Thursday, October 9, 2008

9th October, 2008.

An early post, partly as a consequence of the weather becoming atrocious from mid-morning!!

Apologies, but I omitted to mention that there had been a 1st winter Little Gull at the head of Loch Indaal yesterday as well as 2 Arctic Terns.
On station at the same site just after dawn this morning but no sign of "the plover", indeed some of the waders appeared to have moved out including the Golden Plover. That's birding!!

Every cloud has a silver lining though. The Greenland White-fronted Goose I mentioned yesterday wearing the red collar marked J3H was a first for Britain!!! I shall explain!

This summer an expedition took place to Western Greenland with the intention of catching and marking some Greenland White-fronted Geese. There is considerable concern at the moment about the global population of this very distinct sub-species whose breeding grounds seem to be under assault from an increasing population of Canada Geese. The overall numbers have decreased and productivity has, on occasion , been poor. However, mounting expeditions to Greenland is costly and conditions, safety etc are not to be taken lightly. Despite all this a group this summer visited one of the important areas and caught 35 birds which they fitted with neck collars. These don't affect the birds but, importantly, allow their movements , relationships, productivity etc to be tracked and , most of all, longevity to be assessed. J3H was an adult male caught with 8 other non-breeders on the 16th July, 2008. He has now made that long, long journey to his winter quarters ( think about it, from western Greenland!!!, maybe with a stopover in Iceland ... compare this with going to see Aunt Agatha and all that goes with it, sandwiches, stops on the motorway, signs telling you to rest when tired. What a phenomenon!! )
In summary, he was the first that has been reported making it to Britain ( to Islay!!)..we'll certainly keep a welcome!

So that you can follow up on what happens I'll post further details from time to time and provide some web site references too.

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