Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Colour rings and waders, today on the Camel Estuary

I had a very enjoyable 3 hours on the Camel Estuary today , the variety and number of waders feeding as the tide went out was brilliant! 6 Grey Plover, 1 Lapwing, 10 Ringed Plover, 1 Whimbrel, 18 Black-tailed Godwit, 78 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Knot, 186 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank and 6 Redshank were busily feeding away on the exposed mud.

I also bumped into the local bird group that organize a walk every Wednesday along the estuary. It was nice to catch up with a few birders that I hadn't seen in several months , Allen , Jack and Pete's pasty mate Bernard ( only Pete Roseveare will know what I am on about! It involves a ' discussion' about the best pasty in Cornwall , all I will say is don't argue with Pete when it comes to food and particularly pasties! He gets emotional and you are risking your life!).

As I walked  towards Wadebridge I noticed a large group of small gulls resting and loafing on the mud and waters edge , keen to find some colour rings I started to scan through and read a 1st Winter Meditteranean Gull from the Czech Republic ! ZKN2 was ringed on the 5th June as a chick this year at Senov,Volensky Fishponds and has also been seen on the River Caen in Devon. To think that in just a few weeks it has traveled more than 2000 miles is quite staggering!

There seemed to be more small waders showing as I walked back to the car but they were incredibly shy and skittish , I soon found the reason why this was so... A juvenile Peregrine motored across the Salt marsh and downed a Bar-tailed Godwit but it was too naive to kill it's prize and the Godwit made a lucky escape. As much as I love Peregrine Falcon's ( I monitor several nest sites under license ) there does come a time in the Autumn when they do my head in as I try to search through the waders! This time however it was lucky it did flush the flock of Dunlin as when they landed closer I could see one was colour ringed! I have had a reply from the ringing group already about this bird:

Hi Bob,
great to hear that one of the Dunlin we ringed recently is now in Cornwall. Whilst I'm sure that this is a bird ringed on the Dyfi Estuary just north of Borth, Ceredigion in September this year I'm afraid the inscription you read is not correct so I cannot tell you which bird it was exactly! The ring would have been alpha,number,number reading down the leg. So far we have only used H**, and N**.

Any chance you might be down there again in the near future? Is so please have another go at getting the code.

We only started colour-ringing Dunlin here this month and yours is only the second sighting and the first away from the Dyfi.

Many thanks again,

Tony Cross

It was a shame I couldn't read the digits properly but it was virtually impossible. Anyone birding on the estuary should keep a look out and I would love to hear from you if you manage to read the ring combination properly!

After birding on the Camel Estuary I had a quick look from the hide at Walmsley Sanctuary but it was pretty dead here, in fact I only noted 31 Wigeon and 1 Shoveler amongst the Mallard,teal and Canada Geese...

This Kingfisher livened things up for a while but it was soon time to pack up and head home....

1 comment:

  1. Interesting read on the Med Gull ringed bird. And the pasty as well!