Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Two rings from middle estuary- # EX31529 and # EX31535

I trained as a ringer under my good friend Bill Jones, often out on Oakham Island. Although I now limit myself to the southern shore, and Oakham is frustratingly mid-estuary, just north of the main channel, I hope publishing an occasional map or two from some of his ringing recoveries over the years here on this blog will be of interest.

Black-tailed Godwits
Both ringed: 23rd November 2011



EX31529
Found: 29th November 2017, Tancarville, Seine-Maritime, France.
Leg and ring only, found near Peregrine nesting site.
Found 1854 days after ringing, 117 kilometres from Oakham.

EX31535
Found: 20th December 2016, Chichester Cathedral, West Sussex.
Freshly dead (within one week), hunted.
Found 2198 days after ringing, 217 kilometres from Oakham.

Bearing in mind their longevity, with wader ringing there are good odds for future encounters. Hearing about two birds caught on the same tide is always interesting.

Both 'hunted', one 'naturally'. Both equally dead and all pressures on species/populations have to be considered when looking at conservation. Large-scale ringing (as against colour-ringing, where the low volume of colour combinations/readable digits limit numbers) still has a part to play in supporting conservation studies. Take #'29. The EU, through Natura 2000, Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds,routinely draw up management plans for threatened species. One such plan showed how ringing recoveries had helped bring changes to the length of the hunting season, reducing pressure on the species at a time when birds are beginning to move back north from Iberia to staging grounds here in the UK:


Opine all you want on the EU, it has been doing *something* about their conservation, and it will continue to do so. Examples such as this are why our own future Government(s) will need to keep the laws as strong as Natura 2000 at the very least. Politicians are in a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't', because whatever they do will never be right for all. But where data is available to evidence, then people can come to understand, appreciate, adjust and continue to monitor.

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As an aside for Kentish readers, here's a link to a 2012 article on how our neighbour France's breeding population has been doing. For info on the fortunes of 'our' wintering/ passage birds, then the regular blog updates on the excellent Wader Tales are the must-reads.

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