SEEN - SE European Bird Migration Network
2001 Przebendowo
15-16 December 2001,

Przebendowo, Poland

4th  Workshop of the SE European Bird Migration Network

39 participants from 13 countries took part in this workshop. Programme of this meeting comprised several presentations and up-date on current work of SEEN.


 •  SEEN Network

SEEN members come from 20 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. 6 members from Austria (Hohenau-Ringelsdorf/March), Belgium (European colour-ring Birding), Bulgaria (Kalimok), Cyprus (Game Fund), Russia (Omsk) and South Africa (SAFRING) joined SEEN in 2001.

 •  Trainings/Visits

The aim of all trainings and visits was to establish uniform methodology for SEEN members so effectiveness of research of bird migrations could be increased.
  • in Poland: 8 persons from Belarus, Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece were trained in methods of fieldwork of bird migration at two ringing stations
  • 10 ringers went to Egypt (Wadi El Rayan), Jordan (Hashimyyia), Latvia (Pape) and Russia (Gumbaritsy, Omsk) ringing stations to train local ringers in methods of fieldwork and/or help in ringing

 •  Egypt project (2001)

According to our plans SEEN joined an international project in Wadi El Rayan Protected Area coordinated by Italians. Our task was to establish bird ringing station at the area; pilot study started in spring 2001 (2nd of March – 28th of April). In total 1274 birds were ringed from 44 species. Out of 99 species caught and/or observed during work, 22 were new for the area. 552 orientation experiments were made. Studies were also conducted in autumn (3rd of September – end of October). SEEN ringers from Poland conducted them with help of 5 Egyptians, that took part in training and work there. Results: 488 birds ringed and 214 tested in orientation experiments. Low number of birds could be caused either by drought of the habitat in autumn and/or by different strategies of migrants on spring and autumn migration. This project will be also continued in 2002. The final step will be to establish Ringing Centre for Egypt run by the Egyptian ringers that took part in SEEN ringing -training.

 •  Jordan project (2001)

Jordan joined SEEN in 2000. In autumn 2001 SEEN ringers went to Hashimyyia, established a ringing station there and carried out ringing on autumn migration. Results: 1741 birds ringed, 1185 (!) orientation experiments made. This project will be continued in 2002.

Reports and information / Ringing results

Activity of Bird Ringing Stations ''Tomord and Sumony'' in 2001
Agnes Lepold, Andrea Ruff (Hungary)

Research project at Lake Sumony started in 1983, while at Tomord in 1997. The aim of the projects is to study both breeding and migrating birds.
Migration dynamics studies
  • Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) 1999-2000
  • Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) 1999-2001
  • Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) 1999-2001
Migration in 2000 started and finished later than in 1999.
Chiffchaff: 2 waves in 1999 and 2000, but 4 adjoining waves (continuous migration) in 2001.
Pied flycatcher: 1 long wave in 1999, but 2 waves in 2000 and 2001.
Sumony ringing station
Ringing follows methods of Actio Hungarica. Birds are caught during post-breeding – autumn migration period (15.07-23.09). There were 34 nets (12 m each) put in homogenous reed bed and in dry bushes. The most common species were: Hirundo rustica (2263 ind.), Sylvia atricapilla (1065), Acrocephalus schoenobaenus (965), Acrocephalus scirpaceus (745).
Tomord ringing station
Research was conducted since 5th of August until 18th of November. 27 nets were used (12 m each). Most of nets are in dry bushes, few of them in marsh areas. Most common species were: Erithacus rubecula (753 ind.), Regulus regulus (451), Phylloscopus collybita (332) and Sylvia atricapilla (319).

Orientation of the Pied Flycatcher in 2001:
  • method: averaging of all;
    result: S-SW direction (previously known in literature)
  • method: summing up percentages of every individual bird in each of the eight sections of the cage;
    result: 2 main directions: SW (see above); SE: not known in the literature, seems a strong preference
The second method gives a subtler picture and the results are closer to reality.
Plans to improve orientation studies:
  • using the software developed in Poland process data
  • building contacts with SE ringing stations to follow the SE direction

Ringing activity at Courish Spit in 2000-2001
Nadia Zelenova (Russia)

Number of ringed birds: 85 998 (2000); 85 225 (2001)

66% 53% Fringilla traps
25% 34% Rybachy mist nets
4.3% Nests+nest boxes
5.5% 8.7%
Other methods used in special programmes

In 2000 there was an invasion of the Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus): more birds were caught than since 1956 in total.

Dominating species:
Fringilla station: 36% Aegithalos caudatus (2000); 27% Regulus regulus, 19% Carduelis spinus (2001)
Rybachy station: 22% Erithacus rubecula (2000); 21% Erithacus rubecula (2001)

Nests and nest boxes
26 species; 2692 ind. 13 species; 349 ind.
24 species; 3269 ind.
53 species; 572 ind.

381 ind.- 24 species from 12 countries (2000)
237 ind. – 29 species from 10 countries (2001)

Autumn migration of passerine birds in the Pripyat valley in 2001
Dimitri Zhuravliev (Belarus)

Turov ringing station started its work in 1996. The station is situated on the flood plain of Pripyat River. Habitat is very mosaic: there are willow forests along the river, then oak trees and bushes.
Work was carried out since 1st of August until 17th of October; 330 meters of the mist-nets were used.

In total 4889 birds were ringed from 80 species.
Most common were following species: Phylloscopus collybita (998 ind.), Parus major (542), Erithacus rubecula (457), Parus caeruleus (445).
Peak of migration:
47 pentad – Acrocephalus spp., Sylvia spp., Muscicapa striata, Ficedula spp.
54 pentad – Phylloscopus spp., Parus spp., Erithacus rubecula, Aegithalos caudatus

First working results of Omsk Bird Ringing Station in 2000-2001
Sergei A. Soloviev (Russia)

In 2001 studied were carried out from 2nd of August until 10th of October. 2045 birds were caught. The most common species were Sylvia spp., esp. Sylvia curruca. Only in twelve days (02.08-14.08) 483 orientation experiments were made!

Bird ringing projects in southern Africa and the vision for Afring
H. Dieter Oschadleus (South Africa)

1948: first ringing took place
1909: first recovery – Ciconia ciconia
1999: 133 ringers; studies on retraps, biometrics, moult

AFRING – next step
1969: PAOC – first proposal of AFRING
1998: Wetlands International
2001: AFRING news

   - no passage stations
   - fewer migrants than residents
   - KEEN ringers
   - come to SA!

Monitoring of reed passerines on autumn migration at Nesyt fishpond.
Colour ringing program on Larus melanocephalus
Josef Chytil (Czech Republic)

Nesyt fishpond is the biggest Moravian pond, total area – 320 ha, within ca 35 ha of reeds.
Habitat: reed beds
Nets length: 150 m
1978-84 – ringing was carried out between July 15 and September 12. In total 21 684 individuals from 56 species were caught. Significant differences among the years were recorded and even much higher differences were found within individual species. The most numerous species were the Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Common Swallow, Marsh Warbler, Sand Martin, Bearded Tit and Penduline Tit. In the latter species the highest differences in numbers in particular years have been found.
1994-99 – 19 122 birds caught from 52 species. The most numerous species were: the Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Marsh Warbler and Penduline Tit.
2000 – 619 birds ringed.
2001 – 1160 birds ringed.
Both in 2000 and 2001 most common species were the Reed, Sedge and Marsh warblers.

Bird migration study in Biological Station "Kalimok", NE Bulgaria
Pavel Zehtindjiev (Bulgaria)

‘Kalimok’ Biological Station started to work in 1990; since 1992 work is conducted on regular basis.
  • endangered species: breeding in captivity; reintroduction
  • ringing: spring – 3 months, autumn – 3 months; 3-4 thousands of birds caught each season
    dynamics: 28.09-07.10 – number of the long-distance migrants is decreasing, while short-distance migrants are increasing
1995 – regular ringing station
  • Moonwatch observations
  • Orientation experiments

Bird ringing in Turkey
Ozge Keşapli Can (Turkey)

  • Black Vulture project
  • Migration monitoring programme
  • Bird migration education project
  • National ringing scheme in Turkey
Licensed ringers are invited!!

Kizilirmak delta
Sancar Baris (Turkey)

Characteristics of Kizilirmak delta were presented as the potential site for establishing regular bird ringing station.

Birds on migration

Similarities in migration strategies of Buzzards and Levant Sparrowhawks
Little Stint migration at Eilat
Reuven Yosef (Israel)

Results of several different studies on bird migration in Eilat were presented, which proved once more importance of this site in bird migration system.

Analysis of ringing recoveries of Sedge and/or Great Reed Warbler from the territory of Czech Republic and Slovakia
Petr Prochazka (Czech Republic)

In total, 1655 ringing recoveries of 1492 Sedge Warblers ringed or recovered in the Czech Republic and Slovakia were analysed in respect of breeding site fidelity, natal philopatry and movements. Out of 128 recoveries of adult birds from the breeding season, 96% come form the same locality showing a considerable breeding site fidelity. Out of 9 recoveries of birds ringed in nests and subsequently recovered during following breeding seasons, 8 settled at their birthplaces, only 1 male was found 26 km away from its native locality. After fledging, some juveniles dispersed in directions different from the migration routes. One young bird was recovered on its juvenile dispersal at the age of 35 days. On their migration to winter quarters, Sedge Warblers head initially between southwest and southeast. The highest concentration of recoveries is situated in the Pannonian Lowland. Birds from Eastern Baltic region and Scandinavia often migrate through the territory of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The only winter record comes from southern France.

Migration and orientation of the Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) in summer-autumn period in Lviv Province
Oksana Zakala, Igor Shydlovskyy (Ukraine)

Dynamics of the Sedge Warbler migration in the summer-autumn periods has a variable pattern. Migratory intensity depends strongly on the environmental conditions, summer length, food resources and behavioural characters. Highest migratory intensity was found in 1996 (2.37 birds per net) and the lowest in 1998 (0.68 birds per net). Migratory intensity in different pentads depends on the food availability. Maximal daily migratory intensity was found to be from 6 till 7 o’clock (0.25 birds per net) and decreased during the day with the small increase in night (0.05 birds per net). The daily migratory intensity depends also on temperature and precipitation – no birds were captured in the hours with high temperature or rainfall. Orientation of young birds shows the high dispersion of directional preferences. Southeast and southwest directions were preferable in 1999, and southeast directions in 2000.

Great Tit migration in Central Europe
Jarosław Nowakowski (Poland)

The Great Tit is considered as a typical irruptive species with a very irregular pattern of migrations. In the Netherlands, England and Switzerland mass occurrences of this species in autumn are noted every several years. As it was proved, birds, which take part in them, originate from northeastern Europe. At the same time, ornithologists working at ringing stations localised on the eastern and the southern Baltic coasts do not note any especially rapid year-to-year changes in numbers of migrating Great Tits. This information was verified on the basis of material collected in years 1980-1996 at ringing stations Hanko, Kabli, Neringa and Mierzeja Wislana. It appeared that in the studied area the Great Tit was a regular partial migrant. However, places of its wintering changed among years. This depended upon two factors: (1) the time of start of movements, which was very changeable in this species, and (2) beech crop in forests passed by on route. If the passage begun early (around mid-September), Great Tits, migrating with relatively stable speed, reached distant places (the Netherlands and southern France). The only thing that could stop them was an exceptionally high beech crop on their migration route. Early start of migration of the Great Tit and low beech crop coincide every several years – these are years of invasion in western Europe (e.g. in 1971 in the Netherlands).

Pattern of autumn migration of Robins between Baltic region and wintering grounds
Magdalena Remisiewicz (Poland)

- Robins passing through the Baltic region follow at least four separate migration routes heading to different region of wintering grounds.
- Terms of migration through Baltic coasts differ among Robins following neighbouring migration routes.
- Pattern of median migration dates of Robins recovered in extreme regions of wintering grounds generally agrees with that assumed by the clinal hypothesis. Robins heading to SE migrate significantly later than the remaining ones; other differences are non-significant. Thus, the hypothesis needs further verification.
- Alternate pattern of terms of migration through the Baltic coasts of Robins following different routes allows to reject the clinal hypothesis. The results support the hypothesis of allohiemic populations that differ with migration routes, winter quarters and migration terms, and can be separated by migratory divides.
- The migratory divides are not sharp border lines – at least in some regions of wintering grounds (e.g. at the Iberian Peninsula) neighbouring allohiemic populations mix.
- The presented spatio-temporal pattern of Robin migration can be a result of its re-colonisation of Europe after last glacial period independently from different refuges. The spatial segregation could be maintained by mechanisms of natural selection.

The significance of nitrophilous ruderal vegetation for migrating passerines in the Morava-Dyje-floodplain
Thomas Zuna-Kratky (Austria)

The significance of man-made habitat for migrating passerines was presented. Dynamic changes of such kind of habitat play important role in species composition. At the moment this composition, according to ringing data, is as follows: 1. Acrocephalus palustris, 2. Passer montanus, 3. Acrocephalus schoenobaenus, 4. Emberiza schoeniclus, 5. Phylloscopus collybita, 6. Sylvia communis, 7. Lanius collurio.

Slide / Film shows

Birds of South Africa
H. Dieter Oschadleus (South Africa)

Birds in the Pripyat valley
Pavel Pinchuk, Dimitri Zhuravliev (Belarus)
Created by Pronetix 2006