Friday, 2 May 2014

Visible Migration

This week we had a report from a local birder of a colour-ringed Dunlin in South Dublin Bay on April 21st. As part of the Dublin Bay Birds Project, we have ringed a good few (hundreds) Dunlin but we haven’t colour ringed any. We know that the bird was ringed as part of a wader ringing project in North West Africa, at Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania, on January 9th 2013. 

Northward bound - colour ringed Dunlin, 
South Dublin Bay

The Banc d'Arguin stands on the African Atlantic coast, where the ocean and the desert meet. The area comprises shallow coastal areas with extensive mudflats covered by seagrass, small islands, coastal swamps and sand dunes. It is one of the most important areas in the world for migratory waders, holding approximately 2 million birds.

From ringing site to Dublin Bay, but where in between?

We get three difference races of Dunlin in Ireland, two of which, schinzii and artica, winter in west Africa. The schinzii race breeds in small numbers in the northern extremes of Ireland and the UK, as well as in south eastern Greenland, Iceland, the Faroes, Norway and the Baltic. Small numbers of slightly smaller and shorter-billed artica birds move through on passage en route to and from north eastern Greenland each year.    

We are always on the lookout for re-sightings of colour ringed birds, so if you see any, and can read the inscription, combination of colour rings or get a good photo, we would be delighted to have the record. Thanks to all our regular and casual ring readers, we hope you have been enjoying the good weather recently - perfect for ring reading...

Observations can be submitted here.


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