Wildlife sightings 6 March 2014

Sightings from Maggie

Ringing news: A few updates from around the area on ringed birds found (Lothian Bird News): A dead black headed Gull near Port Seton with a Danish ring was rung in Denmark almost 16 years ago.

(From the May blog) An Icterine warbler, probably blown off course was ringed on the May in 2012. “It is thought that often when birds are blown a long way off course they can die rather than retrace their steps. So it was with interest that we heard that the same Icterine warbler was trapped again in July 2013 in Belgium proving that it managed to re orientate itself, fly back across the North Sea and make a more normal migration flight path the next year“. In November a darvick ringed 1st year great black-backed gull was ringed as a chick in Aberdeenshire and had made the trip south, ending up on the May where seal breeding season can supply rich food supplies.

Bass Rock: A few weeks ago the eagle eyed team in the Discovery Centre spotted a claw with a ring on it. The claw as the clue, confirmed by the location, in the shelter of the battlement below the lighthouse. It was a racing pigeon. How was I so sure? They subsequently were able to read the ring and indeed it was ‘Scottish union‘ pigeon, identified by the SU on the ring. I did have the advantage as I’d spotted a ring in the same area. I foraged around and collected over 25 rings in one go. Yes, this is indeed a peregrine feeding point. Along with many Scottish birds, I’ve found English, Welsh and French birds in the past. A great spot!

But the best news is that the gannets are wandering around waiting for their mates to return. On some days from the scope deck, thousands can be seen swirling around the cliffs off the Bass. On the May a Darvick ringed shag returned to its site at Pilgrims but, again, not settled yet. When will that first puffin be spotted?

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