02 August 2016

Want to see a Whimbrel? Den mark it with a colour ring

It's always a pleasure to hear the Whimbrel's distinctive call when flying over and it's very special when one is caught (see online reports). Relatively few are ringed in Britain & Ireland and with the addition of colour rings the reporting rate has increased substantially. The pie chart below shows how few dead birds are found in relation to the number of reports received of colour rings.

The Mid Wales Ringing Group started a colour ringing project in 2010 to try to answer some basic questions regarding Welsh birds in particular, like movements, staging areas, survival and site faithfulness. Some of these birds have been reported (dead and alive) in quite a few areas including Scotland, France and North Africa.

A Whimbrel wearing a Mid Wales colour-ring combination was recently reported in Denmark. The BTO online reports show this to be only the fourth BTO-ringed Whimbrel to be reported in Denmark. Yellow D74 was ringed on 30 April 2016 at 2:50 am and 72 days later it had travelled a minimum distance of 1,059 km to Storevorde, Denmark.

If you were hoping to see a BTO-ringed Whimbrel outside Britain & Ireland, there is a much greater chance of seeing one in Guinea (195 reports), Guinea Bissau (224 reports) and Iceland (366 reports).

Colour-ringed Whimbrel photo taken by Jens Veilgaard Vendelbo
Whimbrel photo taken by Jens Veilgaard Vendelbo

So if you ever see a Whimbrel, or any other wild bird for that matter, report it at www.ring.ac. The information will be very useful and could hint towards a new movement or behaviour.

For more information on this and other Mid Wales goings on, click here.

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