17 December 2012

Sanderling update

You may remember that we posted a story on the Demog Blog recently regarding a Sanderling that was caught by the Wash Wader Ringing Group wearing a ring from the Switzerland Ringing Scheme. Click here if you missed it.

As Switzerland doesn't have any shoreline we thought that this bird could have been ringed in an African country, which doesn't have it's own ringing scheme and therefore might have used Swiss rings, but we were wrong. This bird was in fact ringed in Switzerland. Not only that but out of a group of 40 birds seen flying over, only two were caught and ringed. The ringing location however is quite amazing. These birds were ringed at Col de Bretolet Ringing Station high in the Swiss Alps!

During foggy conditions these birds were migrating over the Alps when they came low enough for the mist nets. These birds represent the highest attitudinal record for this species in Switzerland, and probably the highest Sanderling ever ringed, at 1925m above sea level.

Mist nets are set from August to November to catch migrating birds. This year a total of 16,456 birds were ringed from 94 species, with the main species being Chaffinch, Robin, Pied Flycatcher, Siskin and Willow Warbler.

Thanks to our colleagues in Switzerland, and to Jacquie Clark for the photos of the Col de Bretolet Ringing Station.

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