Over the years Avril and I have been very fortunate to record a number of birds in Assynt that have had colour rings on their legs. , and it’s always exciting to find one; you will nearly always be able to get the life history of the individual bird.
If you are lucky enough to see a bird, it makes no difference if it’s dead or alive, with a combination of colour rings on its leg(s), some of which may carry an obvious letter and/or number code, then –
identify your bird!
carefully note the colour rings on each leg and the order in which they have been placed, this is always recorded as X over Y, include the location of any metal ring;
record where the rings are placed e.g. above or below the ‘knee’ and on which leg;
record any alpha-numeric code – usually a maximum of three characters long these must be read from the top down or left to right depending on the direction of the code. There are loads of combinations of ring and character colours so it is important that you note this information too, e.g. pale blue ring with yellow characters;
if possible get a grid reference at the time or consult the appropriate OS map as soon as possible; and lastly
clear, sharp, photographs can make life a lot easier!
After you get all that information what should you do with it?
The easiest, and generally the quickest, way to report your bird and get its history is to log on to http://www.cr-birding.org. This site carries details of thousands of European colour-ringing schemes from Accentors to Woodpeckers! Don’t panic though you can narrow the search by simply searching on the bird species. Once you find the scheme with details matching yours simply contact the scheme organiser, via the information given, and send them the details of your bird.
The table below is a summary of the colour-ringed birds we have recorded in Assynt along with some brief details about each one. There are also photos of a few of these birds.
Good luck, enjoy your birding, and please let the Field Club know if you come across a colour-ringed bird and what you find out about it.
David and Avril Haines
|Species||Location||Date seen||Where Ringed||When Ringed||Age at ringing||Other area(s) recorded|
|Pied Wagtail||Culkein Drumbeg||23-4-11||Weymouth, Dorset||1-3-10||2nd year|
|Twite||Culkein Drumbeg||14-7-11||Orkney||Winter 2009/10||Juvi||Clachtoll|
|Ringed Plover||Bay of Culkein||19-10-11||Achiltibuie||July 2010||Chick|
|Ringed Plover||Clashnessie||31-10-11||Coigach||July 2011||Chick|
|Greenland Barnacle Goose||Culkein, Stoer||20-1-12||Balnakeil Farm, Durness||21-7-07||?|
|Twite||Clachtoll||May 2012||Orkney||Winter 2011/12||?|
|Sanderling||Bay of Culkein||15-7-13||Zackenberg, Greenland||2-7-09||Nestling||France, Orkney, Ireland|
|Great Skua||Rubh’an Dunain||18-6-15||Handa||5-7-09||Nestling|
|Greenland Barnacle Goose||Culkein Stoer||13-12-15||Eorrabus, Isle of Islay||14-4-98||Adult||This bird is mate of other 13-12-15 one|
|Greenland Barnacle Goose||Culkein Stoer||13-12-15||Gruinart Farm, Islay||27-10-14||Adult||This bird is mate of other 13-12-15 one|
|Brent Goose||Bay of Culkein||13-10-17||Cromane, Co. Derry||26-3-09||Juvi.||Iceland|
|Shag||Stoer Lighthouse||29-3-18||Isle of May||10-6-15||Chick||Aberdeenshire|
|Oystercatcher||Bay of Culkein||18-9-18||Eskifjorour, Iceland||19-5-18||Adult|