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This month the Tygerberg Ringing Unit celebrates its 20th anniversary. On 4 July 1992 the Tygerberg Ringing Unit held its first ringing session at the Durbanville Nature Reserve with ringers Colin Martin and George Underhill. 44 birds were ringed and the unit continued with regular sessions. Within the first two years Colin had trained Debbie Philogene, Jo Johnson, Margaret McCall and Lee Silks, with many other trainees to follow (Bob Ellis, Mike Ford, Peter Nupen, Brigid Crewe, Sigi Fry). In 2002 the group helped Dr Penn Lloyd with his study of breeding birds at Koeberg - the ringing was intensive, and included colour ringing all the target species - several top quality papers were published from this study. By 2008 the group had ringed over 60000 birds! In 2009 the group found a Barn Swallow roost and ringing there has produced many recaptures from Europe. Margaret writes regular reports for the bird club's newsletter "The Kite" and the ringing group is well supported by the bird club.
At the monthly evening meeting of the bird club last night, an award was presented to the Tygerberg Ringing Unit by the ADU to acknowledge the amazing role the unit has played in collecting ringing data. Lee Silks and Margaret McCall (photo above), who have been leasding the group for many years and were there from the start, received the ADU certificate.
There was also an opportunity to hand out SABAP2 certificates: John Fincham (photo left) has submitted 50 atlas cards and Deona Andrag (photo right) has submitted 100 cards - this represents a minimum of 100 and 200 hours of atlassing respectively (and not including travel time, etc!).
Well done to these citizen scientists!