Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Winter in Hampshire, summer in Iceland - for quite a few years now!

The well travelled Black-tailed Godwit

A good friend of mine Eric Trickle contacted me the other day, to tell me that he had photographed a Black-tailed Godwit on Friday 27 March 2015 on the Hamble River near Warsash in Southampton. This individual had a number of coloured rings on its legs and was therefore obviously part of some project, so Eric made some enquiries.

To cut a long story short, well known ornithologist Pete Potts from the Farlington Ringing Group supplied the information on this bird and revealed that it was quite an age!

It was first ringed on the 16th of November 1998 by Pete at Farlington Marshes on the outskirts of Portsmouth and has since been seen many times over the years, mostly along this stretch of coastline.

However, on the 2nd of May 2002 it was recorded at Alftafjorour, south of Djupivog in South East Iceland. Many of our over-wintering Black-tailed Godwits go to breed in Iceland. 

It was spotted again in Iceland on the 20th April, 2011 this time at Landeyjar, Rangarvallasysla in the Southern part of the country.

It was spotted on the 14th September 2012 at Snettisham RSPB reserve in North Norfolk, probably resting up as it travelled back to the south coast,  to find its favourite over-wintering quarters once again.

So it was great that Eric has now confirmed that this bird is still alive and well at the ripe old age of, well at least 17. It still has a bit to go if it to break the UK longevity record for a Black-tailed Godwit though, as this stands at 23 years and 3 months old!      

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