03 August 2012

Shore-runner where there's no shore

Breaking news - a routine ringing session by the Wash Wader Ringing Group (WWRG) produced a good catch of Sanderling and Dunlin with a nice surprise inside.

The UK and Ireland's shores are internationally important for their waders, either stopping to feed up while on passage or gathering in their thousands to stay for the winter. Thanks to ringing we know these birds have been recorded living to a ripe old age and in the case of Sanderling the current record is 17 years 7 months.

The WWRG had a nice catch of Sanderling and Dunlin this morning with quite a few birds they had ringed in previous years. They also caught a Dunlin wearing a French ring and one with a Spanish ring and a Sanderling with a French and one with a Spanish ring. One Sanderling however was very unexpected, this bird was wearing a ring that said Sempach i.e Switzerland!

The most obvious thought is that Switzerland doesn't have a shoreline and a rough check on the Euring Website shows very few have been ringed i.e. 29 Sanderling ringed between 1947 and 2007. It is possible that this bird could have been ringed using Swiss rings in another country that doesn't have a ringing scheme but this is still the first Swiss ringed Sanderling recorded in this country. It was possibly on its way to Africa and was a good weight and hadn't started its moult yet but we will have a clearer picture once we hear back from Sempach - watch this space.

Thanks to Neil Calbrade for the photo.

1 comment:

  1. Really interesting!
    last spring was extremely dry here in Spain, so this summer most of the wetlands inside the peninsula don't have water...
    We hope there are storms and the wetlands are full for the autumn migration...

    Regards from Madrid