Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Colour-ringed Sandwich Terns

Things are certainly on the move with migrating birds passing through and gulls returning to their wintering sites. We have had several reports of continental birds already back at Whitehouse Lagoon, Belfast Lough and at Antrim, Lough Neagh. I'll post a short update on the gulls in the next few days.

As well as reporting colour-ringed gulls, we like to post about interesting sightings of other colour-ringed birds in order to raise awareness of fellow projects and encourage people to check flocks and report their sightings.

Around mid- to late-July, large numbers of Sandwich Terns gather on Belfast Lough before heading south for the winter and it's always worth checking them for rings. A couple of weeks back, Cameron Moore got lucky and he photographed several colour-ringed Sandwich Terns at Whitehead, Belfast Lough. 

I suspected a couple of them were birds ringed by Ewan Weston in NE Scotland and passed the sightings on.

Ewan got back to tell us that they were indeed birds ringed on the Ythan Estuary, Grampian both in August 2010 - both as adults. There has been one re-sighting of each since.

Before Cameron's sighting, the bird pictured below was seen at Girdleness in April 2012.

Photo by Cameron Moore
Many thanks to Cameron for the sightings and Ewan for the information.

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