23 December 2010

Unexpected Shag High-dive (USH)

Trying to read ring numbers in the field is usually very tricky but advances in photography has improved things substantially. So far this week I've had reports of a Coal Tit, Lesser Redpoll and a Chaffinch that have had their rings read by photographs.

Birds in the water are very difficult to identify as the distortion from the water causes problems. Philip Smith was photographing a Shag in Dover when the camera was used to identify a bird in the water!

A few digits are visible from the above photo but just not good enough to get the full number. A few more shots later produced the unexpected money shot below. Colour ring Blue USH!

This bird can now be identifed as a shag ringed as a chick this year on the Isle of May, Fife, some 620km from Dover!

Thanks to Philip Smith for letting us know and also being able to show these cracking pictures.

On a very differnet note we have heard from Ed Drewitt who has received a report that Kate Atwell, who is a bird keeper at Bristol Zoo, has seen 16 Mallard ducklings in the half frozen pool by the Gorila enclosure on Tuesday!

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