Well, that was the case until last week when we heard from across the channel that one of our birds had been spotted in France! On the 3rd May, Gilbert Vimard saw one of our birds in a roost at Manche, Normandy, France.
This bird (EL99843) was ringed at Wheldrake Ings on the 1st May 2008, with several re-sightings since (shown below). This is an interesting record and suggests that it has changed roost sites during the year – perhaps delayed on spring migration like many of our migrants this year. Many thanks to Gilbert for this diligent observation and sending the sighting on – once again showing the value of colour-rings for allowing wider involvement in these projects.
Whimbrel (EL99843): Red/Lime Red
However, our hard work and persistence has paid off with a total of 13 different colour-rings read off since the first ones were seen on the 22nd, the other new ones for the year are listed below:
Whimbrel: Yellow/Yellow – Pink
Whimbrel: Yellow/Yellow – Orange
Whimbrel: White/White – Yellow
Whimbrel: White/Yellow – Yellow
Whimbrel: Yellow/Orange – Lime
Whimbrel: Lime/Yellow – Pink
The weights of these birds were interesting in that they were quite low suggesting they had either been late arriving during the spring and had not yet fed up and weren’t ready to go, or, had been struggling to feed and put on weight with the dry conditions out in the fields. The Whimbrel seem to arrive here weighing about 350grams and leave between 550-600 grams: most birds caught were around the 400 mark although one sizable female was over 530 grams and perhaps getting ready to make the onward migration to Iceland or Sweden perhaps.