Foreign visitors

Over the last two or three years WWRG has increased its efforts on the resighting of colour-marked birds, recognising that this provides valuable data in terms of the number of recoveries and the information gained on the movements and survival of birds that have been ringed. Previous blogs have outlined the fieldwork undertaken by WWRG in the last quarter of 2017, including colour-ring resighting, particularly the ‘Colour-mark resighting bonanza’ weekend of 6–8 October when 146 sightings of 88 birds were made over three tides.

As well as resightings of birds ringed on the Wash, there are often a small number of sightings of birds ringed outside of Britain & Ireland. This post highlights some of the information that has been received from colour-ring resightings of birds ringed elsewhere in Europe:

Knot (7502651) ringed and colour marked as a second-year bird on 26 May 2009 in Marnes, Porsanger, Norway which was recovered in a cannon-net catch on the Wash on 11 February 2012. Two further sightings of this bird have now been made on Snettisham beach (21 August 2016 and 18 November 2017). At least 1:200 of the islandica race of Knot have been colour marked in Norway, with many sightings made in The Netherlands and on the west coats of the UK. This has enabled the Norwegian ringing group to track movements between the west coast estuaries of the UK and of birds moving into the UK from the Waddensea. The Norwegian group is keen to get more sightings from the Wash as few have been reported.

Knot (N7PPRY) ringed at Griend in the western Waddensea, The Netherlands on 26 August 2017 as part of a long-running project by the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research involving the colour ringing of 8,270 Knot in the Dutch Waddensea and 3,300 in Banc d’Arguin in Mauritania, West Africa, as well as smaller numbers in Germany, France and southern Portugal. This bird was resighted by the WWRG on Snettisham beach on 18 November 2017.

Bar-tailed Godwit (colour code R3RYWY) ringed on 24 May 2007 at Terschelling, polder Midsland-Oosterend, Netherlands and resighted by WWRG on 8 October 2017. Despite many resighitngs of this individual over a period of ten years since the ringing date, this was the first sighting away from the Waddensea. The bird had been sighted at Terschelling a month prior to the Wash sighting.

Bar-tailed Godwit (K04742) ringed as a first-year bird on 29 September 2017 in Klepp, Rogaland, Norway and resighted on Hunstanton cliffs on 18 November 2017. This bird was subsequently resighted by a non-Wash individual at Holme Dunes Nature Reserve on 1 December 2017.

Black-tailed Godwit (568675) ringed as a pullus on 14 July 2008 in northern Iceland and resighted by WWRG on 7 October 2017. This godwit had been resighted on many occasions both in eastern England and in Friesland, Netherlands, appearing to alternate between the two countries. The first sightings on the Wash were in 2015.

Black-tailed Godwit (629331) ringed as a pullus on 5 July 2005 in northern Iceland and resighted by WWRG at Snettisham on 7 October 2017. This bird had also been resighted on many other occasions; between 2005 and 2007, 629331 was observed in Scotland, Ireland, NW England, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and NW France, although more recent sightings have been mainly restricted to Cambridgeshire (Ouse Washes) and the Wash

Black-headed Gull (6170652) ringed as a pullus on 16 June 1996 in Frøylandsvatnet, Rogaland, Norway. This bird was found freshly dead on Snettisham beach on 18 November 2011 by the WWRG during a resighting session, 21 years, 5 months and 2 days after ringing. Ringers always check dead birds for rings and are sometimes rewarded, as with this individual.

WWRG is always pleased to receive reports of colour-ringed waders; sightings can be reported via the Report a colour-marked bird page.