News has come in from Adrien Pajot that he has re-sighted one of our brent, 2IRR (2 right leg, I left leg, R ed right leg-ring colour, R ed left leg-ring colour) on Christmas Day, on the western tip of the Île de Ré, Charente-Maritime, France. For those of you who are equally geographically challenged to myself, this island, which is connected to the mainland by a bridge, lies about half-way down the western coast of France, near La Rochelle, on the Bay of Biscay.
This record is from near the southern limit of the range of our birds, and only two ringed birds have ever been recorded from as far south before - CIWW visited the nearby Île d'Oléron during the 2005 / 2006 winter, and HPRY was recorded from Île de Ré in February 2011. Both birds were subsequently recorded from Ireland in subsequent winters, so the extra flight and sun-tan doesn't seem to have done them any harm!
2IRR was ringed in 2013 as part of the intensive series of catches in the Dublin area which have been going on in the past few years. This winter I had it passing through Strangford Lough in late September, following which it was picked up by Pat Watson at North Bull, Dublin on 03 November. Just over a week later, it was recorded from Havre de Regnéville, in Normandy, the main French site for our flyway, on 11 November, by Jerome Bosec. It was recorded there a couple of times again by Alain Livory and Roselyne Coulomb, for the last time on 14 November.
So, this bird has been passed on from one observer to another right along the flyway, which I guess is one of the fascinations of being a ring-reader!!
Having been laid low by a number of fairly vicious bugs over the Christmas period (and apologies that this has led to fewer updates on things), I'm hoping to remove myself to County Donegal tomorrow to seek out a few more new rings at less well-covered sites there over the New Year. Season's Greetings to everyone!!
PS Collation of the early November Census is nearly complete, and I would hope to be able to come back with the findings on my return!