To ensure the birds aren’t harmed they are held in a specific way, known as the Ringers Grip. A metal ring with a unique number is then attached to one leg. This blackbird was originally ringed in Norway, eighteen days later it was re-caught, or controlled, at Gibraltar Point after flying 746km.
Over 250 Goldfinch were ringed on the 6 October 2012, normally a healthy number for a whole year.
This adult male chaffinch is a particularly large bird indicating that it could have flown here from the continent.
Post breeding dispersal in late summer occasionally provides a stunning flash of colour in the nets in the form of a kingfisher.
Ringing provides close encounters with birds such as this five-year old female sparrowhawk.
Bird migration and population has been studied at the Gibraltar Point Bird Observatory since 1949.
Concern about the decline of some of our best known summer migrant birds like turtle dove, spotted flycatcher and cuckoo has highlighted the work of Britain's seventeen bird observatories.
The Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust's Observatory at Gibraltar Point, opened in April 1949, was one of the earliest. Years of observation, ringing and examination of birds has provided a wealth of information about their location and movements throughout the seasons, their physical condition and changes in their populations, all information essential for framing and implementing measures for conservation.
Hundreds of thousands of birds of many species fly through or over or make landfall at Gibraltar Point during the course of a year. There are in fact few periods when there are no bird movements or migrations to be expected.
The work of the observatory is carried out voluntarily by local and visiting ornithologists. A dedicated local team is responsible for day-to-day management with the oversight of the Reserve Manager. The observatory fulfils a valuable training role in bird ringing, residential training courses have been held almost annually for several decades.
Bird Observatory Blog
Written by the Bird Observatory Team, the contains news of bird sightings and bird ringing, along with news of other wildlife on the reserve.