Thursday 4 April 2019

New Recoveries including a first movement for NI!

We've had a three more of our birds recovered outside of Northern Ireland and received details of a colour ringed bird in the Bann Estuary.

The details of the star bird came through last night from the BTO and it was a very pleasant surprise. One of our juvenile Stonechats which we ringed on the 13th of July, fresh out of the nest at Portstewart Strand was controlled at the Calf of Man Bird Observatory on the Isle of Man on the 23rd of March this year. A minimum distance of  176km and 253 days in between. It is very likely that the distance was much further and that this bird actually spent the winter further south and was captured at the Calf on its way back north - hopefully to the Bann Estuary once more. This is at least our 9th exchange with the observatory having had two of our Goldfinches trapped there and exchanged 6+ Storm Petrels. 

On checking the other Northern Irish recoveries for Stonechat into/out of the country, it turns out that this is the first! For the Republic of Ireland there have only been two but they were impressive movements to Spain from the south coast one in 1960's and the other in early 1970's. 

Next up was another of our Sedge Warblers from Blackers Rock, Lough Neagh, ringed as a juvenile on the 22nd of July 2018. It was a fast mover being trapped 15 days later at Sant-Philbert-de-Grand-Lieu, Loire-Atlantique, France, 897km away, on its way south to sub-Saharan Africa. The movement might have been even quicker as the bird hasn't necessarily left Lough Neagh straight after ringing and could have spent another week along the lough shore. 

The third recovery was a Siskin which has moved up to Cromdale in the Highlands of Scotland. The bird was ringed in Kens garden on the 12th of April 2018 before been recaptured 311k away on the 19th of March this year. This is the third Siskin control/recovery in Kens garden in 2018 following another Scottish bird and the Cape Clear bird. 

The colour ringed bird was a Black-tailed Godwit which has appeared with hundreds of others in the Bann Estuary in recent weeks. The bird seemed familiar at the time and it turns out I have seen it twice before. The bird was ringed as an adult male in northern Iceland and has been sighted eight times since including England, Republic of Ireland and back in Iceland. 

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