Wednesday, 30 March 2016

A ring from middle estuary, #NT70553

Although I restrict myself to the southern shore I trained as a ringer under my good friend Bill Jones out on Oakham Island, which is frustratingly mid-estuary, just north of the main channel. I hope no-one objects to my publishing an occasional map from some of his ringing recoveries over the years here on this blog for interest. Still my species of the month, yet another story of a...

Dunlin Ring no. NT70553
Ringed as an adult, 14th August 2011, Oakham.
Controlled: 9th April 2013, Vasa Sacos, Santarem, Portugal.
604 days after ringing, 1584 kilometres from ringing site.

The Rio Tejo (Tagus river to most tourists) is the longest river on the Iberian peninsula and empties into the Atlantic near Lisbon. The site is someway inland, mainly due to it being within the largest estuary in Western Europe, much of it Ramsar protected and adminstered as the Reserva Natural do Estuário do Tejo.

A bird in Portugal in April could well have spent much of the winter even further south. After refueling, most likely it would have then hugged the coastline up-Channel for the Waddenzee (or thereabouts). It might not be seen on the Medway in spring; if a 'survivor', then chances are it might well just turn up there on a future post-breeding migration. Few Dunlin pass through our estuary in April/May.

So, tomorrow is time to look at the recent counts and see if the winterers have left the Medway on cue.

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