On the weekend of June 13th/14th some of the ringing and climbing team members of the GRMG went out around Gloucestershire to ring and collected biometric data for Goshawks following the ease to lockdown restrictions by the UK Government. Working in in teams of three and maintaining social distancing at all times, the GRMG visited nests that were previously observed as later nests (our key weekend for Goshawk ringing was the two weeks prior, however lockdown restricted at this time) and around 30 young were ringed at their respective nest sites.
Despite usually ringing around 80 young, some important observations were still made this year – the most interesting being the variety of stages that the nests around the county were at. Of the nests visited that weekend, some birds had fledged within a week of our visit, some had fledged within just a few days of our visit and a handful were ringed successfully and these varied in age from 20-32 days over the different nests visited. Additionally, some nests had unfortunately failed but at two sites the new nest was found and monitored.
When working with raptors it is always interesting to observe the other wildlife at each site from other bird species such as Treecreepers working their way up a tree to evidence of Wild Boar and, more recently in some areas of the county, Pine Marten. This year whilst at one site GRMG team member Harriet found the well-hidden nest of a Spotted Flycatcher and as a qualified ringer for passerine pullus these were also ringed. It quite common to find nests of species such as Spotted Flycatcher and Nuthatch near to Raptor nests, especially Goshawk, who will keep predators of these smaller species away.
The GRMG would like to thank all ringers and climbers for their work at such short notice this year as well as Forestry England and our private landowner contacts for their support.