8 Jan 2019

First SCAN trip of 2019 and an Icelandic surprise

With good weather forecast the decision was taken to have a night time wader ringing session along the N Wales coast to try and catch a sample of Redshank as part of SCAN's long term study.  Nets were set over water slightly inland from the coast and as the tide forced the birds of the foreshore we started catching good numbers of Redshank with a smaller number of Oystercatchers, Curlew three Black-tailed Godwits. Despite being on a number of wader canon netting and mist netting expeditions with SCAN over the last 8 years these were the first Black-tailed Godwits I'd seen close up!

Among the Oystercatchers caught was a bird that was ringed in June 1982 (the month and year I graduated from University! ) and not subsequently caught again since. This makes it 36.5 years old. Not the oldest Oystercatcher ever recorded but very close to the UK record:

Haematopus ostralegus
43yrs 4mths
Killed by bird of prey
GB & Ireland 
SS 88071
36yrs 11mths
Found dead

Bird of the night though was a Redshank bearing an Icelandic ring. Only the 3rd one caught by the group and probably only about the 10th ever in the UK. 

Another highlight, given my involvement with Hilbre Bird observatory, was the recapture of a Redshank we colour ringed an 2007 (and subsequently re-caught again by SCAN in 2010), making this bird at least 11 years old.

A great nights ringing and I eventually arrived home at 2.30 am and fell into bed fully clothed with the alarm set for 6.30 the following morning for a trip to Hilbre!

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