Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Well Spotted!

Last night, Monday 19th May, we had one of our most interesting colour-ring re-sightings to date. Its the first Dublin Bay Birds Project colour-ringed Redshank that has been re-sighted outside of Ireland. In an extraordinary coincidence, the bird (colour-ring BH) was spotted by BirdWatch Ireland's very own Olivia Crowe whilst over in Iceland on a Knot ringing expedition, which is  co-ordinated by Jim Wilson as part of The International Wader Study Group.

The team was out late Monday evening attempting a cannon-net catch on a flock of 9,000 Knot in Iceland's westerns fjords, when BH was spotted with nine other unringed Redshanks. 

Redshank BH - ringing site (Dublin Bay) to re-sighting location 
(Iceland's western fjords). Roughly 1,700 km!

We ringed BH on the 1st February this year at Sandymount Strand in Dublin, and hadn't had any re-sightings until this report from Dyrafjorour in Iceland late last night.

Redshank BH - re-sighting location, Dyrafjorour, Iceland. Olivia Crowe. 

Remember that all re-sightings are hugely valuable us, so please keep them coming in. You can submit your records HERE.

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.