Following on from my blog yesterday (the cryptic e-mail from Alan Hayes at the local Gazette), I stopped off on the way home from work to purchase the said Gazette. I had spotted a white dove/pigeon with dyed purple tail feathers and markings around its eyes, on the 28th Feb at Lake Farm (see my blog entry for that date). A couple of days ago, a couple from Ruislip (eight miles away from Lake Farm) called the Gazette to say the very same bird was in their back garden. They also couldn't get near it, but had managed to corner it well enough to read the tiny writing on its blue leg ring (which I had actually thought was unmarked). It read 'GB 2013' and a phone number. Mr Burns (the gentleman from Ruislip) called the number, and it was answered by a gentleman from Wembley, Mr Cengiz Burmali, a Turkish hobby pigeon breeder and importer who works for a roofing company. Mr Burmali was apparently amazed as he never expected to see this bird again. It had escaped on a windy day and they apparently don't feed well from the street, unlike its feral cousins. It transpires this little bird is actually a prized Turkish Tumbler, 'valued for its distinctive flight and widely bred by enthusiasts'. Ive put a link to Mr Burmalis website below, and have asked the Gazette to forward to him, an e-mail from myself. I want to know why the bird is dyed with purple. Is it part of a mating programme ? And just how much is this bird worth ?
|the Turkish Tumbler 28.02.13|
|the un-readable blue leg ring|
Last week, I also received an e-mail from Alain Caizergues from France, regarding the male Tufted Duck with the 'bill-tag' (or to use the proper techno speak, the 'nasal saddle') that I had spotted and photographed at the London Wetland Centre on the 22nd Feb (see my blog post for that date).
He sent me a very informative pdf read out of the details of this duck. It was ringed and 'bill-tagged' as a 2 year old back on 27th Jan 2009, in Saint-Phibert-de-Grand-Lien in France. The 'nasal saddle' actually reads BLEUE, and there is a leg ring that reads EA675634. It was spotted in Walton-on-Thames in the UK in July 2011, and has since been seen at several places in South West London, including a spell on the Thames.
Not everyone agrees with the 'nasal saddle' form of tagging, and it's not something the BTO carry out, but it is still used in some European countries. I don't have an opinion either way, the 'nasal saddle' obviously does not affect the ducks ability to feed (or else it wouldn't be around in 2013, after being hatched in 2007) and it obviously doesn't affect the ducks ability to fly (or else it wouldn't have been spotted several times across the channel from where it was 'tagged'). So, like all other birds that have been fitted with leg rings (any garden birds, woodland birds, even Peregrines), wing tags (ie Red Kites), and fitted with tiny transmitters (ie Cuckoos, Ospreys etc), all the proof goes toward showing no birds are harmed during this process, but that the information we gather from their 'tags' can prove invaluable to understanding the birds habitats, migration routes and is pretty much, invaluable.
So thank you Mr Caizergues, and thank you Nathalie Mathieu for pointing me in the right direction.
|male Tufted with nasal saddle 22.02.13 at LWC|
|male Tufted as above.|
So that brings me to a Black-headed gull that I spotted and photographed in my work yard on the 3rd Feb this year (again, see my blog post for that date). It was with a small colony of gulls that descended on my yard one day, while I snapped away with my camera from the comfortable confines of my desk. I came home that evening, and duly followed the procedure on the BTO website for reporting gull leg rings...................and have never heard a word from them !!
|my work yard leg-ringed BHG|
|My work yard BHG leg ring TLXR, plus one metal closed ring|
So that's the end of todays blog. I haven't mentioned anything about the birds Ive seen at work today, because I was so incredibly busy, I only got out of the office for a brief half hour late afternoon, and apart from the usual handful of Redwings and Fieldfares at the back of the paddocks, and a Mistle Thrush, Green Woodpecker, loads of Blackbirds and the usual birds on the work yard feeders, there was nothing more of interest around. I didn't get any photos as I neglected to take my camera to work, but while my office door was being repaired (long story, the glass in it shattered for no reason today), I did watch a Kestrel flying over and being mobbed again by several crows.
Tomorrow is a new day at work, my camera is already packed, lets just hope I can get a few breaks from the ever ringing phone.