Richard du Feu is currently taking part in a Retrapping Adults for Survival (RAS) study on Sand Martins at Whittington, Lancashire. Little did he expect that one of the breeding males L334091, ringed at the site on 08/07/2010, would be later re-caught by ringers, whilst wintering in Africa, at Parc National du Djoudj, Senegal on 13/12/2010 (4363km in 158 days).
Amazingly he retrapped this same bird, on Tuesday night, at the original breeding site, just 15 metres from where he ringed it last year.
Richard also had two French ringed Sand Martins so far this year and two British controls with several birds moving up to 15km along the river lune. Higher than average numbers of adults have returned to many colonies this summer so the prospects for a productive breeding season are looking good.
Thanks to Richard for letting us know and to Jez Blackburn for the photo.