There are a increasing number of bird colour-ringing projects around Europe, and the various species sporting the bright jewellery and bracelets are well worth looking out for. With a telescope, or better still, a good photo, it is often possible to get the ring details and have the birds' history within 24 hours. Most of the ringing groups involved are very prompt in responding to emails with sightings of their ringed birds. Most are. The Glossy Ibis ringing groups could do a lot better.
To think, in the old days, you had to actually write all the ring details in an actual letter, put it in an actual paper envelope thing, buy a stamp, actually lick it, stick it on the envelope, add the BTO's address, or the Natural History Museum London - if you could find that out -, post it, and then wait anything up to 6 months for a reply...
Here's a few recent ones from Kerry. Responses to each of these was within 18 hours.
Ringed first-winter Mediterranean Gull, Rough Point, 13th November 2016 (M.O'Clery).
Kind of fitting that on Remembrance Day this ringed first-year Mediterranean Gull was found at Rough Point. It had been ringed on its' nest 855km distant, at The Somme, in northern France, on 28th June of this year.
Adult Oystercatcher, Kilshannig, 4th October 2016 (M.O'Clery).
This bird was first ringed as an adult while incubating eggs on its nest at Olfus, in south-west Iceland, on 18th May of this year. It was seen there on seveal more dates this summer and successfully reared chicks. The next sighting was 1430km away, at a high tide roost of about 100 Oystercatchers at Kilshannig, in October.
Map showing locations of ringed birds in relation to their re-sighting locations (red dot) in Kerry.
Adult Ring-billed Gull (front) and ringed adult Common Gull, Black Rock, 7th October 2016 (M.O'Clery).
If you can ignore the much rarer gull in the foreground, the bird in the background, a ringed adult Common Gull, has a story to tell. It was colour-ringed as a chick on Lough Mask, Co. Mayo, on 15th June 2010, about 145km to the north. There was one other re-sighting, by David O'Connor, the following year at Barrow Harbour on 27th May 2011. The next reported sighting was at Black Rock in October 2016, though it is quite possible that it is wintering annually on the North Kerry coast.
Ringed adult Mediterranean Gull, Ventry 7th October 2016 (M.O'Clery).
This gull was one of 14 Mediterranean Gulls at Ventry on 7th October, but had been ringed as a third calendar-year bird on its' nest just east of Hamburg, Germany, in May 2015. The nest site is 1350 km from Ventry.
If you see a colour-ringed bird, it is now much easier to report it and to get feedback on the bird, usually within a day or two. See the Cr-birding site HERE. Let us know if you get details back on any Kerry re-sightings.