30 May 2014

Orkney Rosefinch to Germany

Earlier in the week we received the exciting news of a recapture of one of 'our' Common Rosefinches, highlighting the fact that they're not really ours at all, as this was a bird breeding in Germany!

D397284 was one of two Common Rosefinches ringed at North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory, Orkney, on the evening of 21st June 2013,  and was recaught (and colour-ringed) last week by ringers at Graal-Mueritz, near Rostock in northeastern Germany.

D397284 on North Ronaldsay in June 2013
The project here has been colour ringing birds since 2002 and since then 200 birds have been marked. The Orkney bird is one of just three 'controls' caught by the team, with others from Denmark and Greifswalder Oie island near the Polish border. The team have also fitted 20 males with geolocators in 2013, of which six have so far returned and two have been recaptured to allow the data to be downloaded.

North Ron's rosefinch with newly-added German colour rings
Hot off the press, D397284 was seen again today (30th May) mating with a local male, proving that she is indeed a breeding bird at the site.
There are just three previous records of British-ringed rosefinches found abroad: two in Belgium and one on the Faeroe Islands. Going the other way, North Ronaldsay does have a bit of a history with foreign rosefinches, having controlled birds (both in 1990) originally ringed in Germany and Norway. In fact, the only other foreign-ringed rosefinch in the UK was also in the Northern Isles, with a colour-ringed Swedish bird seen on Fair Isle in 2011 (blogged here). Details of these and other UK rosefinch recoveries (and those of any species!) can be found on the BTO's online ringing report.

Thanks to Roland Neumann for letting us know about this bird and sending on a photo of its new rings and to North Ron Bird Obs for the photo at ringing.

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