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Monday, 26 November 2012

Colour-ringed Sanderlings in Co. Kerry

A number of colour-ringed Sanderlings have been appearing in Kerry over the past two winters. They originate from a ringing scheme run by the International Wader Study Group and carried out by the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. The birds are being caught and ringed at various sites in Svalbard, Greenland, Scotland, France, Russia, the Netherlands and Kenya.

1949 sanderlings have been colour-ringed so far, of which 1405 (72%) have been resighted in the field at least once.

Four colour-ringed birds were first seen at Scraggane and Fahamore north of Castlegregory, last winter, and several more are present there again this winter. The details reported to the Group showed they had been ringed in Greenland the previous summer. Full details can be seen on this website HERE. If you see one of the ringed birds, do report it to them. You can do that on this page HERE.

Colour-ringed adult Sanderling, Greenland, 6th June 2008 (Photo: Jeroen Reneerkens).

Winter-plumaged Sanderling with a combination of two colour rings on each leg, as well as a coloured flag on the left tarsus (note, the two similar-coloured rings on the same leg can, as in this case two yellow rings, look like one larger ring). All the ringed birds have this combination of colour markings (Photo: Jeroen Reneerkens).

Close-up of the colour markings. Each leg bears two combinations of two coloured plastic rings, and the left leg carries a coloured 'flag'. These are lightweight plastic and don't harm the bird, but are highly visible, even at some range. The silver ring on the upper right leg contains the standard ringing information of a normal ring (Photo: Jeroen Reneerkens).