SEEN - SE European Bird Migration Network
2002 Przebendowo
7-8 December 2002

Przebendowo, Poland


5th  Workshop of the SE European Bird Migration Network

32 participants from 10 countries took part in this workshop. Programme of this meeting comprised several presentations and up-date on current work of SEEN.

Report

•    SEEN Network
SEEN members come from 22 countries, which means that activities of our Network cover area from Belgium, Finland, Omsk (Russia) to Egypt, Jordan, Palestine and Israel in the Middle East and SAFRING in South Africa.

•    Trainings/Visits
Year 2002 was a very busy one as to the ringing/training programme. Three new ringing stations started to work: Azraq (Jordan), Manyas and Cernek (Turkey). The aim of all trainings and visits was (1) to establish uniform methodology for SEEN members so effectiveness of research of bird migration could be increased and (2) at the new stations - to train local ringers that will be able to continue SEEN ringing programmes on their own.

-    in Poland: 3 persons from Jordan were trained in bird migration fieldwork methods,
-    in spring, SEEN ringers went to Egypt (Wadi El Rayan), Jordan (Dhleil), Turkey (Cernek and Manyas), in autumn to Jordan (Azraq, Dhleil) and Turkey (Cernek and Manyas) to train local ringers in methods of fieldwork and/or help in ringing stations. Short visit was also made to Bulgarian ringing station in Kalimok. In autumn Wadi El Rayan ringing station was for the first time run completely by Egyptian ringer and his volunteers that were trained by the SEEN!

•    Egypt project (2002)

In spring 2002 Polish ringers went to Wadi El Rayan Protected Area to continue SEEN ringing scheme in Egypt and train our Egyptian colleagues. The ringing programme lasted from 3rd March to 28th April. In total 1581 birds were ringed from 47 species; over 580 orientation experiments were made. In autumn Wadi El Rayan for the first time was completely run by our Egyptian colleagues! Studies started on 3rd September and finished on 2nd November. Results: 508 birds ringed (38 species). This is the first SEEN station that was established from the very beginning and achieved our final objective i.e. professional work run by local ringers trained according to the SEEN standards.

•    Jordan project (2002)

Programme in Jordan seems very promising as well. Two local centres – colleagues from Hashemite University (Dhleil Ringing Station) and from the Royal Society for Conservation of Nature (Azraq Ringing Station) are involved in SEEN work.
In spring and autumn 2002 SEEN ringers continued ringing and training in Dhleil. Spring results (28th February - 24th May): 4818 birds ringed from 78 species, over 970 orientation experiments made. Autumn results (24th August – 5th November): 2717 birds ringed from 58 species, nearly 1200 orientation experiments made. Colleagues from the RSCN came to Poland for 4 weeks training in spring. In autumn SEEN ringers went to Azraq Wetland Reserve to start the ringing scheme at this place and continue training.  Results (28th August – 21st October): 406 birds ringed from 35 species, nearly 200 orientation experiments made.

•    Turkey project (2002)

Colleagues from Turkey first came to the SEEN workshop in 2001. The decision was made that SEEN ringers would help two Turkish stations to train volunteers and would run ringing programme there. For the first time we joined Manyas ringing station and Cernek ringing station (only for a month) in spring 2002. In autumn SEEN ringers worked at both stations for the whole season, i.e. 2,5 months. Results were very good: Manyas – ca 2 500 birds ringed, Cernek – ca 9 000 birds ringed! For the detailed results look at the summaries of our Turkish colleagues presentations (below).
 
•    Training process – a need for the SEEN training scheme handbook – Przemyslaw Busse

The SEEN training programme has rapidly expanded. After few years several different problems can be pointed, both for the teachers as well as for the trainees. Learning process that includes handling, identification, measurements, orientation experiments, has to take time. At Polish stations this process usually lasted 3 years and could be called “natural” one. This 3-years period can be shortened but still it takes time. Several important tips are given in the SEEN Manual but still a framework of the training process is needed. Several levels of qualifications that could be achieved within the SEEN Network training programme were proposed, i.e. volunteers (SEEN green badge) – these are participants that take active part in the SEEN work and in the training schemes; ringers (SEEN black badge) – all volunteers that successfully pass the SEEN training schemes and are trained well-enough to ring on their own; instructors (SEEN yellow badge) – these are all SEEN ringers that can train the volunteers – future ringers.

SEEN Training scheme – Discussion
 
  1. Nominating people
    It is very good idea to nominate few people, as candidates for ringers, beforehand, thus a trainer/ringer can focus on them.
  2. Theoretical introduction
    There is a need for theoretical introduction preceding practical training.
    Proposals were:
    a. short meeting or 2 weeks theoretical training or “Evening training scheme” on methodology, general theory of migration, procedures etc. as usually there is no time in the field for this kind of training.
    Problem: limited number of trainers, time limitation – at the moment there is no extra time for the theoretical training but “evening training” can be a good solution;
    b. manual “Theory of migration” with general description of current knowledge, goals of such kind of studies, results, application of ringing data to answer different questions on bird migration, moult strategies. If the ringers, trainees know more on this subject, they can avoid some mistakes. People have to understand that they collect scientific data and not only trap birds;
    c. simple data analysis done by the beginners.
  3. Guide on sexing/ageing, moult strategies
    There is a need for more “user-friendly” guide on sexing/aging, moult strategies. New ringers have to be taught how to use handbooks as these books became very complicated. At Rybachy a special photo-guide was prepared, its advantage was, amongst others, that there was no need for translation. A special computer-game can be also prepared. As photo-guides are expensive to publish there is an idea of  “on-line” guide, free of charge. It seems quite possible as more laptops are used at the field stations. 
  4. Training of future trainers – Training Manual is essential, because these people have to learn how to teach the others.
  5. Training process
    a. some sites are more suitable for the training purposes
    b. when there is large number of birds, time allocated for the training is very limited. Proposal: on the beginning lower number of nets for the training purposes would be better.
    c. one ringer can train maximum 2 people at the same time. Volunteers that know a little bit more could start to teach others under the supervision of the ringer.
    d. assessing yourself – quick and good way of learning
    The best position is when a trainee is sitting before the ringer, i.e. takes the bird from a bag, identifies an individual etc., then passes it to the ringer.
    e. compatibility of methods
    Problem: compatibility of methods, when ringers from different countries are invited. It is a very serious problem esp. for the beginners as they get confused with two different schools of ringing.
    f. comparability of measurements
    Problem: comparability of measurements. If there are 2 ringers at the station, it is very good to compare measurements each time.
  6. “Programme of awareness”
    At some stations esp. Egypt, Jordan there is a need for standard programme on education and public awareness. It can be used also to attract decision-makers that could support our work. 
  7. Rings
    Problem:
    rings from many countries look the same way. Maybe some change in lettering or colour of the ring could be a solution.
    Solution:
    Such differentiation could be very dangerous as it could generate wrong attitude of the ringer. Our purpose is that EACH ring is very important, valuable, retrap as well as recovery thus ALL rings should be checked carefully, twice. We should try to “imprint” trainees that retraps are first class birds. Very strict routine: all birds divided into retraps/controls and birds not ringed yet. Ring number must be dictated by e.g. groups of numbers and not by each number separately.
    At Zvenigorod ringing station, there is even an additional column for retraps that are checked immediately.
  8. Accreditation process
    In the future instead of giving recognition to an individual, it can be given to a station, but at the moment, at this stage we focus on people.

Presentations
Reports and information / Ringing results

Turkish National Ringing Scheme
Can Bilgin (Turkey)

In 1955 first bird was ringed with Radolfzell ring at Kusceneti National Park. In 1955-2000 ca 17 000 birds were ringed – but with foreign rings - and 750 controls were noted. In 2001 a national ringing scheme was launched with a pilot study run by KAD, also collaboration with the SEEN started this year. In autumn 2002 already 3 sites were run by Turkish people (2 by KAD/ODTU, 1 by OMU) and 1 by German team.
Problems: limited number of Turkish licensed ringers; training – language barrier, heavy workload on trainers; different work/ringing standards; local administrators.
Future: National Ringing Scheme run by KAD was awarded by UNDP/GEF; improve national capacity by training new ringers; inform and involve local conservation authorities; raise public awareness; build up a ringing stations network in Turkey.
Proposal: host the next SEEN meeting in Istambul.
 
Ringing results of Manyas and Odtü stations in Turkey, 2002
Ozge Keşapli Can (Turkey)

During spring 2002, more than 15,000 birds were ringed in Turkey at 4 stations, namely K?z?l?rmak Delta/Samsun, Manyas National Park/Bal?kesir, ODTÜ/Ankara and Titreyengöl-Manavgat/Antalya. During autumn studies, around 13,000 birds were ringed at 3 stations (K?z?l?rmak Delta, Manyas National Park and METU).
Manyas station, which is a lowland habitat mosaic near a freshwater lake, has 2 substations one in oak coppice and the other one near reedbeds and willows. In spring ringing was carried out between 24 April-18 May at oak coppice substation and totally 1,050 birds of 40 species were ringed. The highest number was for Sylvia atricapilla with 349 individuals following with Luscinia luscinia, S. curruca and S. nisoria. In addition, 416 orientation experiments were carried out.  One Acrocephalus palustris with Swedish ring (ringed in Nigulia,Kenya) and one Riparia riparia with Belgrad ring (ringed in Yugoslavia) was also controlled.
During spring, between 10-21 May, 715 birds of 38 species were also ringed at reedbed substation. Acrocephalus scirpaceus was the dominant species with 55 % of total following with Sylvia atricapilla and Lanius collurio. In addition, one Acrocephalus scirpaceus with Polish ring (ringed in Egypt) was controlled.
In autumn, the study started on 16 August at oak coppice substation but since the daily figures were very low the nets were transferred to the reedbeds substation after a month. Then the study was carried out there till 22 October. Totally 2,334 birds of 61 species were ringed and 532 orientation experiments were done.
In ODTÜ station, which is a willow grove surrounded by scrubland and open land, during spring 39 days of ringing were carried out between 22 March -26 May and 439 birds of 46 species were ringed. In autumn, ringing was carried out everyday between 18 August-29 October and 1,079 birds of 53 species were ringed. In addition, 213 orientation experiments were made.

Cernek Bird Ringing Station
Sancar Baris (Turkey)

Students of Birdwatching Club take very active part in the studies run at the Cernek Bird Ringing Station. In spring 2002 (22.03-25.04; exc. 15-17.04) 1197 birds were ringed of 46 species. Most numerous were Motacilla flava (at least 5 subspecies were recorded), Phylloscopus trochilus, Erithacus rubecula and Phylloscopus collybita. Totally 319 orientation experiments were made – most of them on the Robin.
In autumn 2002 (17.08-29.10), 8774 birds of 73 species were ringed; over 1000 orientation experiments were made. Peak migration days were during 31.08-7.09 – there were two days with over 300 birds ringed. Most numerous species were: Sylvia borin, Sylvia atricapilla, Phylloscopus trochilus, Phoenicurus phoenicurus, Muscicapa striata, Phylloscopus collybita and Erithacus rubecula. There was first record of Phylloscopus borealis for Turkey, first record in Kizilirmak delta of Turdus torquatus and second for the delta of Phylloscopus trochiloides nitidus.

Activity of Bird Ringing Station “Lebedivka” in 2000-2002
Anatoly Poluda (Ukraine)

Bird Ringing Station “Lebedivka” is located near the Dniepr river. In 2000, 3275 birds were ringed, while in 2001 – 3613. Most numerous were Parus major and Parus caeruleus.
In Kinburn 1338 birds were ringed in 2001 and 1706 in 2002; over 500 orientation experiments were made in Kinburn, Poltava and Lebedivka ringing stations.

Results of ringing activity of Biological Station Rybachy at year 2002
Nadia Zelenova (Russia)

Rybatchy and Fringilla stations are located on the Courish Spit, which is 98 km long and 30-40 km broad, these results in huge concentration of migrating birds, especially during autumn migration. Fringilla station was launched in 1957; at this site “Rybatchy” type of traps are used. Rybatchy station was launched in 1993 and here mist-nets and “high” nets are used. In 2002, 62 500 birds were ringed at both stations:
-    Fringilla (April-October) – 28 500 of 82 species,
-    Rybatchy (March – 7th November) – 22 500 of 80 species
As well as 1800 nestlings of 32 species and 400 adult birds of 15 species were ringed in the nest-boxes and in the nests.
Recoveries: 6 800 retraps, 800 recoveries of birds ringed at both stations in previous years, 360 recoveries of birds ringed at other stations.
 
Activity of Bird Ringing Station ''Kalimok'' in 2002
Pavel Zehtindjiev (Bulgaria)

In spring 392 birds were ringed, while in autumn 1680. Within 6 years of the station work, 10 500 birds were ringed. In 2002 studies focused on orientation experiments – 300 were done in spring, while over 1000 in autumn.
Results:
1.    Birds in spring and autumn show the same directional preferences
2.    NW Morocco – comparison between Emlen funnel (night experiments) and Busse cage (daytime experiments) – both methods give the same results.
 
Bird Ringing in Egypt
Wed Ibrahim (Egypt)

Wadi El Rayan Ringing Station was launched in 2001 with help of the SEEN. 43 mist-nets were put in reeds and small shrubs. On the beginning birds were ringed with Polish rings, since autumn 2002 Egyptian rings are used. The most common species, both in spring and autumn, is the Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus).
Recoveries: reed warblers ringed in Russia, Belgium and Hungary were caught in Wadi El Rayan, and one bird ringed in Wadi was caught in Turkey (spring 2002).
Plan: establishment of the Egyptian Bird Migration Research Center.
Objectives:
-    conserve bird species in Egypt
-    encourage scientific studies
-    support the international cooperation
-    standardize scientific studies and data collection
-    increase public awareness about birds
-    establish training programmes
-    establish database for bird ringing and monitoring data

Future plans: establish new ringing stations to describe general bird migration routes throughout Egypt – at the moment 8 places were proposed.


Birds on migration

Directional preferences of Reed Bunting on autumn migration in western part of Ukraine
Natalia Pisulinska (Ukraine)

The chair of zoology of Lviv National university named after Ivan Franko organised the field ornitological camp “AVOSETTA” in cooperation with Gdansk University (Poland) for the first time in 1995. The aim of this study was to investigate ornithofauna of the territories with excessive man-caused influence, learn on ornithofauna diversity, ecology, migration and orientation of birds, protection of birds and places of their mass concentration during migration. Study area was sludge pond and stagnant-pond “Sulfur” partially flooded with water with a great number of shallow water and bushes of cane and reed. The study site is placed 50 km for west from Lviv, between the villages of Tarnavytsya, Tcholhyni and Ruleve of Yavoriv district. Total area of this place is 820 hectares.
Study on Passerines orientation was made in the ornithological reserve “Cholginsky”. The biggest number of experiments were made on the Sedge and Reed Warblers and Reed Bunting.
843 individuals of the Reed Bunting were ringed in 1995-2002, i.e. 4% of total number of ringed birds. 115 orientation experiments were made in 2000-2002. Data collection and data processing were made according to Busse methods (1995).
The experiments have shown that for adult birds the main vector is more distinct than for the young ones. This regularity is especially obviously traced in the data gathered in 2002. Comparing the data of all birds orientations in 2000-2002 one should mark that in 2001 one direction is sharply defined, and two ofhers are feebly marked in contrast to 2000 and 2002 where there were defined two equelly marked, and one feebly marked in 2000. These three vectors in 2000-2001 concur with each other, and in 2002 there are only two directions and only one of them concurs with the previous years vector. From the results of the experiments one can mark two directions of orientations for Reed Buntings, which in different years have different intensity: West-South-West & South-South-East.
Investigation of orientation of young of Reed Buntings points to considerable dispersion of migration directions. The conducted experiments show that in 2001-2002 the main vector emerges more clearly for adult than for immature individuals. Though there were few young birds, which we took for the experiment (9 in 2000, 20 in 2001, 9 in 2002). The given selection is not sufficent for reliable speaking about the general tendency of choice of orientional directions by immature, and in 2000 also adult individuals of Emberiza schoeniclus.
The difference in directions in the results is prented not only for the adult birds, but also for immature ones. In 2000 we were witnessing greater atomism of directions, which can be explained by the difference in the number of birds taken for the experiment. The directions of orientation of Reed Buntings are congruent by years (2000, 2001), thus we can assume, that there exist two different flying ways of Reed Buntings. Therefore, we can assume, that across “Cholginsky” reserve fly Reed Buntings, which belong to different populations, bit this has to be checked by other studies.
There are facts of cathing (22 individuals) of ringed Reed Buntings at the same place, 1-3 years after they have been ringed. The biggest number of these birds were ringed being as adult and only some of them as immature. It can justify the fact, that individuals of the given species show site fidelity (???????, 1998, our data unpublished). Number of retraps can justify of the temporary staying of birds in the given place (maybe, for fat storing).

Orientation of Acrocephalus spp. in Lviv region
Oksana Zakala (Ukraine)

Orientation studies were made in Cholgyni Ornithological reserve (Lviv region, Yavoriv district) during July – August 1996-2002. Birds were caught with mist-nets, which were placed in reedbed of Phragmites australis on the bank of sedimentation tank. Data collection and processing were made according to Busse methods (1995).
439 orientation experiments were made, out of this number 283 on the Sedge Warbler. In August 2002, 37 orientation experiments were made on the Reed warbler, 5 on the Marsh Warbler, 3 – the Great Reed Warbler and 14 hybrids (according to Wallinger method) of the Marsh and Reed Warblers. In all 439 experiments preferred direction was not an accidental one.
The Sedge Warbler during autumn migration in 1996-2002 usually chose SE direction (30%), SW direction (25%) and WSW (20%). Other directions: SSW and W direction were only 11% and 14%, thus they are not so important. SE direction dominated in 1996 (26%), 2000 (45%) and 2002 (33%) years. SW direction dominated in 1996 (26%), 1997 (31%), 1998 (39%) and 1999 (33%) years. And WSW direction dominated in 2001 (38%), but it was also preferred in 1996, 1997 and 1999 years.
Most Reed Warblers chose SE direction. S direction was chosen by 28% of all birds and was absent in the Marsh Warbler. To investigate orientation of the Marsh Warbler only 5 experiments were made, because of low number of caught birds. Usually they chose S direction. Orientation of hybrids was characterized by high dispersion: 30% of birds chose SE, 20% S, 15% western and 8% eastern directions.
Except of those major cases, also 3 small vectors were identified. It is possible that orientation in Acrocephalus palustris, A. scirpaceus and A. scirpaceus/palustris is one of the evidence of their resemblance.
Migration of birds from Eastern Europe through Cholgyni reserve is supported by ringing results. There are recoveries of 3 Sedge Warblers ringed in Estonia (one in 1997, in 1999 and 2000) and one from Finland (2001). From Cholgyni birds fly to SW, that is proved by the fact that bird ringed in Cholgyni was caught in Hungary (1999) and the Reed Warbler was caught in Slovenia (1999). We had no recoveries from the eastern directions but as we can see from orientation experiments it is one of the preferred direction. Nevertheless such information depends not only on a number of ringed birds but also on a number of ornithological stations in these regions. SE and eastern directions also have no recoveries, but it does not mean that birds do not migrate there. Those directions had been identified in different proportions at the other ornithological stations, e.g. in Poland (Druzno) and Estonia (Haademeeste) and are supported by the recovery of the Sedge warbler ringed in Finland and caught in Israel.
 
The Lesser Whitethroat case
Agnieszka Ożarowska (Poland)

Seasonal changes in the migration direction shown by the Lesser Whitethroat  were studied according to the orientation data. Birds were tested with a method proposed by Busse (1995) during spring migration 1999 in Eilat, Israel. This method enables to study directional behaviour of night migrants also during daytime.
The aim of this study was to check whether there were time-periods characterized by the dominance of a particular direction. If such differentiation was the case, to check whether it was related with the passage of the species. According to the previous study it was found that the Lesser Whitethroat caught in Eilat showed two main migration directions: NNW and NNE. The former was in accordance with the ringing recoveries available for this region, the latter, though not supported by the recoveries, was supported by the individuals of the eastern subspecies of the Lesser Whitethroat (i.e. S.c. blythi, S.c. halimodendri) that were caught in Eilat (Shirihai 1996, Morgan and Shirihai 1997).
Individuals that shown one dominant direction were analysed (N=118), data were analysed day by day and if the preferred migration direction was the same data were grouped. This way three periods with the dominance of one direction were found: 22.02-5.04 (NNE, N=47), 6.04-1.05 (NNW, N=38), 2-9.05 (NNE, N=11). They were compared with the spring passage dynamics in 1999 and it was found that the border dates are in accordance with the minima of the migration dynamics that could suggest a relationship between the preferred direction and the passage of the species.
Different migration direction preferred could suggest different origin of the migrating birds thus biometrics of the two most numerous groups (22.02-5.04 and 6.04-1.05) was analysed. Average wing, tail length as well as correlation between tail and wing length in both groups did not differ (stat. insignif.). Though there was no difference in biometrics of these two groups they still could represent different populations of the species, or maybe even subspecies as according to several authors e.g. wing length of the subspecies: S.c. curruca, S.c. blythi, S.c. halimodendri are very similar. 


A quantitative estimate of the spatial and temporal distribution of nocturnal bird migration in south – eastern Europe – a coordinated moon watch study
Pavel Zehtindjiev (Bulgaria)

In SE Europe, the spatial and temporal distribution of nocturnal migration is hardly known. With the moon watching technique the passage of 5603 nocturnal migrants was recorded during 419 observation hours at 29 sites spread over Bulgaria, SE-Romania and northern Greece. Mean migratory traffic rate was 1400 birds*km-1h-1 in autumn and 900 birds*km-1h-1 in spring. Migration intensity was similar between E-W and N-S gradient. Flight directions were virtually opposite between seasons, with a slight shift from SSW to S during the autumn and from NNE to N during the spring. These results indicate that a high proportion of nocturnal migrants along the Eastern flyway does not circumvent the eastern Mediterranean Sea, but crosses the sea on a broad front. This is in contrast to the migration along the western flyway, where a majority of mainly long distance migrants takes south-westerly directions towards the Iberian Peninsula and thus, avoids a long sea crossing.

Fat-loads of Acrocephalus spp. in nitrophilous ruderal vegetation – preliminary results from Hohenau-Ringelsdorf in northeastern Austria
Thomas Zuna-Kratky (Austria)

Data on four widespread long-distance migrants – A. schoenobaenus, palustris, scirpaceus, arundinaceus – all in large numbers trapped at Hohenau-Ringelsdorf, were analysed. These species show negative population-trends in many European countries. The location of the sites, where birds gain high fat-loads in central Europe is mostly unknown.
Nitrophilous ruderal vegetation at Hohenau-Ringelsdorf:
a. conditions: high amount of nutrients, high water-capacity, late development (start May-June)
b. vegetation-types of orders Sisymbrietalia, Onopordetalia, Galio-Urticetea, dominated by: Atriplex & Chenopodium-Species, Urtica-Species & Conium maculatum, Phragmites australis, Sambucus nigra

Fat and migration-distance
•    near linear-trend between weight-increase and fat-score in small Acrocephalus sp. –
0,4-0,5 g increase / fat-score-unit
•    0,4 g fat is sufficient for non-stop migration of 130 km (Bensch & Nielsen 1999)
•    birds from H-R e. g. can reach with fat-score
–    2,5  > 500 km = Po-Dela (Italy)
–    4-5 > 1.000 km = Prespa-Lakes, Nestos-Delta (Greece)
–    8 > 2.000 km = Guadalquivir (Spain), Nile-Delta (Egypt)

Preliminary Results
•    all 4 Acrocephalus-species gain high fat loads (up to „Maximum“) at nitrophilous ruderal vegetation at the site Hohenau-Ringelsdorf
•    already in July some birds are fat enough to reach other sites in a distance up to 600 km
•    sharp increase in mean fat-score starts depending on migration-timing and strategy at end of July (A. arundinaceus), mid August (A. palustris) and beginning of September (A. schoenobaenus, scirpaceus)
•    late birds have enough fat to reach the southern Mediterranean coast without additional stops

Migration-routes of birds stopping at the March-Thaya-Floodplains. Preliminary results of ringing-recoveries
Thomas Zuna-Kratky (Austria)

Ringing-recoveries from March-Thaya Dataset (1933-2002) were used. Total 167 recoveries (136 at the distance of more than 30 km) were analysed. Countries that had most numerous records of birds
from March-Thaya were: Czech Republic 56, Italy 26, Austria 19, Hungary 12, Poland 7.
We tried to assess „Migration-Connectivity“ between MT and European countries by comparing:
•    percentage of ringing-activity of a certain country on ringed birds in Europe with percentage of these rings found/controlled in MT
•    percentage of ringing-activity of a certain country on ringed birds in Europe  with percentage of MT-ringed birds retrapped there
•    percentage of the population of a country on European population with percentage of MT-ringed birds found there

Preliminary Results
•    birds from almost whole Europe can use the March-Thaya-floodplain as a stopover-site
•    ringing-recoveries indicate, that birds mostly come from central European countries to the N and NE and move into a broad sector from SW to SE
•    there are marked differences between systematic groups (e.g. Turdidae migrating SW, Sylviidae migrating SE)


Autumn migration of Phylloscopus collybita in southern Belarus
Dimitri Zhuravliev (Belarus)

The material was collected during three years from 2000 to 2002  in the southern part of Belarus. The ringing station is located in the river Pripyat floodplain. The main biotopes, where the birds are captured, were floodplain meadows with willow bushes and oak floodplain forest. Each year nets were located at the same places, we always used about 200 m of mist-nets.
Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita was the most numerous migrant at our station (ca. 20% of all captured birds). The most representative data were collected in 2001. A peak of migration was recorded in last decade of September. In this period about 52% of total number of birds was ringed (data from 2001). According to the daily activity, most birds were caught from 8 till 11 o'clock a.m. 15% of all ringed Chiffchaff was adult birds.
 Biometrics: mean wing length of Phylloscopus collybita increased from 60.6 mm at the beginning of August to 63.0 mm in the end of September. Distribution of wing length of Ph. collybita shows two peaks. One of the possible reason is that through south Belarus two Chiffchaff subspecies migrate - during August, in general, Ph. c. collybita; from middle of September till beginning of October, mainly, Ph. c. abietinus.
The increase of body mass was statistically significant (ANOVA, F2,780 = 21.54; p<0.0001). The mean body mass increased from 7,8g at the beginning of August to 8,2g in the end of September. The mean fat level increased from 0,5 to 2,8 during this period.
Ringing results of our station in 2002 - we ringed 2241 birds 65 species from 16 August to 18 September. Phylloscopus collybita, Erithacus rubecula, Parus caeruleus, Sylvia atricapilla, Phylloscopus trochilus, Parus major, Emberiza schoeniclus and Acrocephalus schoenobaenus were the most numerous migrants.
One foreign recovery on our bird was obtained. Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus ringed on 15 September 2001 was caught on 25 January 2002 in Hungary.

Migration of owls on the Polish Baltic coast
Przemysław Busse (Poland)

The Operation Baltic bird migration research programme is devoted mainly to a study of Passerine migration. However, in 1961-1994, 41 Tengmalm’s and 44 Long-eared Owls were caught accidentally in the small size mesh nets for Passerines. Since 1995 till 1999, 29 Tengmalm’s and 517 Long-eared Owls were caught due to use of special raptor nets that efficiently catch owls in the night and diurnal raptors during daytime. The Operation Baltic stations (Mierzeja Wiślana, Hel and Bukowo-Kopan) are situated along the Polish coast of the Baltic Sea, thus the results give rough picture of autumn migration of the most common owls migrating along the southern Baltic coast. Collected data, though not too numerous in the past, give some impression on seasonal migration dynamics as well as long-term trends in number. Relation in number of migrating Tengmalm’s and Long-eared Owls changed very much during the study period. A few recoveries show that ringed owls reached Germany, Holland, Belgium and even France on their autumn migration. Confirmed origin of migrants is limited to Latvia, Lithuania and Russia (Kaliningrad region).
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