About MRG

Useful links to ringing-related organisations.

Members' pages for MRG members only.


History of the Group

Rob Cockbain and Graham Thomason, both still active members of the Group, originally formed a ringing partnership in 1954. A few years later, at the suggestion of Bob Spencer, then Head of the Ringing Scheme at the BTO, this was transformed into a ringing group, and the MRG was born. The name 'Merseyside' was intended to reflect the Group's area of operations, around the Mersey, and not to mean the specific area that became a county in the 1974 reorganisation of local government.


Annual Reports

2015 Annual Report free to download here.

2014 Annual Report free to download here.

Three of the articles within the 2014 report are also available separately:

A breeding Barn Owl of the Tyto alba guttata race

Mid-Cheshire Barn Owls, 2013 and 2014: two record years

Common Terns at Shotton

2013 Annual Report free to download here.

2012 Annual Report free to download here.

2011 Annual Report free to download here.

2010 Annual Report free to download here.

50th anniversary (1954-2004) special report free to download here.


Activities of MRG

The Group now numbers some 45 members, ringing a wide variety of birds at a range of sites, mostly in the counties of Cheshire and Merseyside in North West England and Flintshire and Denbighshire in North Wales. In the decade 2003-12, MRG ringed 204,364 birds (163,269 free-flying and 41,095 pulli (nestlings)) of 140 species at 539 sites, and handled 55,583 retraps (birds already ringed at the same site) or 'controls' (birds ringed elsewhere). The top 77 sites, each with more than 250 birds ringed in the decade, are shown in the following map.

An indication of the area of activity is provided by this map of England, Wales and southern Scotland, showing the 10km squares in which birds were ringed by the Group; this map does not give any measure of the number of birds ringed or the intensity of effort at any site, merely the geographical spread of sites in the national context.


Members of MRG also study a lot of breeding birds, and complete Nest Records for many of them. Click here to see MRG's totals of Nest Record Cards for 1990-2013: we have averaged over 1,000 records per year (25,393 nests in 24 years, of 130 species). A few of the nests have been recorded by members whilst outside the normal area of the Group.



As part of our commitment to education (one of our charitable objectives), members of the Group give talks to local societies and lead ringing demonstrations at a variety of sites including Oxmoor Local Nature Reserve (Runcorn), Woolston Eyes (Warrington), Wirral Country Park (Thurstaston), Norton Priory (Runcorn), Delamere Forest and Marbury Country Park. More information about some of the ringing demonstrations is given here.


Local and national connections

We work closely with other ringers, individuals, partnerships and colleagues in other Ringing Groups including South Manchester Ringing Group, Morecambe Bay Wader Group, Hilbre Island Bird Observatory, South West Lancashire Ringing Group and Shropshire Ringing Group.

As well as submitting our data, as with all ringing information, to the BTO nationally, selected records are submitted locally to Cheshire and Wirral Ornithological Society (CAWOS) and the Clwyd Bird Recording Group. All data for the appropriate areas are deposited with rECOrd, the Local Record Centre for Cheshire, Halton, Warrington & Wirral.


Regional Ringing Conferences

Merseyside Ringing Group hosted the North West England and North Wales Ringers' Conference on Saturday 27 November 2004, jointly with the BTO. For more information about the conference, including a report of the talks and some photographs, please click here.

Merseyside Ringing Group and South Manchester Ringing Group jointly hosted a NW England Ringers' Conference on 1 November 2008. A brief summary and some images from the conference are here.