November 1st   Leave a comment

Another very windy day. I stayed around Crail and tried my luck walking through the stubble fields just to the east of Crail. I put up about 40 skylarks, rather than the 400 of a couple of weeks ago and nothing else except some linnets. There was a gull melee in Roome Bay again at high tide. I sat in the grass at the back of the beach and let the waders and gulls come to me as the tide came in.

Oystercatcher in Roome Bay this afternoon

One of my colour-ringed redshanks came close enough for me to get a photo to do it justice. YGSS (yellow green, sky (blue) sky (blue). I caught this bird more or less where it was today in February 2012. It was an adult then, so at least 1.8 years old. You can age redshanks in their first winter but after that, when they moult into adult plumage completely by their first breeding summer at one year old then you only know that they are not juveniles. So this bird is over ten years old, at least. Please say hello to it when you are next down at Roome Bay – it is almost always halfway along the beach, below the toilet block – and its rings, the ones above the knee, that identify it are easy to see without binoculars, the two pale blue ones look like a single whiteish one. Although I have talked about this before, it is worth mentioning it again just in case you are horrified by the number of rings on the bird. Why so many? Because redshanks move across the planet and a lot of redshanks are ringed in different places, so you need a lot of rings to ensure that each one marked has its own unique combination. Surely this harms them in some way? Not as far as we know, and I have studied the issue specifically in redshanks as part my research: I found that there was no effect on their survival at all and I would have been able to detect even just a 1% difference caused by the colour rings. So please enjoy the bird as a recognisable neighbour that has chosen to settle in Crail like many of us have, and as an individual contributing to our knowledge of how important somewhere like Roome Bay is as a habitat for wild birds and how long a bird like a redshank might live on average.

YGSS in its 11th year as a resident of Roome Bay

Posted November 1, 2020 by wildcrail in Sightings

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