29 January 2011

Goldcrest wins Gold Medal

The last batch of recoveries received from the Norwegian ringing scheme included some birds that had been seen during the autumn in the UK. It is always nice to see where migrating Dunnocks, Robins and Blackbirds have come from. However, there was one record in particular that grabbed my attention:

Goldcrest, ring number NOS - LE5877. This tiny bird crossed the North Sea from Ana Sira, Sokndal, Norway, to North Somercoates, Lincolnshire, in just TWO DAYS.

Goldcrests often invade the east coast of Britain during the autumn, before the winter teperatures plummet, and this is just one of the many reports of Goldcrests we receive during this time. Studies have shown that Goldcrests are capable of moving long distances in a very short period of time. Despite their small size, they are able to efficiently accumulate fat reserves, and by covering the largest distances at night, when the temperature is lower, are able to maximise their energy reserves.

Weighing around 6g, Goldcrest NOS - LE5877, flew 665km during its two day migration. This remarkable journey sparked our curiosity and led us to investigate a little further into the depths of the ringing database to see just how fast this Goldcrest was.

Below are the results, and, "Bingo!", NOS - LE5877 wins the gold medal.

The graph below shows the maximum distance travelled in two days by Goldcrests. Distances are in km's.

1 comment:

  1. I would be interested to know whether the bird crossed the North Sea straight or followed the Danish, Dutch, Belgian and French coasts before going to the UK.