I also took 2 off-island ringing opportunities. First off was a family holiday in the North Yorkshire Moors Forests where I caught 2 Nightjars - if you thought these mysterious creatures of the dark look good in the field you should see them close up in the hand!
Male Nightjar - North York Moors 2011
My second off-island ringing forray was a trip with Sean to the island of Flatey off the West coast of Iceland. We joined Kane Brides and Chris Bridge who had organised the trip - 2 great lads which it was a pleasure to meet.
Red-necked Phalarope - one of many ringed on Flatey 2011
Looking back at the local ringing it was great to launch a new project on Cormorants, expand our Gull colour ringing to include Lesser Black-backs, Great Black-backs and (in conjunction with Kane) Black-headed Gulls. We also continued our Rock Pipit, Twite, Mute Swan and Chough colour ringing projects.
Even though we have only recently started most of these projects, all of them are already producing very interesting and valuable results - more on which will come during the next year.
Z7P - seen in Hampshire
We also ticked over with several excellent garden ringing sites and our thanks go to Ron & Hazel Crellin, Barry & Christine Sloper, Steve & Sue Colvin and Liz & Glenn Jensen for the use of their garden feeding stations throughout the year.
We had an excellent Summer ringing plenty of pulli too. The Swallow pulli numbers were boosted by Sean with the great help of Les Kneale's contacts in the farms around Maughold and Judith Burn kept me busy with numerous broods of Swallows at Eary Farm again this year - our thanks to both of them.
We also had a good year for Chough pulli, ringing almost 70 young and 2 adults during a busy few days and numerous trips to ring Gull chicks near the Point of Ayre led to equally numerous changes of clothes!!
We also submitted over 150 nest record cards to the BTO this year.
And finally, getting to my favourite type of ringing - we had an excellent year dazzling, with over 80 waders dazzled, including 9 Whimbrel and 11 Sanderling.
A cracking pair!
So, will 2012 be as good as 2011? Let's hope so!
Thanks go to everyone who has helped us out during the last year - all the people who have reported ringed birds to us and to all the landowners and farmers who have so keenly let us have access to carry out our work.
Thanks also to Sean for all the laughs, enthusiasm and never-ending ideas, to Kane for helping out with the Chough ringing and his friendship and to Chris, Kay, Dave and Mark Fitzpatrick for their ringing efforts for the group.