Some waders are notoriously difficult to catch but the Borders Ringing Group seem to have cracked it by following the fine examples set by Derek Yalden and Phil Holland in the Peak District, Ian Poxton in the Pentlands, and Bruce Lynch in the Angus Glens. So much so that they have been able to colour ring birds and give the opportunity for others to take part in tracking their movements.
Common Sandpiper NW05591 was ringed on 2nd May 2004 near The Ley, Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders and seen again at the same site on 26 April 2006, 28 April 2007 and 31 May 2008. No one knows where this bird has wintered exactly and this bird was not seen again until a ringer from the Spanish Ringing Scheme caught her on 17 April 2010 at Delta del Llobregat, where she was probably on her way back to Scotland.
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This is the group's first report of one of their Common Sandpipers being seen abroad. As more birds are colour ringed hopefully things will become clearer about their migration route.
Thanks to Tom Dougall for letting us know and Ray Murray for the picture.