29 September 2009

A muddy White-rumped Sandpiper

When we heard that the White-rumped Sandpiper currently at Abberton Reservoir, Essex, was ringed, we thought "Excellent, an American-ringed vagrant!". We don't get many of these, and they can be quite enlightening as to origins of these supposedly lost birds.

However, life is never that easy! Firstly, despite the bird being pretty confiding the excellent photos (this one from Dave Acfield) only show a very muddy ring! We've seen a fair few photos now, and none of them really show any detail at all! Secondly, an adult White-rumped Sandpiper was ringed in Montrose in late summer, so it may be that this is the same bird...

We've tried to convince ourselves the ring looks more American than British, but judging the gauge of metal from a photograph is rather difficult! We've also convinced ourselves the number is along the top of the ring which makes it a foreign ring....

But until the bird has a good paddle in some clean water we'll be none the wiser!

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