Monday, 21 April 2014

Colour-ringed Godwits at Manor Farm Country Park - April 2014

This morning I nipped down to Manor Farm Country Park to check out the route in preparation for my dawn chorus walk there next Sunday, 27th April. It was a fine day and the park was busy, with out of control dogs everywhere. Fortunately my walk starts at 5am so there shouldn't be too many people around then. After sussing the route I headed down to the River Hamble to check out the intertidal on the rising tide, there had been a recent report of an Iceland gull further up river so I was also hoping for that. A couple of whimbrel were the first I had seen on the patch this year, as were a small flock of black-tailed godwits. Initially there were five birds, with one colour-ringed individual; I didn't have my scope and unfortunately couldn't work out the combinations so I quickly headed back to the car. When I returned there were seven birds, three of which were colour-ringed.

A good mate of mine, Pete Potts has been studying godwits for many years, and birds are colour-ringed in Iceland, the UK and I believe Portugal. These birds seemed to have different types of colour combinations which could suggest that they have been ringed in different locations, or are part of different schemes. In addition I could not see a metal ring on any of the birds, which could also suggest that they have not been ringed in the UK.

This bird had four colour rings - orange over black or right tibia, orange on
left tibia and red on left tarsus

This bird had white over white, with the letters A9 on the right tibia, orange
over white on the white tibia and red on the left tarsus

This bird had red on the right tibia, green on the left tibia and another
ring on the left tibia. It was difficult to decipher this ring but I think it is a
discoloured white ring but it may be yellow

I tried to contact Pete but he was away for the weekend. Hopefully he will be able to give me their history, but I will submit the details to the BTO too, and let you know once I have found out.

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