In reports I've checked coming in to date (and sorry to those of you waiting for feedback, because I always seem to be running behind!), two big families have been reported. First, on 25 November, was from Alyn Walsh from Wexford Wildfowl Reserve, whom you may remember was part of the catch team out in Canada - photo of him standing with an adult from the catch of the birds he was now reporting on, below:
This was of a ringed family of 2 adults and 4 juveniles, which had earlier been recorded passing through Strangford Lough.
Then, tonight, I have a second report, from Mick Cowming, of a big all-ringed family at Tramore Back Strand, Co. Waterford. Again this family had been recorded passing through Strangford Lough. Given the melee of young birds which can happen at the latter site, it was recorded there as 2 adults and 4 juveniles, but Mick has now shown the family also includes a fifth juvenile. The missing bird happens to be the last bird we ringed in Canada, so I'm actually able to provide a photo from when it was being ringed, rings complete with Sellotape:
Let's explain the Sellotape. The plastic (Darvic) rings open out, so that we can get them over the legs (you can see the overlap in this photo, particularly on the blue ring). To prevent the rings opening up and migrating down over the foot, we have to weld the two sides of the ring together. For this we use welding glue, and to ensure that this gets time to act, the Sellotape restrains the ring for sufficient time to enable to bond to be made.
SO - now it's up to you!! How many of our big RB Canadian families we spent so much time and effort (and expense!!) catching, can you find???
By the way, 26RB wants it to be stated that she is a big girl now!!