I was out at the north end of Strangford Lough late this afternoon, and came across the first ringed bird of the winter which has brought back young.
BURY is a really well-known bird to many Dublin ring-readers. Ringed at Álftanes, just south of Reykjavik in Iceland in May 2007, it illustrates well just how site-faithful the geese generally are. In all seven winters since ringing, this bird has appeared briefly at Strangford Lough, and always within a few miles of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust centre at Castle Espie, before passing south to overwinter in north Dublin and the Red Arches pitches at Baldoyle. Similarly, in five spring migrations since the original ringing, it has been recorded from Hvalfjörður (whale fjord), still on the west coast of Iceland (where the vast majority of our birds stage), but some distance north of Reykjavik.
Family bonds are strong, particularly in autumn, when they stick very tightly together, so it is well worthwhile looking out for birds which are associating and moving around together within the overall flock. Early season, families also tend to keep slightly apart from the main flock, and are usually found at the edges.
Constant-effort ring-reading shows us that this is the first time, since she was ringed as an adult female, that BURY has managed to successfully breed and bring back her young all the way from Canada to Ireland. Well done, our kid!!