21 October 2010

Colour-ringed Curlews

Perhaps I've been slow on the uptake, but there's a new game in Severnland. Yesterday I bumped into a colour-ringed Curlew, it turns out that birds are being colour-ringed along the Severn Estuary in Glos, e.g. at Wibdon Warth, near Lydney (see here). The ultimate goal is to study the survival and turnover of Curlew on the estuary, however, with a bit of luck any findings will also underline the importance of the estuary and help fend off any future hair-brained 'development' schemes cooked up by middle-aged men in shiny shoes/cars who have nothing better to do due to the fact their cocks stopped working years ago and the wife is off shagging their golfing partner.

Birds have been marked with a combination of five colour-rings and a metal ring. All have a yellow ring over a white ring on the lower left leg (NB. I noticed on 'my' bird the lower, white, ring was discoloured/muddied and difficult to see), a metal on the lower right leg, a single colour on the upper left leg (the tarsus) and two colours on the upper right leg.

Any sightings should be sent directly to Dr. Niall Burton (Head of Wetland & Marine Research at the BTO) at niall.burton@bto.org. In addition to the combination and positions of colour-rings, they would also like date, time and location (ideally a six-figure grid reference). In addition to these details, they would also like to get data on the proportions of colour-ringed birds in flocks, i.e. the numbers of birds colour-ringed and the numbers of birds checked for rings (not necessarily the total flock size) and even data for flocks that had no colour-ringed birds.

The colour-ringed birds are, of course, most likely to be seen in the part of the estuary near where they were caught, but surely a few will filter Gwentwards.

This blog post has been brought to you by the letters O, T and B and the number 1 and fulfills part of Gwentbirding's annual public broadcast/non-sweary remit.

Communication ends.

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