28 August 2012

A truly international recovery

We recently received a rather unusual recovery report in the office. A French visitor to Iceland found ring GN92442 on a footpath in western Iceland over the summer and duly reported it online via www.ring.ac

Nothing too odd about this I hear you sigh, but on processing the recovery we found that this ring actually belonged to a young Tawny Owl, ringed in the nest in Lothian, eastern Scotland, in June 2006! This is not a typical movement for a Tawny Owl, with no overseas recoveries in the 100-year history of the Scheme (see a summary here), so a bit of further investigation was required...

It then transpired that this bird had sadly died before fledging the nest and on finding the dead chick, the ringer involved had removed the ring and kept it on their binoculars strap. Our initial suspicions were proved correct when the ringer mentioned that they'd also made a recent trip to Iceland! When the strap on their binoculars broke, they were nearly lost down a cliff (and almost themselves trying to retrieve them), but hadn't noticed that the ring had been lost. So the ring went from Scottish bird, to Icelandic clifftop to French living room - a truly international recovery!

View GN92442 in a larger map

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