Saturday, 7 July 2012

The 2012 Varanger Ringing Project

What’s this all about?

Well, in May 2011, Tormod Amundsen and Colin McShane met during a birding trip set up by Tormod to promote Varanger as a birding destination. During a lunchtime conversation, Tormod mentioned that he would really like to set up a bird ringing station as part of the birding scene. This was just the challenge for Colin who relishes setting up such schemes—he set up one in Portugal seven years ago which is still going strong.
So tentative plans were laid, which have gradually developed into what is about to happen in August 2012. Basically, two teams of experienced ringers from England are visiting Varanger, based at Nesseby. The first team will arrive on August 9th and leave August 20th; while the second team arrive 17th and leave 27th.
Our aims are simple—to try to ring as many of the birds in the area as we can, in order to provide:-
-recent data on the birds of the area ( the last such scheme was in the 1970s)
-lots of biometric data on local birds before they migrate
-an opportunity for members of the local community to join us and experience the thrill and privilege of seeing birds at close quarters.

What’s happening now?

Lots! We have been very busy back in England putting together all the groundwork necessary to make this a success. For example:-
-buying/making various trapping systems to catch birds
-having all the equipment shipped to Varanger
-working with Tormod to get accommodation/transport/food etc in place for when we arrive
-improving our knowledge about the birds we rarely see/handle in England
-liaising with Alf Tore Mjos who heads up the Norwegian ringing scheme and  Anders Maeland who is our main ringing contact

What’s next?

We are all gradually getting more excited at the forthcoming trip and can barely wait for the days to pass. We hope many of the people in the area will take some time to visit us –please do. When we know more about the exact location of our base camp etc we will post details on this site. Also every day we will post an update on what we have been catching and ringing so everyone will be able to know what we are about.


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