Thursday, 22 October 2015

Oystercatcher - Yellow T64

As mentioned in the post earlier in the week, while out conducting my WeBS count at the weekend, I saw several colour-ringed birds, including an Oystercatcher fitted with a yellow ring. 

You'll have to excuse my digi-scoping skills, but you can make out the yellow ring on the left leg.

The Dargan area where I conduct my WeBS count regularly holds a large Oystercatcher roost of over 1000 birds (1,280 this month). I always take time to check legs in the hope of spotting a colour-ringed bird, in particular hoping for one of the Dublin Bay birds (see here) passing through.

I'm delighted that one has finally turned up, but I knew it wasn't a Dublin bird! Having recently seen a photograph of a bird with a similar ring on Copeland Bird Observatory's Facebook page (see here), I went on to check and thanks to Barry O'Mahony in Cork, got the name and email address of the person to report it to.

Sending an email off, I heard back from Harry Scott of Grampian Ringing Group that T64 had been ringed as an adult in March 2014 at Ballater sewage works in an effort to ascertain where their spring roost birds were breeding.

It had been sighted at the roost sight several times in March 2014, before disappearing and returning to the same site in March this year. It was last seen at the roost on 3 April, before being spotted in one of the local glens on 18 April. It hasn't been seen again until my record at Belfast Lough this week.

Many thanks to Harry for the photo of T64 on the
River Dee in Spring 2015
This is the third colour-ringed Oystercatcher from Grampian to turn up in Northern Ireland this year, after Chris' photo of T89 which appeared on the CBO Facebook page and Richard Donaghey's record of T65 at the Bann Estuary in March (see here). 

Red - Ringing site
Green - Bann Estuary
Yellow - Dargan, Belfast Lough
Blue - Groomsport, Belfast Lough

Make sure you check those Oystercatchers and if you record a colour-ringed bird, make sure you report your sightings!

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