Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Encountering DD32670

Redshank: DD32670.
Ringed 30th August 2008, 04:20.
Easington, East Yorkshire (Spurn Bird Observatory)
Age: 4 (adult)
Wing: 159.0 mm. Weight: 155.0 g.

Nearly nine years later, DD32670 was retrapped on the south Medway.
26th July 2017, 02:00.
Wing: 160.5 mm. Weight: 126.0 g
3,252 days later, 255 km south.

No primary feather moult. U.K. breeders usually move away from their breeding grounds in late June/July to head for a safe moulting site. As the weight was down by some 20%, perhaps the bird had only just made a flight south? U.K. Redshanks north of Yorkshire tend not to move as far south as the south-east, birds from Yorkshire down to the Wash do.

Of course, all total speculation- it could just be it came from further north, from the Icelandic population, hard to say. It might have been staging in Yorkshire in 2008. The Medway weight of 126 grams is a very low one for a Redshank. Perhaps it had just arrived from Iceland? Birds often use the same staging sites year after year, perhaps at some point this bird decided Kent was better than Yorkshire? (U.K. adult Redshanks usually only travel around 109 km on average).

Other measurements help point towards races, the bill (to feather, to skull, head plus bill). Tarsus, toe and tarsus combined, all helpful but all with some/much overlap. The bird certainly might have been Icelandic. They arrive in the U.K. from late June, the majority in August. So it really could be just in..

So much fun to speculate. The more we find out from ringing, the more there is to know.

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