Although I now 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
Grey Plover Ring no. 1306348
Ringed as an adult female, 26th May 1996, Castricum, Nord-Holland, The Netherlands.
Retrapped: 8th September 2002, Oakham.
Found 2296 days after ringing, 303 kilometres south-west of ringing site.
This time I haven't joined the two sites with a line. With the number of years between ringing and recapture, the fact the bird was an adult when ringed, and ringing was en route to breeding grounds and recapture en route for winter, the chances are that in any statistical analysis of all records, this would be weighted towards choosing a route close to the continental mainland on the way back racing back from a wintering ground much further south. This was the seventh inbound trip later, so one would hope she knew what she was doing. The autumn choice of route is influenced by the need to find somewhere to undertake a partial moult of flight feathers safely- stopping for a short period on the Medway had probably been a good choice for this bird down the years.
This sort of record always has me wondering if these birds ever take a short cut overland, say, from the Medway to the south coast. A good probability. After all, GPS studies on other migration routes have confirmed them not to be deterred by a little bit of ground, say, most of mainland Russia and China...