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Alf
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TWITE - HELP NEEDED
Mar 30th, 2017 at 4:57pm
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We have received this from Jamie Dunning at the RSPB in Denby Dale asking for help from individuals:

Hello.

As most of you receiving this will already know, Twite are declining across their range, and nowhere more so than here in the North west of England.

In order to understand this decline, we are attempting to do some work on he population dynamics of the remaining colonies - this will then be compared with work done historically and against populations in other areas to better inform our understanding of the habitat requirements, what’s working and what’s not.

To do this, we need to cover an awful lot of moorland in a rather narrow window of time. The main areas of interest will be to establish the following,
A) occupancy, is that particular area of moorland is occupied by breeding Twite
B) Number of pairs present on X territory.
C) Any colour ringed birds, (especially if they are in an obvious pair!).

I have a list of sites (43 in total) to visit and it has been suggested that our survey technique should be rather simply to go the central square of the grid reference, for an hour and record the above. One visit will be sufficient but two would be great.

If you (or anybody you know!) can be of any help to us by taking one or more of the grid references we’d like to visit please do drop me line.
It would be best if we can fit these visits in between May and July, but a month either side of that will be fine.

Do circulate, do get in touch & I’ll make a list for myself and Katie Aspin (RSPB) of all of those who can help and we will allocate sites and follow up with more information.

Cheers.

Jamie


A number of club members took part in the previous efforts and, as you know, this is an iconic species in our area. Anybody willing to help should contact Jamie directly on:

jamiedunning8@gmail.com

It would also be useful if anyone participating could also inform Mike Denton.
  

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Re: TWITE - HELP NEEDED
Reply #1 - Apr 6th, 2017 at 5:46pm
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It would be interesting to know the objectives of this research. ?
What are the results of previous Twite research that left Twite with two rings on each leg --Ridiculous-- is it still on going has it finished will this new research add to previous research?
    Please see Attached photos of Twite with 4 rings.
  

TWITE_17_ringed-2.jpg ( 225 KB | 7 Downloads )
TWITE_17_ringed-2.jpg
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Re: TWITE - HELP NEEDED
Reply #2 - Apr 6th, 2017 at 5:48pm
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Another ringed Twite
  

TWITE_17_ringed-8.jpg ( 227 KB | 6 Downloads )
TWITE_17_ringed-8.jpg
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Re: TWITE - HELP NEEDED
Reply #3 - Apr 6th, 2017 at 6:19pm
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Reg, it's called the Twite Recovery Project, which should be self-explanatory. Twite numbers in the South Pennines continue to fall and this part of the work is intended to produce an up to date assessment of current breeding numbers, together with an evaluation of suitable food availability.

The ringed birds that you have photographed were marked as a part of this work, I believe.

See:

https://www.rspb.org.uk/our-work/conservation/conservation-projects/details/2229...

https://www.rspb.org.uk/our-work/conservation/conservation-projects/details/3625...
  

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Re: TWITE - HELP NEEDED
Reply #4 - Apr 25th, 2017 at 6:24pm
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Further communication from the RSPB seeking assistance. Please contact them directly if you are willing to help.

Dear all,

Firstly, thank you for contacting myself or Jamie Dunning and expressing your interest in helping us with our Twite monitoring this season.  Any data that you collect will be invaluable to improving our understanding of the South Pennines Twite population.  As you are probably aware, last year’s survey results showed that population numbers declined by a further 57% at our monitoring sites between 2010 and 2016.  Therefore making sure we keep track of population numbers is crucial, and your help with this is very much appreciated.

I am emailing to give you some more detail about the surveying that we would like doing this year.  We have two options available depending on how much time you can give:

1)      Adopt a colony
This will involve adopting one of our monitoring sites and collecting quite in-depth data on the Twite population at that site.  This would include:
-      Recording Twite numbers – this will involve walking all areas of suitable nesting habitat searching for signs of breeding Twite and doing hour long watches from vantage points to record any Twite observed, their behaviour and any colour rings. 
-      There is also the option to collect data on nest productivity if this is something you are interested in, although this is more time consuming.
-      Identify foraging sites – following the flight paths of birds from nest site to foraging sites to determine the areas they are using to feed.
Each colony will need to be visited 3 times between May and early July and visits will take 3+ hours depending on the size of the site.

2)      Recording bird presence/abundance and colour ringed birds at historical or random sites
This will involve visits to historical/random 1km squares and walking all areas of suitable nesting habitat, doing hour long watches from vantage points to record any Twite observed, their behaviour and any colour rings.  A single visit should suffice for the random sites, although more visits may be necessary if possible breeding Twite are observed. 

If you are still interested in helping us collect this data, please could you let me know which monitoring activity you would like to do, and how many sites you would be able to cover depending on your time availability.  Some of you have already given me an idea of where you can travel to, but some idea of your ideal site locations/distance you could travel would be really useful so that I can allocate sites.

Myself and Jamie are hoping to run a training session in the field to go through the survey methods and to hopefully see some Twite!  We have pencilled in Monday the 8th of May – please could you let me know whether you would be able to attend on this date if you feel you need some training.

I know some of you have been or continue to be RSPB volunteers, but for those of you who are not or haven’t volunteered with us for more than 2 years, please could you complete that attached volunteer registration form so that we can log you on our system.   

Again, I really appreciate any time that you can give us and I think we could collect some really important data this year with your help.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Katie Aspin
Twite Project Officer (working days Monday - Wednesday)

The RSPB, Northern England Region, Westleigh Mews, Wakefield Road, Denby Dale, Huddersfield, HD8 8QD
Tel 01484 868431
Mobile 07736722177

rspb.org.uk

(The registration form is attached.)


Alf.
  

volunteerregistrationform.docx ( 260 KB | 8 Downloads )

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