07 December 2011

From one cold coast to the other

Many birdwatchers agree, Purple Sandpipers are very special birds. Not only is the rocky habitat they can be found on unusual for a sandpiper, but also for their interesting movements. The majority of birds found here originate in Norway and Iceland but we have had birds from the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Germany and Svalbard. We have even had 2 birds ringed in Britain and found in Greenland!

For 3 years a ringing team from Spitsbergen, Svalbard have been colour ringing Purple Sandpipers in a hope to find out the wintering distribution of breeding birds. Previously we have had 5 birds ringed on Svalbard and found here but due to this project, we are currently processing 3 reports from November alone. These were seen in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and Cleveland.

If you see a colour ring Purple Sandpiper (or Dunlin) with either orange, lime or dark green colour rings and leg flags, please let Kjell Mork Soot know (kjellmorksoot@fugler.com). The details needed are:

* Species
* Date and time
* Flag and ring colour position and combination
* Location name and/or coordinates
* Finders name and contact details
* Photo if possible

He will then get back to you with the details and share the information with the corresponding ringing schemes.

Orange HHU (above) was ringed on South Cape Island on 22.08.2011 and was recaught on 06.09.2011 at Longyearbyen (191km north).

Thanks to Ole Edvard Torland for the photos.

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