Friday, 17 April 2015

Ringed Avocets

Red A5

With what appeared to be a pause in the spring migration we thought that a visit to Medmerry might pay dividends. Sadly this was not so, the fall birds from earlier in the week had continued onward with their journeys. With the weather set fair it seemed that little would pause for breath on the peninsular, but we lived in hope. We had seen the Black-winged Stilt on Ferry Pool and hoped that a pair would turn up . On what is now called "Stilt Pool", for obvious reasons, just a dozen or so Avocets. Most have them appear to be in pairs and the nearest caught our eye as one of them was ringed.

Subsequent processing at home revealed  Avocets Red A5, well - "orangey red" as over the years the rings have faded slightly. Now as my readers know, I quite like recording ringed birds, normally Godwits, Gulls and Geese, so to have an Avocet was unusual. Searching the web revealed that it was likely that the bird was from the Dunkirk ringing project - Dunkirk in Cambridgeshire that is. Details gave Tony Martin as the contact and I sent off a report. Not only that, there was link to a Newsletter and lo and behold Red A5 even got a mention. By return of post, as it were, a reply from Tony confirming the bird as being ringed by the group. Further information arrived yesterday with a comprehensive report on the bird's sightings over the past 8 years Oddly enough reported and photographed last year by Bill Brooks,who I had seen only last week at Pulborough, see his superb photographs on Flickr.

Avocet  Red A5, female, was ringed at the Dunkirk colony, Cambridge in 2008 and also carries the metal ring number EL81854. She has certainly travelled, as in the following years she has been recorded at Snettisham, Martin Mere, Marshside, Topsham (Devon), Titchfield Haven and finally Medmerry. 

This has resulted in two actions on my part, more visits to Medmerry to see if there are any additions to the family and more reading on Avocets, as I had A5 as a male!

Now for a couple of record shots...

Just a few days later we found, on the back of Breech Pool, GB+LY, another report sent to the BTO and I received a rapid reply giving the following details:

Ringing Scheme: London Ring Number: EY78246 Species of bird: Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
This bird was ringed by Graham S Giddens as a nestling, sex unknown on 21-Jul-2014 time unknown at Great Marsh (near Beaulieu River), Hampshire, UK
Colour Marks left above knee G,B
Colour Marks right above knee L,Y

... and finally a plea - reporting ringed birds is easy  - five minutes to record the data and five minutes to send a sighting report. After that you are involved in a really rewarding process.

Watch this space.

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