25 October 2011

Tystie gets a Bus Pass

Although the summer days are long gone and we have just put the clocks back to the winter time, we have recently received news from Dr J G Greenwood (BTO ringer) about a Tystie (Black Guillemot) which was ringed by him in Northern Ireland and has broken the longevity record for the species.

The Black Guillemot wearing the ring EP35353 hatched on 27 June 1988 and was ringed nine days later in Bangor Marina, Co Down, Northern Ireland, by Dr J Greenwood.
Only 23 years and 22 days after ringing this bird was spotted by the ringer himself in the same place. Although this is not a grand old age for a seabird in general, in Black Guillemot years EP35353 is probably eligible for a bus pass by now.

Dr Julian Greenwood has been studying the Black Guillemots and their responses to the rise in the temperature of the sea in Bangor Marina for 25 years, his article in British Wildlife 2010 is a great read about the success of the joined forces of an ornithologist and the construction company on the Bangor Marina. It is thanks to Dr Greenwood's dedication that there are now more than 30 pairs of Black Guillemots using artificial nesting chambers in the marina.

Previously, the oldest Tystie was 22 years and 11 months old and lived on Fair Isle, Shetland, all its life... as far as we know.

Thanks to Edmund Fellowes for the photo.

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