This year has been an exciting one for the Twite in Dove Holes. In a recent ringing project by RSPB volunteer Jamie Dunning and bird watcher George Hudson 35 birds have successfully ringed 35 birds. This is only two thirds of the number of birds currently at Dove Holes. They reckon that there are 50 birds there currently; when there are only 200 Twite couples in the UK this is a significant number.
The ringing project will enable the Twites to be tracked as they fly east for the winter so that we can learn more about their movements and start to help protect their winter homes. Dove Holes is the most southerly colony of Twites in the UK and is a very significant place for this UK red listed species.
Any sightings of these birds around the quarries locally are also greatly appreciated and will contribute towards important research.
If you spot a ringed Twite then report when and where to the RSPB. They also need the colours of the rings (of which there will be 3 as well as a metal ring) and their positions on the leg. The birds ringed this year around the quarry at Dove Holes all have a pink ring above the metal ring on the left leg, and 2 colour rings in a unique combination on the right leg (for example, Left: Pink/Metal, Right:Blue/Yellow).
More information on Twite and the conservation effort in the UK can be found via the RSPB’s Twite recovery project pages (www.rspb.org.uk/whatwedo/projects), or through contacting the external research group directly at Twitenet@googlegroups.com