01 March 2010

Red-necked Phal breaks longevity record

OK, so it's actually just an excuse to put up these stunning images sent in today by Iain Leach!

NT14343 was ringed as a nestling on Fetlar (Shetland) in July 1996, and photographed by Iain on the island in June 2008 and June 2009. So when last seen it was a month short of being 13 years old, which is a fantastic age for a bird that spends a great deal of its time at sea.

This is also a European longevity record, beating an Icelandic bird aged 9 years. Amazingly, the previous BTO longevity record was held by NT14346, a bird of the same brood of four as this one, last seen on Fetlar in 2003.

Thanks again to Iain for the photos and for the excellent reports.

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