23 December 2013

Returning (ringed) Great Grey Shrike

We recently received some photos of a ringed Great Grey Shrike wintering in Lincolnshire, which were just about good enough to allow us to read the number.

With a bit of photo-editing and squinting, we can just about make out 4606 on the ring, which is a pretty good start. We can also just about see the 'ww' of the web address we now put on rings (www.ring.ac) and considering that the address is at the top of the ring this is almost certainly a BTO-ringed bird anyway.

So with that vague detail, a quick look at the database shows that there have been fewer than 20 Great Grey Shrikes ringed in the last three winters (13 ringed in winter 2011/12, four ringed in winter 2012/13 and so far this winter we have details of just two). Now if we assume that the ring does indeed include 4606 then one possibility stands out - LE46061, ringed as an adult at Gibraltar Point Bird Observatory on 4th November 2012. So presumably it had also spent last winter unnoticed somewhere in the East Midlands, but will be one to look out for over the coming months.

LE46061 when it was ringed in November 2012

Not the longest of movements!- view Great Grey Shrike in a larger map

Many thanks to Dave Roberts for sending us the images to set us off on this wild shrike hunt, and to George Gregory for the photo of the bird when it was ringed at Gib.

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