October 29th   Leave a comment

I was out at lunchtime looking for my colour-ringed redshanks between Roome bay and Harbour Beach. I expect to have all of them back by the end of October. Of the 31 that were alive at least in January this year, 25 are now back. I might pick up one or two more that I haven’t seen yet – there was a newly returned one today – but this should be about it. So that’s an 81% survival rate in the last 10 months which is about what I might expect (about 75% over the year). This is an average of course, the young birds have a lower chance of surviving their first year and some of my adults are at least 7 years old. The longevity record for redshanks is 26 years so its early days for some of my birds. Down at the harbour about three quarters of the redshanks are colour-ringed. There are a few adults I still need to catch and of course this year’s young – about five birds. They tend to take risks and feed on their own up on the beach so are a bit easier to catch than the adults. But I’ll wait until the holiday week is over and the beaches are a bit less disturbed before I put my traps out.

Redshank RYBG – Red Yellow Blue Green. Alive and well today over 5 years since I first ringed it in the harbour in October 2007. It is at least in its 7th year.

As I was trying to read a distant colour-ring combination of a redshank feeding on the rocks on the opposite side of the harbour, not helped by the surf crashing around the bird, I noticed a common sandpiper. These should all be in Africa by now so it’s a bit like seeing a swallow at this time of year. Common sandpipers are a July and August bird for us and it was strange to see it on such a cold day picking amongst the rocks with the redshank.

Common sandpiper – usually a late summer visitor to Crail

Posted October 29, 2012 by wildcrail in Sightings

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