Listed below is a table detailing all known longevity records pertaining to all species of which the group has ringed 25 or more since 1959. The British-ringed records are also available from the British Trust for Ornithology website.
Some of the WWRG-ringed species have had few recoveries and so no significant longevity has been noted. Where a Wash-ringed bird holds the British record, the details appear in italics.
Wash Wader Group Ringed
|Species||Ring Number||Years||Months||Ring Number||Years||Months|
|Oystercatcher||SS58540 (controlled by WWRG)||40||1||SS88071||36||8|
|Black-tailed Godwit||EF9083 (previously controlled by WWRG)||23||5|
|Redshank||DR74213||20||1||P10010 & DN20546||17||0|
It is noteworthy that, for some of the species that we catch regularly, the longevity records are still being beaten fairly frequently – pointing to the fact that, for these species, expected maximum life spans have not yet been established. This was particularly true of Oystercatchers since, it seems, a good number of birds still survive since increased numbers were ringed following the advent of rocket/cannon-netting in 1967; birds over 30 years old continue to be caught or recovered fairly regularly, and in 2010 the first 40+ year old bird was captured – the first British-ringed wader to reach this landmark age.
On the other hand it is particularly noticeable that the longevity record for a Wash-ringed Redshank has remained at 17yr 0m since 1976; the first to achieve this was P10010, a bird originally caught in the group’s first-ever catch on 18/08/59, and only the 10th bird ringed by the WWRG! The second to make it to 17 years was just 9 days older than the first when it was controlled in 2004. P10010 held the national longevity record from 1976 until it was beaten elsewhere by an 18yr 5m old recovery in 1993 with the record then being extended to 19yr 10m in 1995 and 20yr 1m in 2007. Such long-standing records would suggest that we have established the normal maximum life expectancy for Redshank; any living over 17 years being exceptional. This also looks to be the case for Knot (27yr 3m), Sanderling (17yr 7m), Dunlin (19yr 3m) and Turnstone (20yr 0m), all of which have longevity records that have seldom changed, if at all, in fifteen years or more, despite significant numbers being caught from the 1960’s through to the 1980’s.