08 September 2015

Nettlecreeper doing more than creeping

Mike Marsh writes:

On 4 July we controlled a German-ringed Whitethroat at Orfordness, Suffolk. The ringing information showed that this bird had been ringed earlier in the spring on the island of Helgoland, Germany and when I checked against the Online Ringing Reports I was surprised to find that this was only the second ringing movement of a Whitethroat between Germany and the UK, the other being in 1952.

Although it is hard to work out why a Whitethroat should be moving from Germany to the UK at this time of year it is interesting to note how similar the movement of the bird was to the one 63 years earlier. Both birds had been ringed off the NW German coast in late April/early May and then controlled in East Anglia in late June/early July, and the movements were 483km/WSW/54 days compared with 468km/W/59 days.

German ringed Whitethroat by Dave Crawshaw and several photos of the ring that have been merged to see full ring number

Ring number - 90212927
11-05-2015   ringed: Helgoland, Helgoland, GERMANY  54 10’N  07 55’E
04-07-2015   controlled: Orfordness, Suffolk  52 05’N  01 34’E
                         483 km WSW  -  54 days

Ring number - 9435010
29-04-1952   ringed: Wangerooge-Ost, East Friesland Islands, GERMANY  53 47’N  07 58’E
27-06-1952   controlled: Cley-next-the-Sea, Norfolk  52 57’N  01 03’E
                         468km W  -  59 days

Eds - Nettlecreeper is a local name of the Whitethroat. 'Controlled' is when a ringer catches a previously ringed bird, usually that he/she hasn't put on originally.

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