A Sea of Sanderlings

Lying on a north Norfolk beach in December is not to be recommended… believe me. I was photographing waders. A huge shelf of razor shells had been swept up by the high tide and a good number of Sanderlings were combing through them looking for tasty pieces. I was lying flat on the shells with camera and lens.

I got a couple of shots that I wanted one of which is published below but noticed one of the birds within the flock was ringed; not with just a metal ring but with a series of colour rings. Rather than note down the order and colours it’s just easier to fire off a poor shot as an aid memoire.

I sent off the details to the Sanderling Colour ringing scheme; the return of details was almost instantaneous. The bird had been caught and ringed in the winter of 2009 at Heacham not too far away. In fact this was one of 6 birds that had a data logger fitted that measures daylight and if the logger can be recovered the location of the bird over the last year or so could be determined. Unfortunately, although some of the six birds were recaptured, like the bird I saw, they had lost the data loggers by the time of recapture and so data has never been recovered. However; the main purpose of the data loggers was to test them to see how the birds coped with them with a view to their use on the globally threatened Spoon-billed Sandpipers.

Back to the drawing board.


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Dec 2012


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