Migrating Meadow Pipits

Meadow Pipits started moving through the area in large numbers in the first week of September – a little earlier than last year. The area towards the end of the tarmac at Gamrhiw, Llanwrthwl is usually pretty good with up to 100 first thing each morning. Many of these birds are reluctant to move, perhaps indicating they are a tad tired after their overnight flight. They usually spend the day feeding as they move steadily towards the south west. These birds are probably moving through from the highland areas where they breed towards either the coasts of Wales, SW England or maybe even Ireland. What I do know is that very few stay in these parts most winters. I often pondered where these migrating birds come from. Last September Tony Cross had a ringing session below Gamrhiw and caught amongst other things a Meadow Pipit wearing a ring – part of the 2010 migration. Tony confirms that this bird was ringed at Runcorn, Cheshire a year before – again in September. This perhaps indicates it was moving south when originally caught in Runcorn and was caught a year later when flying the same route. Who knows – and who knows where it came from originally, perhaps the hills of the Lake District or Scotland. A great example of the value of ringing.

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