blackbird above! The two captures of this bird in April of successive years make it difficult to predict where this bird will end up breeding.
LN16968 3J 12/06/2021 Flamborough Head
R 13/01/2022 Morecambe, Lancashire 182 km W 215 days
LN16081 3F 15/06/2021 Flamborough Head
R 01/05/2022 Strensall, York 62 km W 320 days
LR43367 3F 12/07/2021 Flamborough Head
R 07/05/2022 Strensall, York 62 km W 299 days
R 10/05/2022 Strensall, York 62 km W 302 days
LR44121 3J 31/05/2022 Flamborough Head
Xf 24/06/2022 Hilderthorpe, Bridlington 10 km SW 24 days
LN08670 3J 20/06/2021 Osgodby, North Yorks
R 30/04/2022 Flamborough Head 24 km SE, 314 days
LR16098 3J 07/06/2021 Leeds, West Yorks
R 07/01/2022 Flamborough Head 98 km ENE 214 days
LN69663 3J 11/06/2020 Beckfield Lane, York
R 01/06/2022 Flamborough Head 70 km ENE 720 days
LL44955 3J 02/08/2019 Cromdale, Highland
R 01/06/2022 Flamborough Head 418 km SSE 1034 days
LR44132 3J 31/05/2022 Flamborough Head
Xf 07/09/2022 Terrington St. Clement, King’s Lynn, Norfolk 154 km S 99 days
71043743 1 16/05/2022 Halloh, Itzehoe, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany 53058’N 9030’E
R 22/12/2022 Flamborough Head 627 km W 220 days
The last recovery shows a young bird dispersing from the continent for its first winter in the U.K.
ACP3893 2 11/11/2021 Spurn B. O., Kilnsea
R 21/03/2022 Flamborough Head 60km NNW 130 days
ACP2236 3J 12/09/2021 Spurn B. O. Kilnsea.
R 25/04/2022 Flamborough Head 58 km NNW 225 days
TW84411 1 19/05/2022 Bempton Cliffs RSPB
R 02/10/2022 Spurn B.O. Kilnsea 63 km SSE 136 days
TW84404 1 19/05/2022 Bempton Cliffs RSPB
R 03/10/2022 Spurn B.O. Kilnsea 63 km SSE 137 days
TW84309 1 19/05/2022 Bempton Cliffs RSPB
R 03/10/2022 Spurn B.O. Kilnsea 63 km SSE 145 days
Five interchanges between Spurn and Flamborough Bird Observatories, emphasising the southerly autumnal movements of East Yorkshire Tree Sparrow.
D803150 3F 20/09/2015 Flamborough Head
R 01/05/2022 Bempton Cliffs RSPB 7km NW 2415 days
A good age for a Chaffinch, although they can achieve double figures.
Key to symbols and terms used
|Age/Sex:||Manner of recovery:|
|1 nestling||R caught and released by a ringer|
|2 fully grown, year of hatching quite unknown||Xf found freshly dead or dying|
|3 definitely hatched during current calendar year|
|3J still in partial juvenile plumage|
|4 hatched before current calendar year, exact year unknown|