On my way to Friday night football fixtures in Barrow last autumn I checked gull roosts at Newbiggin and Roosebeck several times. I reported a number of colour ringed gulls from these sites, and as a result Ros Green contacted me today. A GPS transmitter had detached from the Shelduck it was monitoring and washed ashore at Newbiggin. Could I get there or could I find someone else who would.
I could see Newbiggin from the Prom in Blackpool this morning, but the small matter of Morecambe Bay was in the way. So I put an appeal out on Twitter, which was answered by Chris Millar who set off on his bike to look for it. It was quickly located, and can now be recycled on another Shelduck next year to provide more valuable information on the movements the species makes and the potential risks of any proposed wind farms.
Ros kindly provided Chris and I with the photograph of ‘D4’ above, and the results of the tracking exercise as shown on the map below. After being caught on the Tees Estuary it has clearly spent some time on the Humber before crossing England overland to spend time at two premier sites for wildfowl in the North West, the Ribble Estuary and Morecambe Bay.
I know this blog has covered ringing and ringing recoveries a lot over the last eleven months or so, but these insights into migration are always fascinating I think.
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